Taking aim at the vapid celebrities and reality TV stars who have sprung up in recent years is the new slasher/satire movie, LA Slasher.
The LA Slasher takes it upon himself to “clean up” Los Angeles and starts killing and kidnapping the worst offenders, including a rich heiress, a celebrity stripper, a socialite, a pop star and more, all the while tweeting and live streaming his crimes to a surprisingly enthusiastic audience. The commentary about reality TV feels like it doesn’t really go as far as it could have and outside of their inane tweets, you don’t really get enough of the victims horridness to see what set the Slasher off. The closest analogue I can think of is Bobcat Goldthwait’s “God Bless America”, which was so over the top that, at least for me, you felt Frank was justified in his crazy rampage. Here, it’s obvious who the analogues are in the real world but they aren’t really exaggerated or commented on. For example, there’s a Paris Hilton substitute but besides calling her “the heiress” and her mentioning money, there’s nothing else really commented on, it’s like just making the comparison is enough for the movie. The “punishments” by the Slasher are also pretty inconsistent and there’s only two that seem like they are directly related to the “sins” of the victim. The social media commentary is much sharper and the movie does a great job of copying the absolute bullshit that is spewed on most celebrity twitter feeds and there’s some solid stuff from the local news and their man on the street interviews with regular Los Angelinos and the TMZesque show called C Buzz that is commenting on the Slasher’s crimes.
The cast of LA Slasher is an extremely eclectic mix including Misha Barton, porn star Tori Black, Eric Roberts, Dave Bautista, Drake Bell, Danny Trejo and Andy Dick as the voice of the Slasher. That last one is pretty bizarre and while hearing Andy Dick while getting tortured would be pretty disturbing, I can’t help but think the Slasher would be a much creepier and effective villain if he was silent and just saw his tweets and blog posts. His look is great, with a full white suit and a Michael Myersesque mask and he also has completely white axes and machetes to use on his victims. Dave Bautista and Danny Trejo are lots of fun as a pair of drug dealers but they feel like they are off in a completely different movie and their storyline ends super abruptly, which you can also say about the whole movie as well.
The movie has a great sense of style and reminded me at times of something akin to Nicholas Winding Refn while other times it felt like an interesting music video, like a sequence where “The Heiress” is high during a dinner party, and there’s a fun animated sequence for the credits. The soundtrack is fantastic, full of 80’s gems like “The Look of Love” by ABC and “King of Wishful Thinking” by Go West.
LA Slasher has some interesting ideas but it doesn’t feel like it attacks them as hard as it thinks it is. The look of the movie and the actual Slasher are great and there’s some fun casting choices but it doesn’t quite work as a full on slasher movie or a social satire.
(L.A. SLASHER will open in Los Angeles (Citywalk Stadium 19, AMC Atlantic Times Square 14), Atlanta (Southlake Pavilion 24), Miami (Sunset Place 24), Denver (Westminster Promenade 24) and Houston (Katy Mills 20 AMC) this Friday, June 26, 2015)