“She’s cool in bed she’s gotta be ’cause Ethyl’s dead.”–Alice Cooper
Humans want to be loved. We journey through life being told what we need to look for in a potential mate by parents, friends, and media. We are hopeful and positive that this ideal person is out there for us. Love can be found anywhere sometimes and you can trip right into it when you least expect it. Not all relationships are meant to be, some can be very hot, some cold, welcome to Deadgirl (2008).
Rickie, Shiloh Fernandez of Evil Dead (2013) and J.T., Noah Segan of Looper (2012) are two outcast high school students who long for the girls they wish they could bed (like many teenage guys). Rickie is especially smitten with Joann, whom he’s known since he was a child, but later grew distant as she found popularity among her peers over the years. One day, they decide to cut class and trespass into an abandoned psychiatric hospital to cause a bit of vandalism, drink warm beer and smoke cigarettes. The two venture deep into the labyrinth of hallways leading to the basement and discovered what appeared to be a nude dead girl bound and gagged to a medical slab.
Falling into the realm of no return and utter disrespect for humanity, J.T. looks at the girl as a sexual opportunity rather than notifying the police, and begins having his way with her. Troubling as this is, complexities arise when she is in fact not dead; J.T. repeatedly kills her three times only for her to reanimate each time. Though Rickie protests, J.T. becomes infatuated with his power and control over the dead girl and invites some school peers in on the sick action.
Deadgirl was directed by Marcel Sarmiento of The ABCs of Death (2012) and writer Troma alumni, Trent Haaga of Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV (2000). Deadgirl is a slow paced, almost gore less but still visually disturbing tale that is a commentary about teenage angst, peer pressure, sexual coming of age, and the loss of innocence. Deadgirl is no doubt a hard film to watch at times, nor is it one that you will sit around and watch time and time again with your film geek friends…or maybe you will. At time its uncomfortable especially the rape scenes but are much tamer in comparison than the visually intense deplorable actions carried out in I Spit on Your Grave (1978). Though this film is a bleak character study, the overall production and acting was very believable and top notch with Segan winning the 2009 Fright Meter Award for his performance.
If you are a fan of disturbing cinema or like to test yourself on how much you can consciously take for the 101 minute running time, give Deadgirl a whirl. Not as shockingly darkly humorous as Boxing Helena (1993) or disturbingly gritty as the German Nekromantik (1988), Deadgirl should be up your alley if you to taint your psyche a bit. I liked it…but I probably have issues that need to be addressed☺. For all you men out there looking for your female soulmate, remember what Mae West shared with us, “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”