Sometimes a low budget film comes along that is so unbelievably impressive, it gives you hope for the world of film in general. The Canadian reality TV spoof Slashers is one such film. Cleverly edited to look like it has been shot in one take and edited later as Hitchcock did with Rope, it becomes not only a refreshingly comic horror, but a stinging social commentary on the Big Brother/ Survivor style televisual phenomenon that is slowly chipping away at the morality of the worlds populace.
The plot surrounds one special episode of Japans number one reality TV show Slashers in which contestants are chased around an elaborate studio set by a group of masked murderers, with the soul objective of trying not to get killed. The last one standing (if any) gets a cool $12,000000 which presumably goes towards the intensive therapy they are going to need after the experience.
Now sure it’s been done before, films like The Running Man and Battle Royale are big shoes for anyone to fill, let alone one with such a small budget, but it’s the entertaining nature of the script and the fantastic attention to detail that makes this one of my all time favourite horror movies. The amazingly over the top nature of the show itself with it’s cheerleaders for blood, resident DJ and morally bankrupt hosts, are not so far from the way the media circus of the world is heading, and the fact that the contestants chances of survival go up and down depending on back story, amount of clothing shed in their fight for survival, and attractiveness, do leave you to consider your own viewing habit’s a little more closely (although if X Factor contestants were killed off when they were voted out I may be more inclined to watch the live shows ..) . One scene in particular made me laugh out loud, as a contestant and killers struggle had to be put on hold as the show went into a commercial break – this sort of tongue in cheek twist on the horror genre, is always apparent when a director just ‘gets it’.
Slashers is by no means perfect, some of the contestants acting is a lot to be desired but the gore, and the relentless pace of the action is what keeps you interested and constantly entertained. You’re right there with the contestants as they navigate their way through the maze of rooms and sets. The FX, particularly the ’’Slashers’’ masks are excellent and genuinely creepy, and this is the part of the film where the restraints of a low budget shows least. Killer clowns, chainsaw wielding red necks, mad doctors, are all included in this parody of modern culture. It really is one of the most underrated films of the last twenty years and I wouldn’t be surprised if Hollywood was eyeing it to be massacred along with every other sacrificial cinema lamb I’ve watched lately (bitter? Me? Of course.)
Slashers is definitely a love or hate type deal, but to the haters, I say : ‘You’re wrong. You’re so very, very wrong.’