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When Dorine Douglas' job as proofreader for Constant Consumer magazine is turned into an at-home position during a downsizing, she doesn't know how to cope. But after accidentally killing one of her co-workers, she discovers that murder can quench the loneliness of her home life, as a macabre office place forms in her basement, populated by dead co-workers. Written by
Mike Myers <email@example.com>
An early draft of the script featured more violence and gore. But Sherman felt the focus should be on what Dorine does with the bodies once she has killed them not how. See more »
When Dorine's cats are scratching under the basement door, you can see that a toy is being waved under the door. See more »
At Constant Consumer magazine there is but one constant rule: get the job done. This can be hazardous, however, when the laws of economics effect our workplace, and threaten to downsize us. For those of you who cannot keep pace with such changes, be forewarned, you will be terminated.
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Cindy Sherman's winsome, largely misunderstood feature film is surely a post-modern masterpiece. What could easily have been just another "revenge fantasy for nerds" becomes, in the hands of this quirky and visionary artist, an excitingly original psychological horror film, as well as a scathing satire on office politics, and a subversive parody of the so-tiresome slasher flick genre.
In Sherman's cynical-yet-bemused world, Woman, especially the emancipated Woman, is a powerful, bitter, and destructive creature, turning against herself and her sisters with vicious glee.
This revelation of the dark side of female emancipation is symbolized brilliantly by poor office worker Doreen (Carol Kane in a stunning amalgam of doormat and psychotic). Doreen is the perfect anti-heroine, a passive-aggressive she-mouse and societal time bomb, molded by crippling abuse since childhood from both men and domineering women. She is emblematic of everything that went wrong when the industrial revolution tried to become "humane" with slapdash injections of social engineering and utopian experimentation.
As in Sherman's stunning photographic work, OFFICE KILLER cleverly illustrates how women can create their own self-image; yet often this occurs in a negative vein. Some have lambasted Sherman for supposedly perpetuating repressive female stereotypes, yet her woman characters are all clearly powerful and autonomous. They forgoe their power to allow subjugation by the workplace, men, or other, more powerful women. They give up their power, or use it self-destructively. Alternately, men are either abusive pricks or cartoonish ciphers.
Sherman's astute eye is all over this glorious film, from the deft compositions to the uncomfortably intimate close-ups to the sweeping textural patterns to the brilliant playing with color, all of which infuses this exciting cinematic experiment with a sense of spontaneity and constant surprise.
This amazing film also performs a virtual cultural miracle: it rescues cinematic "gore" from the hands of misogynist cad-hacks like H. G. Lewis, and makes it playful, theatrical and largely non-punitive. The many corpses laying quaintly about Doreen's living room remind one of Sherman's work with mannequins, her groundbreaking artworks which prophecy through absurd caricature an eventual demise of the objectification of women.
How about "Performance Art - as - Pop Cinema"?
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