Deadgirl (2008)

DVD Cover (Dark Sky Films)
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Overall Rating 62%
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Ranked #3,235
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When high school misfits Rickie and JT decide to ditch school and find themselves lost in the crumbling facility of a nearby abandoned hospital, they come face-to-face with a gruesome discovery: a body of a woman stripped naked, chained to a table and covered in plastic and soon realize she is anything but dead. Quickly the boys find themselves embarking on a twisted yet poignant journey testing the limits of their friendship, and forces both to decide just how far they're willing to stretch their understanding of right and wrong. --TMDb
Review by Chad
Added: August 29, 2011
Deadgirl is one of those weird little movies that could have went either way, and thus, I sort of put off watching it for about three years. I mean, it's an artsy movie that focuses on high school drama with a zombie and some necrophilia thrown in for good measure: these three elements generally do not get served together in one movie. However, I decided to go ahead and check it out today, and I'm disappointed in myself for waiting so long to bite that bullet. While not a perfect movie, it was definitely a damned good one.

The story centers around Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) and JT (Noah Segan), two best friends who are card-carrying members of the "loser's club" at their high school. They are the outcasts that nobody wants to associate with, and on this particular day, they decide to cut class, head out to the local abandoned asylum, drink some beers, and let out their frustrations on the walls and windows in the building. Unfortunately for them, they didn't know that a very large and very angry dog is inside the building, and while running for their lives, they find themselves in an isolated section of the building where they discover... something resembling a zombie.

Now, they don't realize that it's an apparent zombie at first - they just see a naked woman (Jenny Spain) who is barely alive and tied to a bed. Rickie is the compassionate one here, and he says that they should immediately get her to a hospital and tell the police, while JT notices that something is a little off with this woman. After discovering that the woman can not be killed, JT decides to keep her tied up down here and use her as a sex slave, while Rickie is faced with the moral dilemma of either joining in or helping this woman. See, he has his eye on his childhood crush Joann (Candice Accola), and he wouldn't want to ruin his admittedly-slim chance of getting with her by getting wrapped up in something like this. It's an interesting start to the tale, and it just gets better as the film moves along.

At its core, Deadgirl is actually more of a teen drama than a horror flick. Sure, there's a zombie in there, and yes, it does eat a few people, but the overall story focuses on the characters and the choices that they make more than anything else. Again, I did not think that this would work well when mixed with a zombie and gore, but I was wrong. The two main characters as well as the handful of supports are very well-written, and their interactions with one another were flawless. There are a lot of underlying messages to be found here, and even though this type of drama is not the thing that I usually seek out, I definitely enjoyed it as it was presented here.

Of course, there is the matter of that zombie girl, and as such, there is a strong horror element mixed in with the drama. There are some legitimate scares to be found, and the makeup work that went into transforming a good-looking actress into a hideous zombie was top-notch stuff. As mentioned, there are also a handful of kills, and though I was a little sad to see a lot of quick cuts when it came time to show the red stuff, what we did see was also very nice. I mean, a guy literally shits his guts out: how can any gorehound not like that sort of thing?

Still, this is not a movie to pick up if you're in the market for some mindless zombie fun. Yes, you'll get a couple of neat scenes, but as I pointed out above, the film is more of a drama than anything. Mixing together a high school drama with a penis-biting zombie is certainly a unique combination, but it is what it is. What really made the drama side of things work for me, aside from the writing of the characters, was the acting abilities of the two leading men. Both were great in their roles, and even though they had radically different ideas on how to proceed with their gruesome discovery, I could sort of side with both and see where they were coming from. That is how convincing the characters are, and that is a testament to the actors playing them.

I can't say that Deadgirl is a perfect film, but I can certainly say that it is a very good one and would go over well with those of you looking for something fresh and original. You do not see movies like this come along very often, so I'm definitely going to give it a recommendation. 8/10.
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