Written and directed by Maurice Devereaux; take The Running Man, Battle Royale, the fascination with serial killers, a satirical look at reality TV and what we have is Slashers. A 2001 horror-comedy that rises above its cheap look to be an entertaining watch.
The movie pokes fun at reality TV and just how far society will go for entertainment. In it a Japanese game show is the highest rated game show of all time. What makes it so popular? Well, it’s called Slashers and sees a group of volunteers fighting to survive an obstacle course. All while being hunted by famous and beloved maniacs.
Why would anyone talk part in such an insane idea? Simple…fame and money. Survive and you’ll be richer and talked about for years to come. Although winners are very few and far between.
The popularity of the show has seen it branch out and arrive in America where an array of volunteers are ready to run the survival gambit. Each one has their own reason for going into the game and as things unfold we learn more about their motivations.
They’re not the stars though as the ‘slashers’ are introduced like returning heroes. The studio audience cheering as each one steps out and delivers a horror quip or two. It’s very silly and quite a lot of fun.
Credit where credit is due, the game show angle is done really well as Slashers takes on a documentary/found footage style of filming. One that is nowhere as obnoxious as we’re used too and one where it never fails to feel ‘real’. A lot of that is thanks to the game show concept of putting a cameraman with the contestants who is under orders to not help them in anyway. This cameraman is also off limits to the slashers so it makes complete sense.
Once the game begins, the blood and boobs (there’s a running gag about topless-ness here) fly about and it’s entertaining stuff. A handful of characters stand out but it’s the slashers and their themes that are particularly memorable. It’s very tongue in cheek but conceptualised so well that it’s hard to not have a little smile on the face when everyone has to freeze in position because of an ad break.
Slasher about to deliver the killing blow? Nope, got to wait as it’s an ad break.
Where things begin to fall apart is in the final third where only a handful of character remain resulting in a ‘twist’ that isn’t that clever. It begins to drag on and on, way past the point of when it should have ended. It leaves a sour taste in the mouth unfortunately but it’s still well worth a watch.
The Final Score - 6/10