Saturday, October 3, 2009
I first heard about DEADGIRL as the "zombie rape movie," and my expectations for it were pretty low. Most of what I read about the film conjured up visions of popped collar fratboys high-fiving one another as they guzzle beers and tag team corpses, it didn't seem like my cup of tea. Even so, the reaction to DEADGIRL was favorable, if tentatively favorable, enough for me to give it a shot, and I'm pretty glad I did. It's a difficult film, but it's also a good film, brutal and unpleasant, but also intelligent, thoughtful and nuanced, and genuinely pretty horrifying.
The main characters of DEADGIRL are in fact not a bunch of rape crazed alpha males, but a couple of high school deadbeats. They find a reasonably attractive female zombie chained down in an abandoned medical facility, and one of them proceeds with the plan of turning the undead body into a sex toy, while the other struggles with the morality of the situation. Over the course of the film, other teens become involved and things inevitably go from grim to hopeless as the one teen becomes sexually obsessed with the living dead girl.
Yeah, this is a pretty nasty film. The two teens are fairly believable because their situation is presented as realistically hopeless, they're stoned losers who have little more than a life of working class drudgery to look forward after high school. They see the beautiful people around them, attractive girls, popular athletes, and feel that they can never play a role in their world. In several instances, the jocks beat the living shit out of the stoner kids, I mean not just punch them, but really fuck their shit up. It makes sense that these characters would go for something so outlandish, so grotesque.
That said, none of the characters in the film are especially sympathetic, obviously not the rapists, and not even the non-raping stoner kid who sort of tries to do the right thing, without really trying that hard, and ultimately really accomplishing nothing, eventually succumbing to his own hopeless infatuation with a popular girl. There also isn't much humor to be found in DEADGIRL. This isn't your typical "fuck yeah, horror!" type of movie as much as it's a serious drama presented within the horror milieu. I appreciated that.
Anyway, this might not make for fun Halloween horror, but it's a challenging, troubling, but ultimately rewarding film viewing experience, and worth a peep if you can deal with it.