Main cast: Romane Denis (Libby McClean), Brett Donahue (Craig), Sehar Bhojani (Shruti), Stephen Bogaert (Harold Lansgrove), Kenny Wong (Lord), Tianna Nori (Barb Lubotski), Hanneke Talbot (Jemma), and Erica Anderson (Peyton Jewels)
Director: Elza Kephart
Now picture this: Canadian Cotton Clothiers pride itself for being a progressive company. It uses only organic cotton, responsibly grown and harvested by photogenic dark-skinned natives in what the company claims to be a happy utopia in some third world country (cough, India), so their hipster consumer base can wear their favorite brands with clear superior sense of morality over other less enlightened plebeians.
As most can predict, the truth is far more mundane: these folks are all about slave wages and cheap labors, and the cotton harvested is experimental, not organic. Problem starts when one of their plantation workers is killed while trying to toss the cotton she’s harvested into the thresher. Her vengeful soul somehow possesses all the Slaxx jeans shipped from the company warehouse, and that’s how the fun begins.
Libby McClean is a fresh-faced intern so happy to be working in a progressive fashion outlet, and she is just in time for the launch of Slaxx, a revolutionary pair of jeans that can meld to one’s body contours using some kind of thermal technology, so now I guess everyone can wear tight-fitting jeans. I don’t know if everyone should wear tight-fitting jeans just because they could, but hey, thank goodness this thing is fiction. At any rate, our naïve intern soon learns that everyone in the outlet, top down, is a narcissistic, vapid turd, so perhaps it’s just fitting, heh, that the Slaxx jeans start to come alive and devour them all one by one.
Yes, the jeans here are sentient, with teeth and all, all the better to dismember and devour these fools of course. That’s the only good thing about this movie, by the way: the gore. The gore is not particularly remarkable, but those scenes in question are the only things keeping me awake, so thank heavens for small blessings.
For the most of this movie, I have to deal with the “comedy” and the “satire”, which miss the point completely due to the over-reliance on cheap and lazy stereotypes that render all the characters unlikable and yet forgettable. Craig, for example, is this psychotic self-absorbed fellow that doesn’t care how many people die in his store so long as his own career progression is not affected by the body count, but I have a hard time recalling anything this supposed villain-one-loves-to-hate type has said or done here that is worth recalling.
Every character feels under-written and bland, and yet, they are supposed to embody the emptiness of consoomer culture or something. Perhaps this is something meta or some kind of 4D chess, but the embodiment of emptiness ends up being so empty that, in the end, who freaking cares. It’s like seeing a bunch of ants being doused with acid that makes their chitin melt—sure, that’s probably a more cruel way to kill them than it needs to be, but they are ants so, who cares.
The comedy is off. The characters are written in a way that tries too hard to present consoomer and influencer culture in every vapid degree, but at the same time, the whole thing feels like what the screenwriters (which include the director Elza Kephart herself) imagine such culture to be, instead of what it actually is. There is nothing here that has any resemblance to actual, vapid, and hollow consoomer and influencer culture of today, so it ends up satirizing what is in the screenwriters’ head as opposed to what is actually out there.
I like how it tries to point out the hypocrisy of companies that hide behind a false progressive front when they are more than guilty of the same crimes of using cheap labor and sweatshops as every other company out there, and there are certainly no shortage of such companies in America alone. However, having the vengeful ghost killing people that have nothing to do with the operation of Canadian Cotton Clothiers undermines whatever it is that the movie is trying to say. If anything, the take home message is that cheap labor in third world countries are cray cray that don’t care whom they lash out at, and they are better off given a wide berth as a result. Is that what this movie wants to say?
Slaxx has some gore, but for the most part, it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to say or even what it wants to be. Whatever that is good in this movie is also found in much better movies, so there is nothing to lose in watching this one, just as there is nothing to lose in skipping it as well.