So I headed down to Houston St on Friday night to catch this intriguing little work called "Deadgirl". The write-ups I saw all implied that this was one seriously disturbing film. While I caught the brief synopsis of the plot, they really didn't fill us in on what was so screwed up about this movie. The producers managed to book this film into some art-house venues across the country over the weekend, accompanied by a Q&A session with co-directors and producers.
Among other things, the director made it known that nobody in Hollywood would touch this movie. It will never see the theaters, and will be out on DVD in a few months. They knew from the start that this was not going to make any money, that everybody involved was not in it for a paycheck, but that they all really wanted to make this film "the right way", or not make it at all. At the end of the day, this is probably not a big deal... not a paradigm shift in cinematography... just another indipendent movie that pushed some boundaries. It did get enough notariety that even Rex Reid reviewed it.
After the movie, as the lights were coming up and the co-director and a producer took the mic, they said "Give us a second, we want to see the looks on all your faces... hey, there was not a single 'walk-out'... very impressive.".
I'm not sure how this movie will hold up to a home viewing. The big screen and good sound system creates the mood which may or may not translate to your living room.
Deadgirl fits in the horror category, but can not be put in the same category as Nightmare on Elm Street, Poltergeist, or Night of the Living Dead. There is plenty of gruesome nastyness, but not nearly as gory as any of the Saw movies or Hellraiser. There are some halariously funny aspects to it, but it's not a comedy... by no means is this Shaun of the Dead. It's sort of a "coming of age" movie, but is far from Stand by Me or River's Edge. There is some influence from Donnie Darko, but mostly in sound track and audio, not so much in visuals or plot.
OK, so that's what it's not. But what IS it? Well I suggest you just watch it and make your own oppinion. On the other hand, this is obviously not for everybody, so I can't in good concience urge you to watch it. But if you really want to know, read on... spoilers start here...
OK, I can sum it up in two words... zombie rape. Two high school kids cut school, get drunk, and explore an abandoned psychiatric hospital. After pushing through a heavy door which was rusted shut, they come upon a room which was clearly unused and unseen for a long time. To their shock and amazement, they find a dead girl handcuffed to a gurney covered in plastic wrap. They poke at her to see if she's alive, and low and behold, her eyes and fingers are twitching, and she is breathing shallowly. This is where it gets weird. One kid is like, "OK, let's free her and call the cops and get the fuck out of here." The other kid is like "Let's FUCK HER!"
The origin of the dead girl is purposely left untold. She is, however, clearly a zombie. While the one kid runs out of there wanting nothing to do with her, the other guy stays behind to discover that this chick is in fact dead, can't die again, and that she can now be his permanent sex slave... leaving her chained up in this dismal underground abandoned wreckage. How does he find out she can't be killed? Well during his attempt at sex with her, he beats the crap out of her and snaps her neck... just because he like it like that. While it was not actually shown, he claims he killed her three times during the first sexual encounter, and she keeps coming back to life.
Eventually several people find out about their discovery and some of them come down to the room to fuck the dead girl. Through the rest of the movie, the dead zombie girl gets raped continuously, beaten, shot, and stabbed.... some scenes more graphic than others. (With only two tiny edits, the director said they got an R rating.)
Eventually she starts to stink as her wounds are festering, and they're faced with the delema on how to make her more attractive and more sexually appealing.
I think I'll leave it there. There's a bit more to the plot, with some interesting twists and turns, but by and large, that's the gist of it.