Deadgirl (2008) is a darkly twisted, perverse movie with no apparent redeeming value. However, it is also one of the most original zombie films I’ve ever seen. Deadgirl is disturbing yet insanely brilliant, and, I’m not the only one who thinks so. Now, this movie is definitely not for everyone, especially if you’re a feminist, so, be warned – do not read this post if you’re easily offended.
Deadgirl was directed by Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel, and written by Trent Haaga who is a Troma Entertainment alum which is a credit that is, seemingly, at odds with the depraved drama of the intensely scripted Deadgirl. The film stars young actors Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, and Candice Accola, as well the amazingly beautiful actress/model Jenny Spain.
Shiloh Fernandez starred in 2013’s Evil Dead remake. I’m a big fan of the Evil Dead movies [I even have the 3 films’ 27×40 posters hanging in my basement], and, as such, I was a little weary of this remake. However, I liked the movie, but, I would have liked it more if it wasn’t associated with the Evil Dead. Noah Segan starred in Ti West‘s Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009) which was a sequel to Eli Roth‘s Cabin Fever (2002). Cabin Fever 2 is a guilty pleasure. I like it much better than the first film. Ti West, by the way, also directed the excellent ’80s horror homage The House of the Devil (2009). Anyway, lovely Candice Accola is best known for her role as Caroline Forbes on The CW series, The Vampire Diaries (2009-present); and, beautiful Jenny Spain is is best known for her role as Deadgirl‘s title character, as well as for having dated Spike TV’s Ink Master host Dave Navarro.
OK, so what’s the big deal with Deadgirl? Is it that bad, or is it all just hype? First, let’s take a look at the “deadgirl” (Spain) [note: the actress/model is stunningly beautiful in real life] …
If you’ve never seen Deadgirl, and you’re offended by the frame from the movie above, skip this post now. If you’re not offended, well, you will be when you find out what happens to the “deadgirl”. Or, at the very least, you will be disgusted. But, that’s how I like my horror films, so …
Rickie (Fernandez) and JT (Segan) are disaffected high school misfits. JT is a hopeless cause with no moral compass, but Rickie is more grounded, with a conscience and some sense of right and wrong. He has a heart, too, and he’s been pining over popular girl Joann (Accola) ever since they were friends when they were kids. However, she has a boyfriend, brash jock Johnny (Andrew DiPalma).
Rickie and JT decide to cut class and go to an abandoned hospital to drink beer, but, they find, hidden in the basement, a naked woman (Spain) chained to a table and covered in plastic. However, the woman is not dead, nor is she really alive, it seems. So, if you are an alienated teen boy and find a mute, naked woman chained to a table in an abandoned hospital, what do you do? Do you try to help her? Do you run home and notify the authorities? Or, do you use her like a blow-up doll?
JT, of course, wants to use her as their own personal sex slave, but, Rickie has concerns. Later, JT realizes that the woman can’t be killed after he tries to kill her three times. The next day, he even shoots her in the belly several times with Rickie‘s gun to prove to Rickie that she can’t be killed. Rickie reluctantly agrees to JT‘s plan, but, he never really partakes in the deed. However, JT does, often. Soon, so does their stoner friend Wheeler (Eric Podnar). At one point, JT is concerned that Deadgirl has become too “dry”, but, realizes that the bullet holes he put in her belly are “warm” and “wet” [note: I warned you!]. Boys will be boys, right?
Meanwhile, back at school, Rickie asks Joann out in gym class. “Nothing lasts forever, Rickie,” she tells him, referring to when they used to be friends. After school, Johnny and his friend Dwyer (Nolan Gerard Funk) confront Rickie, with Wheeler, but, Wheeler shoots his mouth off about Deadgirl. Later, at the abandoned hospital, JT taunts Johnny and Dwyer, while Rickie convinces Johnny to have sex with Deadgirl in her mouth. He gives in to peer pressure, and, of course, Deadgirl bites him. The next day, at school, Johnny rushes to the rest room, where his intestines are expelled from his body, leaving him dead but alive, like Deadgirl.
JT realizes that Deadgirl‘s bite can make more sex slaves just like her, so he and Wheeler go out looking for a new candidate, since Deadgirl is starting to smell. They lure a girl, at a gas station, to JT‘s car. JT hits her in the head with a tire iron, but, the girl kicks their asses and takes Wheeler‘s weed. Then, Joann shows up demanding to know what they did to Johnny. “Why don’t we just show you?” JT grins.
Later, Rickie finds Joann tied to Deadgirl, and JT explains the plan. Then, Wheeler feels up Joann, and Rickie cuts his hand off with a machete. “I’m not feelin’ so good, man,” Wheeler says. “He cut off your fucking hand, man,” JT retorts, sarcastically. Deadgirl gets free and attacks Wheeler, while Rickie tries to escape with Joann, but, they can’t open the door at the top of the steps. Joann panics. Rickie tries to calm her, begging her to listen to him. “Joann, please fucking pay attention to me for once!” he shouts, in tears [note: great scene!]. He leaves to find another way out, but, when he returns, she’s gone. He goes back into the basement, and watches Deadgirl attack JT. She faces Rickie, but, runs past him, up the stairs, breaking down the door, escaping. Joann appears, but, JT has stabbed her, and, she collapses. “I can still bite her before it’s too late”, JT tells Rickie, but, Rickie says he won’t let her die. He tells Joann that he loves her, but, she coughs blood in his face, and tells him to grow up. Then, she begs him to save her, but, he knows that she will never love him …
Rickie is much happier at school now, especially since he can go back to the abandoned hospital where Joann is the new “deadgirl.” But, what happened to the original “deadgirl”? She is seen running away, but, her rage and hunger most certainly would have caused a zombie outbreak, within hours.
Deadgirl is hard to take, at first, but, it’s definitely worth watching. Shiloh Fernandez as Rickie injects some pathos into this film. His undying, unrequited love for Joann drives the story, and, without it, this film would have been a pointless attempt to shock and offend. Noah Segan as JT, who channels Christian Slater as J.D. in Heathers (1988) [note: amazing film!], balances Rickie‘s sympathetic anguish with a spiraling descent into madness. However, in the end, he comes back a little when he begs Rickie: “Just don’t tell my grandma, OK?”
Watch the trailer here:
Oh, and, here’s Jenny Spain in real life …