Slaxx

Slaxx is like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants rebooted as a horror movie. Hold on a second, that's not how I want to start this review. Let me try again. Slaxx is like if clothes from the Gap could kill you. No, that's not quite right either. Both sentiments are true, yet neither quite conveys how bizarre and insane this film is. Have I mentioned that I really like bizarre and insane? You certainly can't be bored by those qualities.

The story is set entirely in the flagship store of a trendy clothing manufacturer. Libby (Romane Denis) is a young woman excitedly working her first day on the job. A new product line is being released, and she gets to be there for the big unveiling. One of the new pieces is a specially-designed pair of blue jeans that melds itself to fit the body of the person wearing them. Those jeans are possessed, though, and a pair of them crawls off the shelf and begins brutally murdering people.

Eleven years ago, there was a movie called Rubber, about a killer tire. I thought I'd never see a less likely slayer onscreen. Thanks to Slaxx, I now have. Watching jeans squeeze a person's waist until they pop or wrap themselves around somebody's neck like a noose is certainly fun, if you have one of those really warped senses of humor. The visual effects used to make them come alive are pretty good. The film doesn't look as cheesy as you might expect.

Underneath the considerable bloodletting is a sharp satire. One of the supporting characters is a superficial YouTube star who's been invited to the opening. She's all about her image – as well as the freebies – and the store's manager is more than delighted to cater to her. You can imagine how that turns out. Later on, Libby makes a discovery about where the jeans came from. Despite being labeled as not using sweatshop workers and being made without GMOs, the truth is quite different. Killer pants are used to poke some fun at the overpriced clothes trendy people are obsessed with and the appalling conditions under which those same clothes are often manufactured.

Slaxx isn't likely to open your eyes on that count, considering the point is fairly obvious. The jokes are still funny, though, and the sight of pants killing people never loses its wacky appeal, thanks to a tight 76-minute running time. I don't know how director Elza Kephart and co-writer Patricia Gomez came up with this idea, but I'm glad they did. Sometimes you just need a great big dose of crazy. On that count, Slaxx fits like a glove.


out of four

Slaxx is unrated, but contains graphic bloody violence, and strong language. The running time is 1 hour and 16 minutes.