Monday, November 4, 2013

Deadgirl (2008)

Director - Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Harel
Writers - Trent Haaga
Production Company - HollywoodMade

Deadgirl is a movie about two discontented teenage boys – that’s the basic premise.  I can’t exactly call this a horror movie, for me it was more about exploring the two teens and how they navigate through a world where they are not fully accepted and welcomed in.  I think if you go into the movie with this in mind, not thinking it’s a straight up horror movie you can focus on the characters and enjoy the movie for what it is.

Rickie and JT are best friends.  Rickie is the introverted, quiet, follower type and JT is the more extroverted, outgoing, leader type.  Both are on the outskirts of their high school, neither popular and they don’t exactly follow a crowd.  They’re their own group and Rickie definitely idolizes JT.


They skip school one day to drink some beers and generally bitch about life. They set up shop in an old abandoned hospital.  In the hospital they find a dead girl, well a “zombie” girl that is.  This is where our characters start playing very different roles.  JT is all about keeping this dead girl for himself and his lusty needs, but to me it’s not all about lust – my reading between lines also says this girl represents him taking control and taking what he thinks he’s entitled since his station in life hasn’t afforded him popularity, girls, riches etc.  Rickie’s not into it at all, he voices his objections but does not do much to stop JT.

What follows are days and weeks of watching JT spiral out of control, he becomes a different person.  He’s obsessed with the dead girl, like most people who get what they think they wanted it molds him into a complete monster.  Some might say he was a monster before because he chose to enslave the dead girl in first place - but if you can accept his first decision to enslave this girl as the ball that started rolling things downhill, you can watch his decent into complete madness from that point.

While all that is going on you get a nice peak into the world of Rickie.  You get to observe this reserved guys love infatuation with a child hood friend JoAnn (and he has a very unhealthy love for her, he thinks they have something but he’s very wrong and hanging on to old child hood memories…that JoAnn doesn’t give any thought to), you observe his lack of good home life, and he starts coming out of his shell – just a wee bit.  Perhaps witnessing such debauchery from JT finally ignited something in him?  I like that he reaches out to JoAnn more, and let’s JoAnn know his feelings for her – but it’s sad that he can’t save himself from the rejection.  Rickie is definitely obsessed and blinded in his own ways.

You can only guess that things really get out of control eventually –The secret of the dead girl starts to spread, through an admission by an angered and beaten Wheeler, Johnny and his jock friend, Dwyer force Rickie and Wheeler to reveal the dead girl. Let’s just say the jocks don’t fare well (even they’re pressured into victimizing the dead girl. JT does some obvious pushing but here even Rickie joins in since even he wants to inflict pain on Johnny the jock, JoAnn’s boyfriend. 

What we end up with is a ravaged jock and disfigured dead girl.   Johnny the jock deals with some very unpleasant affects from his meeting with dead girl, and JT deals with finding a replacement for dead girl.  One of the funniest moments in the film is when JT and Wheeler try to kidnap a girl at the gas station – LOL funny.

The last 20-30 minutes pump it up.  JoAnn (Rickie’s crush) is brought into the fold while she was trying to figure out what happened to her love – the jock.  JoAnn ends up at the mental hospital with Rickie, JT, Wheeler, and the dead girl.  JoAnn is set-up to be dead girl’s replacement since JT and Wheeler couldn’t successfully complete that task at the gas station.

In the end JT has an epic meltdown, and dead girl breaks free taking care of both JT and Wheeler – she also manages to get a hold of JoAnn and turns her.  Rickie’s still alive after the hospital showdown and is then shown taking perfect care of the new “dead girl”…his own obsession can now be realized.

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I think Deadgirl is a darn good flick.  There’s great camera work throughout and the characters are well developed and over the top just to make sure you understand their placement in life.  If you can handle the premise in general, I think you’ll find this movie has a lot to say about growing up, societal hierarchy, and peer pressure.  Give it a go.

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