Monday, 15 March 2010

You never forget your first time…

So, you’re an adolescent man… (probably not… but just imagine you are). You bunk off school to drink beer and trash an already decaying, derelict mental home (as you do). You come across a naked, restrained and obviously malnourished female, which it later becomes apparent, cannot die (ZOMBIE!)… What do you do?!?… Call the police?!?… Run off screaming like a little girl?!?…

Well according to writer Tom Haaga’s characters, J.T and Rickie… You have sex with her… (Well technically just J.T, but Rickie thought about it!.. Dirty little man). Though a disturbing take on male adolescence, Deadgirl (Harel, Sarmiento, 2008) is not without merit. The locations, especially the mental home, are impressive and atmospheric, which aids to the pacing of the film. For those who prefer little gore will appreciate the quick cuts during the more violent scenes (and if you ever decide to watch the film and are of the male variety, there is one particular scene that you will prefer not to see in detail…). The lack of attention on gore seems strange as the film was marketed as being produced by Christopher Webster, whom also helped produce Hellraiser (Barker, 1987), a classic gore fest.

The film uses typical scare tactics but fails in producing any horror other than that produced in the actions of the teenagers. The issues of necrophilia and the fetishization of the female body make this film ideal for scaring off the old, the prude and the feminist. Though an inventive take on the zombie film, I would argue the film does not execute it in a very competent way. It only seems to provoke issues of misogyny and shows neither the male nor female adolescents in a positive light. Though it would seem that some of the male characters invite more sympathy than the female, as Rickie’s love and devotion to JoAnn redeems him, her cold and heartless actions towards him only instigate negativity.

The film has also gained some level of controversy within its critics, as many argue the film is distasteful, others praise it for its creativity and innovation. Though personally I feel the films unnatural dialogue and sometimes awkward acting negate most of its creative praise. The film also uses music from the scored soundtrack of Donnie Darko (Kelly, 2001). Though edited and perhaps only noticed because it is a soundtrack I own and love, I feel the film would have benefited from its own score or perhaps use of one less iconic.

The film proposes interesting ideas but the somewhat disturbing way in which these ideas are visualized and the lack of acting talent does not impress. Though it would seem that many disagree, so perhaps its worth a watch… Just not a great choice of date movie.


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