Yes, it's too bad I keep leaving Horrorthon reviews undone for the better part of a year. But it's particularly too bad I flaked on this one, because it might've helped JPX divest himself of his alleged vigorous pro-rape stance, as discussed extensively (and hilariously) after his review last year.
As you may recall, the movie's protagonists are two outcast teenagers who happen upon a naked woman chained to a bed in a room deep, deep beneath an abandoned mental hospital. One of the lads, JT, astounded at their good luck, invites his friend Ricky to join him in some consequence-free fucking. Ricky, disgusted, leaves.
Here's the line that got JPX in such trouble: "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?" He probably would have avoided confusion if he pointed out that the movie rotates on that very question. Ricky does the right thing but he's a desire-addled teenager and is haunted by this strange, beautiful, dreadful woman.
He visits JT, who has become a sort of squalid, basement Hugh Hefner. It might seem obvious, but the setting of this deep, dark, secret room matches perfectly with the raw, bottom-of-the-id nature of the things that take place there. Ricky's own desire, while having less to do with flesh hitting flesh, is still completely overwhelming. At one point he asks JT if he sees something in the deadgirl's eyes, "like she... knows something." He's a romantic, drawn in by the mystery of this gory, deathless, dark fairy.
I feel a couple points of clarity are in order. This movie does depict what can only be called rape, but it isn't glorified, and much of it is implied, or shadowed -- it's not, in terms of plain old content, anything any Horrorthonner could handle. The movie is straight up icky, don't get me wrong, but it's skillfully icky. A large part of that is the performance of the title character, who turns on a dime from sultry to dead-eyed to savage. Creepily enough it is like she... knows something.
My main nitpick with Deadgirl is a surprising fault to see in this day and age, and it's teenagers being played by actors who are obviously older. Not to mention one of the best-looking social outcasts anyone has ever seen.
My other nitpick with Deadgirl is logistical. The first second deadgirl gets even one hand out of a restraint, she goes all savage zombie, and is barely restrainable. Yet somehow JT manages to tie her up in different positions and locations, without the benefit of a cattle prod or zombie noose or anything. Don't make sense.
Deadgirl's strength is that it's a deliberately small story -- actually a small zombie story, which is even rarer. The origin and destiny of our cute little revenant are not the movie's focus points. Aside from a few teachers in the background, there are no authority figures to answer to, no parents or cops. The entire movie plays within a tiny circle of friends and their deep places of need.