Using a concept that Quentin Dupieux would love, Elza Kephart’s Slaxx throws a literal pair of killer jeans our way, as a metaphor for the dubious nature of corporate responsibility in today’s consumerist fashion culture. For all its ambition, however, this flippant horror-comedy is a depressingly one-note movie, desperately searching for something, anything, to pad out its scant 77-minute runtime.
Canadian Cotton Clothiers prides itself on clothing that is organic, non-GMO, fair trade and sweatshop-free, an ideology encompassed in their cult-like mantra, “Make a better tomorrow today.” In anticipation of the debut of the Super Shapers, a new pair of jeans designed to fit anybody’s waist regardless of size, the staff of one CCC location work overnight to merchandise the incoming product. When staff members begin to go missing, however, new hire Libby (Romaine Denis) discovers that these new jeans have an attitude, ruthlessly killing anybody they come across. With the store on lockdown mode, Libby must figure out how to tame these rogue pants before sunrise hits and they’re unleashed upon the world.
The pants themselves are great, which, in a feat of technical green-screened ingenuity, sneakily slide around and attack mercilessly. Kephart doesn’t skimp on the gore either, dispatching each smug retail clerk with blood-gushing glee. The attempt at consumerist satire, however, is flat at best and cringeworthy at worst, doling out hollow talking points as if the filmmakers just came off their first read of No Logo. Meanwhile, each character is a typically obnoxious caricature without any shading, unless you count the Indian employee who calls out Libby for assuming she likes Bollywood music, when it’s revealed later that… wait, she actually DOES like Bollywood music! Super-woke stuff here.
It sure looks slick, but Slaxx is a movie that never made it past the idea stage.