Sunday, March 6, 2011

Horror Movie Review: Deadgirl


Starring: Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Candice Accola, Eric Podnar, and Jenny Spain

Directed by: Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Hazrel

Written by: Trent Haaga

Production Company: Hollywoodmade

Release Date: September 6, 2008

Deadgirl is less a story about a dead girl and more the story of disenfranchised friends Rickie and JT. Rickie and JT are your typical angsty teen boys from the lower economic echelons and marginalized by the locals. They have been best buds for a long long time, always there for each other when everyone else and the world seemed out to get them. Then they skipped school and went roaming in an abandoned mental hospital, the Nuthouse as JT calls it.

The two friends soon discover that the old Nuthouse isn't completely abandoned. Inside they find a feral dog and...the naked body of a dead girl in plastic and chained to a table. Except Deadgirl isn't quite dead. She moves and breathes and the friends have to decide what to do.

Rickie wants to release her and get out before whomever did this to her returns. JT assures him that no one is returning considering they had to force open a rusted door, and they should keep her. A bound, naked woman no one is looking for seems to be JT's Christmas gift he never got. Especially when he learns that she can't die.

JT and Rickie then go back and forth for most of the movie as Rickie tries to save Deadgirl and JT's soul, and JT can't figure out why his buddy is trying to spoil all of the fun. JT brings Wheeler, another hapless teen, in on the Deadgirl action. Meanwhile Rickie pines for Joann, his first kiss, revolts against his mother's alcoholic boyfriend, avoids Johnny, Joann's jock boyfriend, and struggles to figure out what he should do.

The story is really about the degradation of friendship with the fate of Deadgirl as the impetus. Should she be destroyed, freed, or kept as a flesh and blood blowup toy for the teens.

Deadgirl is a hard film to watch. The teens are annoyingly realistic. I can even swear to knowing JT and Wheeler personally. JT's confusion over Rickie's betrayal is heart wrenching, only tempered by our knowledge of the horrible things he has been doing. But "it's been JT and Rickie, all the way, man." It almost pales the abuse Deadgirl suffers at the hands of JT and Wheeler.

The film keeps Deadgirl's nature ambiguous until the end when Johnny gets bitten and himself becomes a walking dead person, confirming Deadgirl as being a zombie. Plus, some evidence suggests the zombie virus doesn't only spread from bites as JT begins showing subtle signs of deadening.

Deadgirl is a fascinating character drama with depraved zombie bondage sex. It's about the immature objectification of women, as they cleverly keep Rickie's mother and JT's grandmother off screen, only showing us females whom the teens objectify and want to sexually conquer. And it's about friends growing beyond the bounds of their friendship and the panicked attempts to keep it going. It's not for the weak of heart, but it is a masterful addition to the horror lexicon.

Related Trailers

Red Riding Hood - Shiloh Fernandez also starts in Red Riding Hood. Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family's displeasure.

All About Evil - All About Evil
also stars Noah Segan. A mousy librarian inherits her father's beloved but failing old movie house. In order to save the family business she discovers her inner serial killer - and a legion of rabid gore fans - when she starts turning out a series of grisly shorts. What her fans don't realize yet is that the murders in the movies are all too real.

Raving Maniacs - Trent Haaga also wrote the screenplay for Raving Maniacs. A mysterious drug of alien origin makes its way into the ultimate rave in Providence. R.I. But as the rash young revelers ingest the glowing pills, little do they suspect that they're about to undergo a hideous metamorphosis into lustful and savage bloodsuckers.