US (dir. Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Harel)
Cast: Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Michael Bowen, Candice Accola, Andrew DiPalma, Eric Podnar, Nolan Gerard Funk
Synopsis: Rickie and JT are kids from the wrong side of the tracks. One afternoon, the pair skip class, and entertain themselves by slamming beers and causing mischief at an abandoned mental hospital. Breaking through a rusted door that leads into a boiler room, they discover the naked body of a woman strapped to a gurney and draped in plastic. At first they suspect they have stumbled into the lair of a deranged killer, but the rusted entrance is proof that no one else has been in the space for years. Things take a dark turn when the body starts to show signs of life.
Review: At times darkly comedic, and at other times mildly cutesy and romantic, “Deadgirl” is an enigma of a zombie film that mashes together a bunch of thematic elements into one sick little peepshow that may leave you mildly disgusted and most assuredly, disturbed. “Deadgirl” has such a profoundly misogynistic undertone and such a deeply disturbing premise, it’s a wonder anyone would actively watch this for entertainment value. But hey, if your idea of a fun night is watching a bunch of teenage boys rape a zombie, and then create new holes on the zombie within which to rape as well, and then discuss turning more girls into fuck buddy zombies, then this is the movie for you!
After seeing this movie, I kind of took offense to it calling itself a “coming of age” film or a film about “growing up” because I didn’t find it to fall into either of these categories. This is certainly no “Stand By Me” and there is certainly nothing about it that makes me think how endearing it is to watch boys in the suburbs experiment sexually with girls or explore each and every sexual urge or whim, no matter how deviant. This movie is basically an exploration of the way teenage boys view their female counterparts – as objects that are difficult to attain and which merely serve to satisfy their fantasies. In a way, that is somewhat disturbing, but not altogether implausible because, let’s face it, teenage boys are usually obsessive little creatures who don’t always look beyond a girl’s body.
The movie is your basic bad boy and good boy buddy movie where eventually the goodie-two-shoes boy ends up converting to the dark side. The bad boy takes the path of raping, mutilating, exploiting, and obsessing over a dead girl he finds in an abandoned mental hospital while the good boy spends his time pining over the requisite class hottie and making some half-assed attempts at rescuing the dead girl until he realizes he can have a girlfriend too by making her… uh… dead. Of course everything goes to hell when the boys discover they can “make” more deadgirls by having the original deadgirl bite other girls. For some reason or another, a deadgirl bite cannot make deadboys (awww!) so this only works on the females. Bad boy ends up trying to find replacements for his deadgirl, only to provide us with a few chuckles at best. Good boy ends up succeeding and in the end, fulfills his romantic fantasy of having the class hottie as his girl… although dead-ish.
As mentioned, there are moments when the film becomes really darkly comic. At other times, some of the comedy is unintentional, like when one unlucky in love boy who has had the pleasure of screwing deadgirl for like $10 or something, defends her in front of the school bullies by stating how amazing she is and how much she puts out, how hot she is etc. I’m sorry buddy, but can you really defend a zombie girl who by this point in the movie is riddled with bullet holes, is crammed with semen, and has been fucked so many times in so many places it’s a wonder they hadn’t gotten bored yet. Plus, she’s dead and rotting and likely reeks to high heaven for fuck’s sake. Ew.
“Deadgirl” is a decent movie that is actually quite beautifully shot despite the disturbing premise. However just to warn you, the rape scenes are pretty much fully shown without much instances of the camera vaguely panning away, so it’s definitely not a movie for those who would find the idea of seeing a woman raped for an hour and a half appealing. Oh, and there’s no back story explaining why there is a zombie tied to a gurney in the basement of an abandoned mental hospital, so don’t bother trying to rationalize it.