Monday, September 27, 2010

Movie Review - Deadgirl (2008)

Lately, the zombie genre's almost become a parody of itself.

Very rare is it that a zombie movie can stand on its own without devolving into the same old cliches that we've all seen again and again.

I'd heard good things about this movie, and I am happy to say I wasn't disappointed! Deadgirl is just the type of movie that breaks the mold, and does so in a new, great way.

An indie filmed in Australia, Deadgirl is the personification of every zombie fanboy's wettest dream. Two high school misfits skip class and decide to go drink some beer in the local abandoned insane asylum. In the basement, the make a horrible discovery.

Chained to a bed in a forgotten room, they find the naked body of a dead girl. Imagine their surprise when they realize that she's not - in fact - dead, but undead.

And that's the interesting part of this movie. The movie becomes a study of the evil and horrible things we as people are capable of. From the speculation of who did this to the girl, and why is she in the basement... to the conflict the main characters face when they find her.

The question becomes: What do you do if you're a horny teenager, and are given this almost miraculous opportunity to have your own slave girl to do with what you want? She's dead after all, and nobody knows she's there. You can't hurt her because, again, she's dead. And she's kind of hot in a an early Sugarcubes version of Bjork way?

Is it rape if she's dead?

What do you do?

In the case of our intrepid heros, JT and Ricky, whatever you want.

The movie is an examination of mysogyny and morality that, sadly, most of the characters fail miserably at. Rickie, is our conflicted hero in that he knows what they are doing is wrong, but is still drawn to the forbidden release that the dead girl represents.

JT - on the other hand - dives full on into the debauchery and grotesqueness of having his own moving, albeit bad smelling, Real Doll.

I do want to say that this is not a zombie porn, or anything like that. There is sex, and rape, but it's handled as an aside to the conflict and moral juxtaposition the main characters find themselves in. The dead girl, played by the actress Jenny Spain, does spends the entire movie naked, which takes some acting guts.

JT and Rickie have a secret girlfriend that they can do anything they want to sexually. They can stab her, cut her, beat her, or do anything their darkest desires dictate; provided they can keep her a secret.

Of course, it's only a matter of time before others find out about their secret and, as more and more people find out, the zombie goodness kicks in. The school bully and popular kid gets bit by the dead girl and becomes a zombie himself. Rickie tries to find love with a normal girl, and fails miserably, and JT takes up residence in the basement of the hospital, dressed like Hugh Hefner at his own twisted Zombie Bunny Ranch.

This is one of the best zombie flicks I've seen in a while. It was well told, was faithful to the genre without falling into the trap of triteness and camp, and was truly a masteful horror film with a moralistic bent.

The gore was superb, the horror was of the queasy, "I can't believe I'm watching this" kind, and all of the technical bits were perfect. I mentioned before that this was an indie film, and - truthfully - it kind of had to be. Movies like this don't get made by the mainstream, commercial studios. It's movies like this that make me well and truly believe that the indie market will be the savior of horror films in general. For every ten or twenty shitty direct to DVD crap-fests out there, you get the occasional one-off brilliance of films like this.

The moral conflict, coupled with great acting and great scripting, make this a must see for true fans of the genre.

That said, this movie does have a very sexual undertone and may not be for those who would only consider themselves casual fans of the zombie genre.

DOCTOR ZOMBIE'S RATING: 5 out of 5 Chomped Brains!

1 comment:

David M said...

thanks for posting about this one, since I had never heard of it. I just got done watching "Deadgirl" and I agree that it was an excellent movie.
maybe someday we'll get to see what happened to the one that got away.