Dead girl offers a dark view into the male psyche and how sex in the minds of human masculinity can often be perverted and twisted. The boys in the film take sexual gratification to the extreme. In the past, zombies have always been used as an allegory and a metaphor to the dehumanization of man. George Romero’s Land of the Dead offers a critique against capitalism and the undead as mindless masses. In this case, however, the director made effective use of the idea of the zombie to critique another issue prevalent in society today, which is rape and sexual violence against women. Dead girl herself is a zombie, a mindless creature who was once human. As such, in the act of rape, one could do the reading that zombie girl herself represents the dehumanized and objectified woman as the object of the said act. It is not the monster or “dead girl” who feasts on the characters, but rather for the major part of the story, it is the humans who feast on the “dead girl” (in a sexual way). Because of this, most people found this movie unbearable to watch and deeply traumatizing, accusing it of having a pro-rape agenda and whatnot for containing so many scenes of such terrible acts. Yet in this sense, and through the reactions of most, I believe the film ultimately succeeds its goal, especially when it is geared mostly to a male audience. It is not to celebrate rape and sexual violence but rather to criticize it and depict the horror in which some men can objectify women. I myself and my male classmates are repulsed by some scenes, which is I think is a positive reaction since it is a testament to how we ourselves are horrified by the act. Rape destroys both parties, trapping the does into further into hopelessness.
Another critique this film poses is the social dynamics that most teenagers face. Teenage repression, not only sexual repression, happens throughout the story. There are themes of bullying, rebellion, of anger and hopelessness. J.T., Ricky and Wheeler are young high school students who are not really popular in school. This was the equilibrium or the status quo they are in that is established at the beginning of the film. All they could do is to stare at girls and exchange juvenile jokes. Ricky in particular, is attracted to a girl who is a former classmate with whom he had a romantic fling in the past. This is unrequited as the girl has seemingly forgotten him and already has a popular jock boyfriend. Thinking there are no other means of breaking out from their situation, they vent out their anger through destruction and vandalism. This destructive mindset transgresses into rape as J.T. and Ricky find the dead girl. J.T. justifies their act. “There is nothing better we can get!” giving of a sense of hopelessness. Through having power over this “secret” of having a chained sex toy, for once they’ve felt in control.