Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Deadgirl


(2008) ****1/2

Ricky and JT are social outcasts who spend their time on the sidelines of life bemused by all the stupid high school clichés surrounding them. Their position in the cruel hierarchy of popularity is established early when Ricky is seen speaking awkwardly to a girl he’s attracted to only to be quickly rebuffed. One afternoon the two decide to cut class, grab some beers, and break into an abandoned mental institution. As they work their way through a 6-pack they behave like typical teenagers running around and trashing the place (I would be scavenging for souvenirs). Eventually growing tired of their high jinx they begin exploring the depths of the creepy dwelling. After breaching a sealed door in the basement they stumble upon a corpse covered in clear plastic. Removing the plastic reveals a naked, attractive, girl bound to a table. When she begins moving they realize that she’s still alive.



Perhaps it was the booze coupled with the unrelenting horniness of a teenage boy who never gets any, but however it’s rationalized it doesn’t take long before JT decides to rape her. As she begins thrashing about and trying to bite him he repeatedly punches her in the face. When this fails to subdue her he grabs her throat and squeezes until it snaps. Ricky, in a fit of panic draws gun and shoots her in the stomach 3 times. Yet she continues to live. The boys are perplexed by her invulnerability and quickly conclude that they have stumbled upon the greatest thing on Earth teenage boys could ever discover, a hot, naked woman that they can have sex with whenever they want. Although Ricky is ultimately not interested in participating, which begins a rift between the two friends, J.T. begins having sex with her every day in every position. In one conversation he suggests to Ricky that he’s going to have sex with her in the bum. Things begin to unravel when they allow another guy from their school in on the big secret. The climax is ultimately shocking, bloody and disturbing and the last shot of the film will haunt you.

My description might sound tawdry, but make no mistake; Deadgirl is a very effective, deeply disturbing film that addresses issues of morality, values, ethics, and friendships. What would you do if you were a horny teenager who had no chance with women in real life and you found a hot, naked woman who couldn’t speak, strapped to a table in a place where she could never escape and where it is unlikely that she would ever be discovered?

26 comments:

JPX said...

I just noticed that Catfreeek wrote a good review of this last year. I just re-read it and I would suggest avoiding it if you haven't seen the film yet because she gives away a little more of the plot that might be left better as a surprise.

Catfreeek said...

This film gave me the creeps, I felt so icky for watching it. I would have given a higher rating and it probably deserves the 4 1/2 stars you gave it but I just couldn't do it. The film just left such a bad taste in my mouth. Nice review.

Whirlygirl said...

You totally intrigued me the other day on the phone so I'm going to hold off on reading your review and check this out. You rated it higher than I expected. I'm even more excited now.

JPX said...

Oh you'll love it, Whirlygirl!

Johnny Sweatpants said...

"What would you do if you were a horny teenager who had no chance with women in real life and you found a hot, naked woman who couldn’t speak, strapped to a table in a place where she could never escape and where it is unlikely that she would ever be discovered?"

Um.. not rape her for one thing. I don’t know JPX. How much morality can this subject matter really explore? It seems pretty easy to draw the right from wrong line.

DCD said...

It does sound interesting - not sure I'd be able to get through it. If it left Cat feeling icky, I can only imagine how I, with my lower threshold for horror, would feel!

Catfreeek said...

I wasn't gonna say anything but since JSP called you out on the rape option. On my New York Ripper review you said, "The pictures of the woman being mutilated suggest that this is not really my cup of tea" Which made me wonder why how the repeated rape/torture in this flick obviously was your cup of tea to the tune of 4 1/2 stars. Seriously, is it just the gore factor vs the emotional? I'm honestly curious about it since gore seldom bothers me (unless it's real) but psychological torture is hard for me to take.

Landshark said...

Snap, JSP!

JPX said...

It's more complicated than I'm revealing. Remember the title of the film. Ethical debates ensue and there are consequence to unethical behavior.

JPX said...

Cat, you note, "Which made me wonder why how the repeated rape/torture in this flick obviously was your cup of tea to the tune of 4 1/2 stars." I believe you're under the mistaken assumption that my high rating is tacit approval of the unethical behavior portrayed in the film. I rate these films based on how effective they are a horror movies, I don't rate them based on my approval or disapproval of the behavior of the characters in the movies. I gave Halloween 5 stars, for example, because it's scary not because I approve of being a serial killer. Deadgirl is disturbing, but I found myself glued to the seat wondering how it would all end and I was pleased with the pipe-in-the-ass climax.

JSP, you note, "It seems pretty easy to draw the right from wrong line." That's true for you and everyone on this blog but you base this on your upbringing and ethical code. The characters in this film come from a very different background and at least on of them is very much a sociopath. Perhaps I should have stated things different in my review but I really didn't want to spoil any of the surprises/revelations.

Trevor said...

I call this the "Hills Have Eyes" problem. Although I'm sure that wasn't the first film to do it, it's the first I remember being disgusted by.

