Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fantasia Film Fest Review: Deadgirl


Deadgirl (2008) imdb Fantasia
Directed by Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel
Written by Trent Haaga

This is one of the most intensely vile, disgusting transgressive pieces of filth that I have ever been exposed to.

I think that is a compliment.

This films asks questions that I had no idea needed answering like: Is it still necrophilia if the corpse is a zombie? And is necrophilia worse if the corpse is a zombie? And what kind of sick bastards would find a naked female zombie chained up in an abandoned sanitorium basement and immediately consider it an opportunity for sex?

I blame non-existent parenting. It is surely not an accident that of the two young men, Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) and JT (Noah Segan) who find the (un)deadgirl (Jenny Spain), we only see Rickie's home and we never see Rickie's mother, meeting instead her dead-beat boyfriend Clint (Michael Bowen) whose attempts at being a father figure to Rickie are pathetically inadequate.

It's not like my Dad ever sat me down to tell me, 'Son, should you ever find a naked female zombie chained up in the basement of an abandoned insane asylum whatever you do, no matter how attractive she is, no matter how horny you are, do not rape her!" He didn't need to say it. It's not even completely a moral issue although yes, raping a corpse is worse when the corpse is a zombie. If you have to use restraints it is objectively worse. But do I need to explain that this is an issue of self-preservation?

It is not a spoiler to point out that when you see a zombie chained up in the first act, that that zombie will be loose in the third act to wreak bloody vengeance, much like if you introduce a loaded gun in the first act it will be fired in the third act. And while zombies normally wreak vengeance on the living just for being alive, it's really not a good idea to give them a more personal focus for their un-dead rage.

Aside from my own personal disgust with virtually everything and everyone associated with this film, I had real issues with the cast not so much because of their acting chops, as much as their age. We are expected to believe that virtually all of the cast are 17, when they are almost all in their mid twenties. In a film like this where you are already being forced to suspend your disbelief in zombies anything that makes suspending that disbelief more difficult is a bad idea.

Deadgirl is intense and disgusting. River's Edge is creepy and sad.It also doesn't help that this film is constructed like a zombie variation on River's Edge and if you are going to court comparisons with Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper, it would help if you can rise to that challenge. Inevitable jokes about Keanu aside, where Crispin is intensely creepy, Noah Segan is just vile, although that may be my intense disgust with zombie rape speaking.

Which sums up my reaction to this movie - Intense. Disgusting. With zombie rape.

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