PLOT: A group of celebrities are hunted down by a crazed psycho known as the L.A. Slasher. Will he ever get caught or will the public simply cheer him on as he seemingly rids the world of reality TV icons and other Hollywood bimbos.
REVIEW: Going to the grocery store, it is impossible not to get caught up in the Kardashians, or whoever else the gossip magazines are talking about. The headlines are huge, and they nearly always leave you scratching your head wondering why anybody cares. And while the satirical new horror comedy L.A. SLASHER plays upon this frustration, it is a little too mean-spirited and vapid to really say anything truly compelling. Sure we are all sick of the ultra rich who have become famous for being worth millions, or doing amateur sex tapes, but would anybody really want to see them brutalized and tortured? And that is exactly what the fictional psycho in the film does. And guess what? The public seems to love it!
L.A. SLASHER presents a handful of pretty and dim - and atrociously empty - souls who have all found fame. There is “The Actress” played by Mischa Barton, “The Stripper” played by Marisa Lauren, “The Pop Star” played by Drake Bell, “The Teen Mom” played by Tori Black, “The Socialite” played by Korrina Rico, “The Heiress” played by Elizabeth Morris, and “The Reality Star” played by Brooke Hogan. There are a ton more characters, all with equally generic names, including “The Drug Dealers” played by Danny Trejo and Dave Bautista with Eric Roberts as “The Mayor.” All of these nitwits are in danger from a sleek killer who calls himself the “L.A. Slasher.” Tired of all their undeserved fame, this murderous madman begins to kidnap the entitled with his own nefarious plans. Will “The Reporter” (Abigail Wright) stop him? I guess the better question is, who cares?
Let’s start with the good. Writer/director Martin Owen has created a very stylish flick. He gets super creative with all the madness at hand visually speaking. And even the Slasher himself is one hell of a fancy dresser. He wears an impeccably nice virgin white suit and a mask with a shock of black hair. Aside from the obvious and creepy rubber mask, he looks pretty badass. There are a ton of imaginative shots that create a real hip and sleek Los Angeles scene. This slasher satire is loaded with bright colors and catchy pop tunes (including memorable 80’s hits like “The Look of Love” by ABC and “The King of Wishful Thinking” by Go West). Yet with all the eye-catching images, there is very little substance. All of it has been smothered in style.
It is hard to say if the performances are bad. They really have little to do. The victims are selfish and awful and petty, or they just scream a lot. And without giving much away, the “narrative” dialogue spoken by Andy Dick is painful, and not at all funny or interesting. It seems obvious that you aren’t supposed to really feel anything for the victims, yet there is not a single person that is worth rooting for. The story is more like a series of vignettes about terrible people doing terrible things. The Drug Dealers sell one moron drugs in a bizarre scene that adds nothing to the already bland premise. As much as I enjoy Trejo and Bautista on-screen, their addition here is wasteful - aside from having both intimidating fellas in the film. This is just a mess story wise. It is a very pretty and barren mess.
Clearly the filmmakers are trying to make a statement about the rich and entitled that grace the covers of US Weekly or People Magazine. The problem is that as a horror film, there are zero scares. When he is stalking his prey - aside from one intriguing chase scene with a van near the end - you just don’t give a f*ck. And then there is the humor. There is none. More than anything it felt more than a little malicious. In one scene, two of the characters are going off on how it would be really cool to get kidnapped by the slasher, and it is painful. And speaking of slashers, aside from a little bit of fake blood splatter and hottie cleavage, this flick has no gore and minimal nudity. I’m not really sure who this is made for. Perhaps some will get a chuckle out of the obnoxious Justin Bieber-esque dude or the Paris Hilton wannabe horrifically humiliated, but honestly it did nothing for this viewer.
Of course L.A. SLASHER has a little amusement at the expense of some probably deserving fodder. And it is a great looking picture with a heavy dose of style. Unfortunately, just like the characters it portrays, it comes across as insipid and obnoxious. With little in the way of scares and comedy that is scarcely funny, this is a satire that aims for bite, but is severely lacking. However, Martin Owen sure has a creative eye so hopefully there will be more than surface level theatrics on display with his next feature.