I understand the 4.5 stars. Any film that can provoke that type of visceral reaction is certainly a powerful film, but, since rape is really not entertaining, I have trouble with these films.


I'm also to chicken to watch martyrs or after the review from yesterday, antichrist.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

JPX, no one is accusing you of condoning their behavior. I think we had a discussion one time about watching rape vs. graphic torture. I like horror for the escapism but I can’t enjoy a horror movie involving rape because rape is a reality that so many people deal with. Everyone at least knows somebody who’s been raped. I don’t much care for necrophilia but at least it’s (kind of) a victimless crime. Zombie rape is morally somewhere in the middle (I can’t even believe we’re having this conversation) but I’m not intrigued enough to watch the movie.

JPX said...

I could make the exact same argument about Martyrs or Hostel. On paper I would never have any interest in those films yet I found myself getting totally sucked in. Deadgirl sounds dreadful on paper and I realized this even as I was writing up my summary, but it's actually excellent and completely engrossing.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Let's just agree that I'm right and you're a sick bastard. If Martyrs had included rape I wouldn't have liked it.

JPX said...

Grrrrrrrrrrr.

Catfreeek said...

You hit the nail on the head JSP, it's the rape I have issues with. Unless of course the rape is followed by the victim issuing a major pipe in the ass like in "I Spit on your Grave". I wasn't questioning your rating JPX and I quote myself, "it probably deserves the 4 1/2 stars you gave it" but I was seriously wondering where your personal line is.

JPX said...

A lot of the films we watch contain horrible things like rape, incest, cannibalism, torture, etc. I'll watch pretty much anything as long as people don't break out into song or it's not a snuff film. I could never watch Martyrs or Hostel again, for example, but I can say that they are effective movies. I'm every bit as repulsed by rape as you are, and I notice that you gave this movie a generally favorable review as well. I'm not sure how this became a discussion of, "How can you support this film, it has rape in it?"

Catfreeek said...

It's not how can you support, it was how can you not enjoy the Fulci gore/torture. I was just wondering what the turn off was about the Fulci film vs the turn on for a film like this for you personally. Only curious, really.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Rape does seem to be a big part of Deadgirl so I think it's a fair question. Most of the biddies on this blog have indicated that they're repulsed by the very concept. AC & DCD both admitted that they wouldn't watch it. No one is judging you on your (complete absence of) morals.

I'm trying to recall all of the horror movies I've seen that include rape...

Deliverence (doesn't really count)
Last House on the Left (hated it)
Das Experiment (loved it)
The Stendahl Syndrome (loved it because of the pipe in the ass)

JPX said...

Oh, there's some good pipe in the ass in the climax...

DCD said...

I'm repulsed by being called a "biddy", thankyouverymuch, JSP.

Honestly, JPX's review did pique my curiosity. I am interested in the movie - I'm just not sure I could get through it. But, no, I don't think anything, or anyone, is "off" because they score the movie highly. Let's face it, we're all completely warped anyway.

Catfreeek said...

Amen Sister!

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Haha DCD, I was hoping to get a reaction from the word "biddies" and I did! I just enjoy stirring the pot. Also I hope no one thought I was seriously questioning JPX's morality. He's my brother and a damn fine human being to boot. Now I have to watch this and I'm also looking forward to Whirlygirl's eventual input.

Octopunk said...

Dang, I missed out on a big debate here. I don't think my two cents will yank the points any new directions.

(Ha ha, nude erections.)

I recall something I read in (JPX's dad's copy) of The Joy of Sex about rape fantasy, that being that it's potentially fun but rape itself is NOT.

I don't watch enough pornography* to know if "fun" rape ever shows up, but there are certain movies from the 70's that I've seen that treat the subject like a joke (Joseph Andrews, The Forbidden Zone). Even in the humorous context I found those moments difficult to watch. So I don't know if rape can be depicted in film with any real erotic charge (there's a blurry line when you get into s&m and whatnot, but because there's usually an implied consent there I'm going to skip it.)

But yeah, movies that show you stuff that's difficult to watch can earn props for it if they do it right. And then you can give yourself props for never wanting to watch it again.

Octopunk said...

* Oops! Forgot my asterisk.

* I don't mean to say I don't enjoy a heap 'o porn, because I do, but I prefer still photos because honestly those sounds are pretty distracting.

It also occurred to me that tentacle rape anime is rape with erotic charge, but I'm filing that under the s&m-implied-consent thing. In the anime I've seen, all sex has this element of rape in it, with the woman protesting mewlingly and then becoming aroused despite herself. Sick, sick Japan.

50PageMcGee said...

this talk of rape porno reminds me of this dinner conversation i was having about a half a year ago in which the topic of Donkey Punching came up.

apparently there's one notable porno flick that includes a donkey punching scene.

by the way, the wikipedia page for Donkey Punching has one of the funniest pictures i've ever seen.