Deadgirl


Director: Marcel Sarmiento & Gadi Harel (2009)
Starring: Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Jenny Spain
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

A sweet romance about a couple of boys who find a zombie strapped to a table in a basement. Like Twilight, except from a lad’s perspective. The boys then proceed to rape their zombie from every possible angle. Because, as we all know, when girls meet a fantastical creature they fall in love and bat their eyelashes a lot. Boys, however, will apparently rape anything in sight. Even the seemingly nice ones. Lesson learned: men is bastards.

Deadgirl is one of those movies that gives horror (and, by implication, its fans) a bad name. It presents a nihilist vision of both maledom and the world as a whole, suggesting that men are, as a sex, incapable of keeping our cock sheathed, even if the lady says no. I resent that. I was sixteen once, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t go around raping zombies. Even the ones that were really, really hot and naked and strapped to a table. Maybe I’m a na├»ve optimist (I’m not) but I don’t think many blokes would find the vision of strapped-down zombie flesh particularly inviting. Sure, our hero (Fernandez) is reluctant to follow his friend’s (Segan) rapey ways, but loyalty can only take you so far - and he takes far too long to decide to do anything about it. Jeez, the dirty bastard’s raping a zombie. I think that pretty much exceeds the limit of loyalty, and then some.

It’s a good concept, but one that’s gone all cack-handed and is a little too nihilistic in its view of the male gender. To even have one character show a little proper revulsion wouldn’t have been so hard, would it? On a particularly sour note: the way it's been marketed as a "coming of age" movie. The tagline? 'You Never Forget your First Time'. Especially not if your first time's with the zombie you raped. It's a universal thing. 'Every generation has its story about the horror of growing up trying not to rape someone'.

With all that distaste in mind, Deadgirl still manages to be compelling viewing, so I suppose it’s mostly intentional stuff. The acting is fine enough, and the direction is darn good. If only the script hadn’t spoiled by the man-hating agenda. The characterisation is sloppy and one-note, whilst the story is filled with too many unbelievable actions. It's supposed to be a moral dilemma, but it just doesn't work. Even worse, it's an apparently unclear message; so open to interpretation that idiots on youtube will very easily confuse the people who watch Deadgirl with the people in it.

Well done, Deadgirl. Now I'm never gonna get a girlfriend because I watched you. But wait... this is a bad review... so surely that statement doesn't apply to me...


Oh, cock.

As a result of the characters' unholy arseholeyness, the best parts of the movie are the ones in which Deadgirl's various bastards get their comeuppances. Behold, much penis munching (and not the good kind), gore and violence. And a particularly funny scene in which the lads try and kidnap themselves a new victim (a lot funnier than it sounds).

Do excuse me. Deadgirl seems to have awakened my inner Germaine Greer. It's a competent, well-made movie that rightfully (I suppose) gained itself a fair bit of controversy last year. It's no game-changer, and it certainly isn't as good as the hype suggests. Who is the audience supposed to be for this, anyway? Judging by the sexy poster and the lingering shots of nuddy Deadgirl, its target audience is the one Deadgirl is supposed to be critiquing. It's a self-perpetuating cycle that will further damage the reputation of horror fans and probably lead to me being put on a register of some sort, simply for having ever rented this movie. Silly, silly, silly men and our inability to resist raping zombies.

5 comments:

  1. I have a hard time with this one. I still don't know what to make of it. I know its supposed to be making a point but its still lost on me.

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  2. I found this to be underwhelming, pointless, and a wasted opportunity at best. My take is that there should have been far more light-heartedness inserted into this picture; it may have succeeded as a black comedy if given more of a chance. But instead the material is taken too seriously, and with no worthwhile payoff, so DEADGIRL becomes something you just watch once to say you've seen it... but there's no fun reason to ever wanna revisit it again. I'm not any sort of "prude" or soft touch on things like this, not by a long shot, but when the WHOLE POINT of the movie is that the teen kids just wanna take turns boinking a decomposing zombie, I can't seem to really recommend that as a "classic" without some sort of other dimension added in.

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  3. There were far too many logical inconsistencies to be ignored, but I cant discredit it entirely since it does leave a lasting effect on everyone that watches it, good or bad.

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  4. I thought this film was great. Wish more horror films were made like this one. I read it was shot with some sort of high tech video process, not even film, but looks great. I think people are expecting way too much from horror films anymore. this was a good ride.

    Bill @ The Uranium Cafe

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  5. I actually enjoyed this film, thought it was excellent actually, but respect your take on it.

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