Killer Clothes: The Crypt

11 mins read

November 2020

The Crypt is back with our Killer Clothes special. After all, 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

Cast: Sidse Babett KnudsenMarianne Jean-BaptisteJulian Barratt, Steve Oram, Jaygann Ayeh, Richard Bremmer, Gwendoline Christie

Set in the fictional town of Thames Valley on Thames, Peter Strickland creates a bubble of consumerism past and present. The town at the heart of the story sitting 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. With the resulting picture layered with the visual style of British small-town life in the 70s and 80s while equally talking to modern-day appetites for mass consumerism. In a film that echoes the dark comedy of TVs The League of Gentlemen in both style and structure. 

At the centre of the town sits Dentley & Soper’s department store. It cavern of wonder dominating the urges of the townsfolk to spend their hard-earned cash. The classic British department store of Are You Being Served subverted into a gothic nightmare of secrets and desires—the staff team dressed in Victorian attire while talking in riddles. But, the store also harbours dark secrets and desires in the form of its owner (Richard Bremmer) and his floor manager Miss Luckmore (Fatma Mohamed).

Wrapped around a mannequin at the heart of 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); a local bank worker who has recently separated from her husband. The dress screams out for her attention as she plans a dinner date; trying to shake off the ghost of a man who left her with their rebellious teenage son.

Purchasing the red dress from the decidedly creepy staff at Dentley & Soper’s; the dress initially offers Sheila the confidence to believe her life can be better. However, the dress has its own plans for Sheila’s future. Her daily life taken hostage by its deadly charm. With the flowing red fabric embodying not only terror but also our growing consumerism and throw away culture.

Peter Strickland is well known for his deep and vibrant use of colour in building atmosphere. And In Fabric doesn’t disappoint in following the visually arresting style of his previous movies. The dress at the heart of the film, burning with ferocious intensity as it swishes through a blood bath of humour laced terror. While the town of Thames Valley on Thames sits within a mashup of period style; creating a uniquely British modern-gothic horror. But, when this visual style is combined with the superb 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.

Deerskin (2019)

Director: Quentin Dupieux

Cast:  Jean DujardinAdèle HaenelAlbert Delpy, Coralie Russier, Marie Bunel, Laurent Nicolas

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 pointing to a man who is more than slightly unhinged. 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, its 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.

It is within that small village that 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, as Adele Haenel’s barmaid plays along with the pathological lies and delusions at the heart of George’s behaviour. With the films horror and comedy dovetailing to create a film that never allows itself to become bogged down in one specific genre. With Dupieux playfully allowing 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

Cast: Romane DenisBrett DonahueSehar Bhojani, Kenny Wong, Tianna Nori, Erica Anderson, Stephen Bogaert

Okay first things first, we are sworn to secrecy about the latest Shudder feature in terms of any long review. Therefore, our first look at SLAXX is short and sharp, with a full review coming next year. But, that’s not going to stop us whetting your appetite for this intelligent and engaging slice of slasher horror.

How many times have you entered a clothes shop and heard someone utter the immortal words ‘That’s to die for”?. We are guessing its 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 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.

Read the last issue The Kids Aren’t Alight here and join us in January 2021 for Bloodlust: Three Essential Vampire Flicks

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