This is the second time I have watched Deadgirl, a film directed by Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel. The first time I watched it, I thought it was an okay kind of film. Not the type that I would hype over and obsess about (read: Cabin in the Woods), but definitely not something laughably, disturbingly bad that it makes you feel sorry for it (read: The Human Centipede, A Serbian Film). The second time around wasn’t any different. Can you be indifferent to a film? This movie, I think, offers a somewhat fresh (no pun intended) take on the zombie genre.
Enter two high school outcasts, JT and Rickie, who, as any normal angst-driven male teenager would know, are in dire situations already of ostracization by their so-called peers. They do what teenaged delinquents in their small town apparently do: go into abandoned hospitals and thrash everything to their liking, until they stumble upon a seemingly dead girl in the basement. No explanation is actually given as to the origins of the girl. Who left her there? Is she really even human? How come she seems to be aroused every time she’s touched? These questions, I’m afraid, will never be fully answered in the film.
When the two best friends initially find the girl, we, the audience, are presented with one main question: what are they going to do with the girl, being the horny male teenagers that they are? This is the part where the film tries to branch out and offer us the two possible answers to the question. I think it was very interesting to somehow get inside the mind of Rickie, who, I think, is the more conflicted of the two. JT started boning away at the girl, never thinking of its consequences, and repeatedly trying to coax Rickie into doing the same, even going so far as saying that this is all that they’re ever going to be, and this is as good as they’re ever going to get. Truly, if you can do something and get away with it with no repercussions whatsoever, would you still do it, even though you know that it’s morally wrong? All goes well until, in the words of Veronica Sawyer, their teen angst bullshit starts to have a body count.
Rickie’s perspective I think is a very good representation of the inner workings of an adolescent male his age, albeit in a very extreme and hyperbolic way. When faced with temptation, what would you do? Should you fight it, or should you give in to it? The film tries to go on and on about Rickie’s choices in these matters, and actor Shiloh Fernandez portrays the character rather well. Noah Segan equally plays the role of JT very well, a teenager who seems to have lost all hope for himself and society, and instead does all these things for his own interest. Although the film focuses more on Rickie, it was very interesting to see JT’s point of view as well.
I think what truly scares someone while watching this film isn’t the amount of gore, and not even the fact that these males may have been boning a corpse, but the idea of a person who repeatedly takes advantage of someone who he knows has little to no ability to resist. The film also seems to present the notion of the objectification of women, an issue that is and forever will be talked about anywhere and everywhere. You see, one of the scarier things is that this movie actually mirrors real-life events. Rape and necrophilia are pretty much widespread nowadays. Some of them are just repressed or are ignored. I have read even more disturbing news on the internet which would make Deadgirl seem like child’s play. Seriously. Luka Magnotta. Look it up and weep.
Is the film then a sort of public warning about these kinds of realities? It can be argued that it may be so. Certainly, a scene in the film wherein even the popular guys try to get a taste of the girl and then–in true horror movie fashion–get castrated and possibly infected, can be seen as a warning about the dangers of unprotected sex and STDs. Or maybe I’m just dissecting the film a bit too much.