The spirit of Roger Corman’s original Little Shop of Horrors lives again in this entirely ridiculous but often amusing and sharp horror-satire from Canadian film-maker Elza Kephart, set in an unbearably cool clothes shop, in which the sales assistants cruise around talking to each other with mic-headsets, but hardly deign to communicate with the customers.
Romaine Denis plays Libby, a starry-eyed young woman who is thrilled to have got a job at this store, awed by its visionary CEO and by the company’s commitment to non-exploitative practices and its ethical attitude to the developing-world communities where the clothes are made and where the cotton is grown. But of course it is all nonsense. The company cuts costs with sweatshop contractors in south Asia, and the super-cool jeans that it is bringing in for its new line are in fact haunted by the vengeful spirits of those workers in India who have been injured and killed. And so, for the special evening in which these new garments are to be unveiled at the store to an elite of hipsters and Instagram influencers, the jeans themselves run amok in a bloody orgy of revenge against the first-world fashionistas.
It is all very silly, and some of the script and acting are a bit broad (though perfectly consistent with the overall style). The scenes where the jeans come to life like malign reptiles and even start dancing on the shop floor are good; some videos over the closing credits cheerfully reveal the tech wizardry that created these effects. An entertaining skewering of the hidden global politics in retail trendiness.
• Slaxx is released on 18 March on Shudder.