What could be scarier than your jeans having a mind of their own or your new dress having a taste for human blood. Not to mention that retro jacket you love inspiring a killing spree. So, for god sake, shut the wardrobe doors and avoid the sinister department store up the road as we look at three top-rated killer clothes classics. Featuring, In Fabric, Deerskin and a first look at the Shudder original movie SLAXX.
In Fabric (2018)
Director: Peter Strickland
Set in the fictional town of Thames Valley on Thames, Peter Strickland creates a bubble of consumerism past and present. Here the town at the heart of the story sits in a void of time, where the traditional 70s British high street remains intact. While at the same time, the dawn of growing consumerism slowly changes the landscape and ideas of its residents. Dentley & Soper’s department store sits at the centre of the town – a cavern of wonder that dominates the townsfolk while encouraging them to spend their hard-earned cash. Here the classic British department store of Are You Being Served is subverted into a gothic nightmare of secrets and desires—the staff team dressed in Victorian attire while talking in riddles.
In Dentley & Soper’s sits a beautiful red dress, its elegance and grace reflected in its flowing curves and luscious material. However, the dress is tinged with tragedy, its enchanting allure holding a deadly spirit. But, for single mum Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), the dress screams out for her attention as she plans a dinner date. On purchasing the red dress from the creepy staff at Dentley & Soper’s, Sheila has the confidence to believe her life can be better. However, the dress has its own plans for Sheila.
Peter Strickland is well known for his deep and vibrant use of colour in the building of atmosphere, and In Fabric doesn’t disappoint in mirroring the style of his previous movies. Here the dress at the film’s heart burns with ferocious energy as it glides through a blood bath of humour and terror. But, when this arresting visual style is combined with the score of Cavern of Anti-Matter, In Fabric transcends the boundaries of horror and comedy—mixing the Italian style of Dario Argento with a decidedly British killer clothes ghost story.
Director: Quentin Dupieux
No collection of killer clothes movies would be complete without Quentin Dupieux’ blood-soaked black comedy about a Deerskin jacket. After all, this is the director who brought us Rubber, the story of a homicidal car tire. But unlike many of his earlier films, Deerskin feels far more refined in its comedic qualities. The deadpan script and comic book themes of its horror, creating a genuinely hilarious slice of cinema.
George (Jean Dujardin) leaves his old life behind him, gleefully embracing the new road ahead by dispensing with his modern jacket down a service station toilet. The opening scenes clearly point to a more than slightly unhinged man. However, the mystery of his sudden escape from his previous life is only deepened when he draws out all his remaining cash before meeting with an old man—the rendezvous centred on a vintage deerskin jacket the man is selling. For George, it’s love at first sight, the hideous and slightly too small western-style jacket singing to him from a distance. Therefore, George hands over all of his money for the coat, proudly squeezing into it as he drives towards a small nearby rural village.
Within that tiny village, George takes up residence in a rundown hotel. Where without a penny to his name, he pretends to be a filmmaker, coaxing a young barmaid and aspiring editor Denise (Adèle Haenel) into his dangerous imaginary world. But, it is his newfound love of his deerskin jacket that becomes increasingly sinister, the leather frills and adornments speaking to him as he sits in seclusion. However, when George and the Jacket agree to rid the world of all other coats, the whole town becomes a part of his devilish partnership with a leather killer.
Much of the joy of Deerskin comes from the deadpan delivery of the madness on screen. With Jean Dujardin’s George gloriously serious at all times, utterly convinced by his actions. At the same time, Adele Haenel’s barmaid plays along with the pathological lies and delusions at the heart of George’s behaviour. The films’ horror and comedy dovetailing to create a movie that never allows itself to become bogged down in one specific genre. Dupieux playfully allows the action to bounce from laugh out loud comedy to slasher horror. Deerskin carries a short 77 minute run time, but this perfectly matches the anarchic story. As one man, one camera, and a deerskin jacket slowly descend into madness.
SLAXX (First Look)
Slaxx arrives on Shudder early 2021
Director: Elza Kephart
How many times have you entered a clothes shop and heard someone utter the immortal words ‘That’s to die for”? I am guessing it’s more than once. And of course, many of our modern clothes are indeed to die for. Our obsessive love of cheap, disposable fashion fuelling sweatshops in developing countries. While at the same time, expensive luxury goods are made by children in the far east. So just for a moment, imagine if those jeans calling to you from a glossy advert were, in fact, killers, their fabric soaked in blood from the moment they were born; an unquenchable thirst developing as they sit piled up in a shop window. If you can imagine that, then SLAXX is the comedy/horror for you.
Here at Cinerama Film Online, we are huge fans of Canadian horror, from Dead Shack to Turbo Kid. And with SLAXX, our Canadian cousins have once again knocked the ball out of the park. Its humour and gore are laced with an in-depth commentary on consumerism and greed. While at the same time dissecting how companies lie about environmental credentials in gaining new customers. And just like Strickland’s In Fabric and Dupieux’ Deerskin, SLAXX will go on to become a real killer clothes cult classic from 2021.
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