A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that L.A. Slasher is a kind of social satire that takes aim at people who are famous for no reason, reality TV, and social media. A mysterious killer targets several of these "stars," captures them, tortures them, and kills them in gory, bloody ways while his social media status soars. Most of the torture and killing is aimed at women; there's also some stabbing and shooting. Sex acts (with thrusting and moaning) are shown, as well as a brief topless scene. Women work as strippers and porn stars and are sometimes shown in skimpy/sexy clothing. Language is very strong, with frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and other words. Minor characters are drug dealers, a drug trip is shown, and characters get drunk.
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What's the story?
In a Hollywood overrun by people who are famous for no reason -- with more trying for that status all the time -- a mysterious masked killer (voiced by Andy Dick) decides to do something about it. He targets an actress (Mischa Barton), a stripper (Marisa Lauren), a pop star (Drake Bell), the mayor (Eric Roberts), a reality TV star (Brooke Hogan), and an heiress (Elizabeth Morris). He provides online status updates and tweets and starts amassing a plethora of followers. He occasionally walks around or goes to dance clubs. A TV reporter (Abigail Wright) tries to get the real story, and two drug dealers (Dave Bautista and Danny Trejo) provide intermittent comic relief.
Is it any good?
This bloody attempt at satire suffers from comparisons to other movies that did the same thing much better, and from a flat, facile approach that renders everything slick, soulless, and vacuous. L.A. SLASHER comes nowhere near the complex discourses raised by movies like Natural Born Killers or God Bless America, and in fact it really has nothing to say other than "reality TV stinks" and "we're all obsessed with social media." But 86 minutes of those messages, repeated, with no interesting characters to follow, grows quickly tiresome.
Add to that the chilly scenes of torture and bloody murder, and it becomes even more disturbing; the movie can't make us care about the victims, nor can it make us root for their demises, and the whole thing just becomes a cruel sideshow. In addition, the movie simply looks bad, with awkward cutting between conversations and endless scenes of empty filler.
Talk to your kids about ...
What does the movie have to say about social media? Is it a bad thing? A good thing? A useful tool? Exploitative?
The killer claims to hate fake celebrities, and yet he more or less becomes one himself. What does the movie say about this phenomenon?
What role does sex play in this movie? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
- In theaters: June 26, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: December 8, 2015
- Cast: Mischa Barton, Eric Roberts, Dave Bautista
- Director: Martin Owen
- Studio: Archstone Distribution
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 86 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence, sexual content, language and drug use
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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