Director – Maurice Deveraux 99 Minutes
Starring – Sarah Joslyn Crowder, Tony Curtis Blondell, Kieran Keller, Jerry Sprio.
Slashers is a low budget shot on video canuxplotaion movie from director Maurice Devereux, shot on video and aimed directly at the home video market Slashers tells the story of a Japanese reality television shows first entry into the overseas market featuring contestants facing “slashers” in a fight for survival and cold hard cash; think big brother meets Battle Royale or The Running Man.
The premise itself is interesting and this plays more than just some cheap stalk and slash movie; you can tell from Maurice’s writing style and some of the more satirical dialogue that this was an experiment in social standards of our generation and the lengths that television producers will go for ratings in a modern market.
All the main stereotypes of horror are touched upon with the contestants, a feminist who has entered the show to garner the audience’s attention to the horror which they all revel in, a Hispanic tough guy with a wise cracking persona, a wannabe model, ex military guy and an outwardly geeky bloke with ulterior motives and inane fandom of the show.
Where Slashers shines is with the excellent video packages for the Japanese host, the pauses in action where a violent death or some plot turning mechanism is halted by the announcement of an advert break, this systematically halts the on screen action making the viewer step back and assess the situation in a rather clever use of pacing.
Another interesting aside is the fact that the female contestants are all encouraged to get topless in order to create viewer favour ship and as with any good piece about society gambling is another prime focus in the “real world”.
The movie could’ve done with a larger budget as it is obvious that it was made on a shoestring and with the money behind him Maurice could be a director with a bright career and has some relative and controversial thoughts about the lengths executives will go for money and notoriety.
The “slashers” themselves offer three distinctly different characters and each pose an outwardly different threat, the more interesting and well versed of the three is Chainsaw Charlie (Neil Napier, Immortals) but sadly these all fall short of being captivating and hinder the movie greatly which is a shame as if this was pulled off it could’ve been a masterpiece.
Dogged by sloppy acting and no exposition and minimal back story on the slashers was a hindrance to an otherwise clever piece of satire.
The last act of the movie once the “show” is coming to an end reveals a clever little plot twist regarding legality of the actions of the contestants and is another dig at that no matter what is written or said on the airwaves over the internet will come and bite you in the arse at some point and the surviving contestants subsequent face off is nothing new but is a satisfying end.
Given time, money and decent actors slashers could be a great franchise delving into the Japanese extreme game show’s sordid history but sadly just falls short, it will hold a horror fan’s attention and there’s plenty of gore on offer but sadly viewers are left wanting more and this is where slashers falters.