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Film / Slashers

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Slashers (スラッシャーズ Surasshāzu in Japan) is a 2001 horror film written and directed by Maurice Devereaux.

The Japanese TV reality game show Slashers pits six contestants against three costumed serial killers in a program that features actual deaths to the contestants as they flee the killers in a vast maze filled with obstacles. The last contestant alive wins a multi-million dollar jackpot. In this episode, the contestants are six Americans, including Megan (Sarah-Joslyn Crowder), who is using her appearance to protest the inhumanity of the program; Devon (Tony-Curtis Blondell), a former special ops soldier anxious for a big payday; and Brenda (Sofia de Medeiros), a beautiful model who doesn't know what she's gotten into until it's too late. The Slashers are Chainsaw Charlie (Neil Napier), a masked hillbilly with a chainsaw; Dr. Ripper (Christopher Piggins), a maniacal surgeon with oversized shears; and Preacherman (Napier), a Bible-thumping program rookie with a razor-sharp crucifix.

Tropes used:

  • Artistic License – Law: Like during a Purge, all laws are suspended during the filming of an episode of Slashers, so the contestants and the killers can do whatever they want to each other without fear of any legal repercussions, with even rape being allowed, as Matthew reveals to Megan. This is obviously ludicrous, especially since Slashers is an official globally broadcast show that can be watched by anyone on regular television, and not some underground run by some Dystopia.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Chainsaw Charlie smashes through the wall to grab Rebecca by the throat. Later Dr. Ripper does something similar to grab Brenda, but only punches through a paper poster.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: When Matthew realises that he has does not have enough time left to stop Megan from winning the game, and incorrectly believes that he is going to be arrested for being a Serial Killer once the episode is over, he choses to kill himself instead: cutting off his own head with Dr. Ripper's oversized shears.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Devon sustained a concussion during his military service that meant he could never box again. This is what drives him to apply for Slashers.
  • Carnival of Killers: The eponymous Slashers, which include Chainsaw Charlie, Preacherman, Doctor Ripper, Pirate Pete, Slasho the Clown and... Switchblade Sam.
  • Chainsaw Good: As indicated by his name, Chainsaw Charlie uses a chainsaw as his weapon.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Miho, the host of Slashers, is one; at least in the persona she adopts for hosting the show. The opening credits show her in a range of different costumes, implying she has a different one for every episode to match the theme of that episode. For the all-American special, she is dressed as the Statue of Liberty.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Chainsaw Charlie wears a bandoleer of human ears.
  • Deadly Game: The object of the game show is to outrun, outlast or outfight the slashers. Contestants who fail, die.
  • Death Seeker: Rebecca has multiple sclerosis and is planning to use the show to go out in a blaze of glory before her body betrays her.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Discussed as being part of the show's format:
    Devon White: "The reason he didn't kill you, Megan, is because you're a cute little number. Besides, it was too early in the game, he had orders to save you for later. And now, they want us to get all friendly like, chat, so the audience can like us. Root for us. So when the fun starts, it won't just be pieces of meat they'll be cutting up, but twenty-year old law student Megan Lowry from Seattle."
  • Ear Ache: Devon kills Dr. Ripper by jamming the screw on the end of a chair leg into his ear.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Megan wins the competition and all the slashers are dead, but the film ends with more Slashers episodes being promised.
  • Eye Scream: Rebecca kills Preacherman by stabbing a wooden stake into his eye.
  • From Dress to Dressing: Megan tears up Matthew's shirt and uses the strips to bandage Brenda's face and Rick's hand.
  • The Faceless/The Voice: Hideo, the cameraman who follow the contestants through the Danger Zone, is generally only heard not seen. The only part of him that is seen is his hand when he accepts a glass of water and wipes a spot of dirt off the lens.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Chainsaw Charlie slices Rebecca in half at the waist.
  • Hate Sink: At first Michael appears to be a nerdy guy who gets a little too much enjoyment from the carnage. Then he starts making increasingly selfish decisions for his own survival. Then he tries to rape Megan. Soon after doing that, he reveals that he's a Serial Killer in his normal life, and joined so he can get credit for his murders without being arrested. He's so loathsome that the show's apathetic cameraman sacrifices his job to help Megan out.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: Chainsaw Charlie's persona is that of an inbred redneck wielding a chainsaw. Rick points out that his redneck accent disappears when he thinks he is in actual danger.
  • Immoral Reality Show: Contestants choose to appear on a Japanese Game Show based around colorful serial killers chasing them through various zones. The contestants are also allowed to kill, rape, etc. each other.
  • Job Title: As well as being the name of the game show, the Professional Killers employed by the show are known as 'slashers'.
  • Left the Background Music On: The producers play background music through the maze. At one point, Megan is afraid she is about to attacked because the background music has turned ominous, but the Genre Savvy Devon her that while that music does accompany attacks, the producers sometimes play it just to psych out the contestants.
  • Mad Doctor: The persona of Dr. Ripper, the most popular of the slashers on the Slashers game show.
  • Metafictional Title: Slashers is the name of Japanese game show that the film follows an episode of.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The 3 female contestants: Rebecca Galley who wears an midriff baring tank top, Brenda Thompson who spends portion of the movie in a black bra and Megan Lowry who ends up topless twice during the movie and ends up wearing Rebecca's top after the latter is killed.
    • Lampshaded when Devon specifically points out that Brenda's outfit has extended her life expectancy because the producers will give her more screen time.
  • Off with Her Head!: Dr. Ripper cuts off Brenda's head using his oversized surgical shears.
  • One-Word Title
  • Pom-Pom Girl: The Slasherettes are a cheerleading team who are part of the presenting team who cheer equally for the slashers and the contestants, and entertain the audience during the ad breaks.
  • Serial Killer: The Slashers, who do it professionally. Also Matthew, who is a wanted serial killer known as 'the Bible Doll Killer'.
  • Shameful Strip: The lead character Megan Lowry gets stripped by one of the killers at the start of the game, leaving her naked until one of other female contestants hands over her clothes for Megan, only for Megan to get stripped off yet again, forcing her to salvage the clothes of one of the already dead female contestants.
  • Shear Menace: Dr. Ripper uses a set of oversized surgical shears to kill his victims; preferring to behead them.
  • Sinister Minister: This is the persona of the slasher Preacherman.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: One of the villains wears a sash covered in small bones.