Men, always make sure to check if the chick your about to bone is alive before any play-time goes down.
Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) and J.T. (Noah Segan) are two high school seniors who gaze at the girls they wish they could get. They’re basically your typical teenager: horny, frustrated, angry, misunderstood, sad, and oh, horny. All of those teenage angst problems are eventually cured however, when both guys stumble upon a mute, naked woman (Jenny Spain) tied up in the basement of an abandoned psychiatric hospital. Curiosity hits these guys pretty hard and sooner or later, they decide it’s time to get their kicks with this poor girl. But is she really alive for all of this?
As you are all probably wondering what piece of crap I decided to watch let me just start off by saying one thing about this movie: it’s a pretty original idea. I mean think about it, the zombie-genre has been done to death (pun intended) by now, and the high school drama mixed in with it just doesn’t seem as fresh or as exciting as it once was in the days of the ultra-hip 80’s. So basically, when you have the two together and add a bit of strange-o sex to the mix, things are bound to get pretty new and exciting for an subject that obviously hasn’t been touched before. However, that also seems to be the only thing this movie really has going for itself.
Screenwriting nutcase Trent Haaga does, for the most part, make a pretty intriguing and original piece of horror that in a way, sort of makes sense. I mean I’m not saying that I can see why these high-schoolers would go out, see a dead girl, and bone the hell out of her for shits and gigs, but there are people out there who do that kind of freaky stuff and it only makes sense that two lonely, frustrated teenagers like these two would eventually start getting their rounds once the opportunity came-about. So for that, I have to give Haaga credit in making us believe that these two weirdos would actually do something like bone a dead chick, and for the most part, it kept me interested into where it was going to with itself and how. Yeah, there is a lot of boning and there is a lot of weird shit going on that is most likely able to turn people off, if the plot synopsis didn’t already do that in the first-place, but there is a certain type of fun taken in a flick that can keep my interest even if it goes to depths of weird.
The problem that I think Haaga runs into with this script is that he doesn’t really know where to go with it at a certain point. Yes, he does set it all up pretty nicely to where we can feel some sort of tension and suspense as to where this story is going to go, but it never actually gets there. Instead, Haaga seems like he’s just wasting his time on a bunch of teenager-problems that we’ve all seen before, and even been through on our own terms, but this time, it’s with a naked, dead chick. It also doesn’t help that Haaga has the mouth of a Larry Clark film where all kids talk like a bunch of horned-up sex machines as if that was just shooting the shit on a regular Tuesday afternoon. I get it, these guys are horny, but do they really need to talk about sexy every 5 seconds a conversation comes up. We’ve all been down that road but I’m pretty sure we were all able to conceal our hornyness a lot better than these deuches.
I also feel like Haaga’s script could have done some good and at least established a relationship between these two main characters and made us feel like that not only are their lives on-stake during this whole escapade, but a life-long friendship as well. We never get to see that actually develop as it seems Haaga is more concerned with one of the kid’s affections for this random chick that apparently kissed him when they were 12. Then, out of nowhere, the film actually has this huge monologue about the friendship between the two main characters and almost seems like a missed-opportunity that could have been avoided, had Haaga just took his mind out of his pants. Seriously, I honestly think that this Haaga dude is hornier than the characters he actually writes, so maybe it’s an auto-biographical take after all. You know, without the “dead chick” element.
To make matter worse, the acting is pretty bad with almost everybody shooting lines out of their ass as if they literally just got picked up off the street from the directors. Shiloh Fernandez is pretty bad as Rickie, the only kid with an ounce of heart that’s not placed in his dick, and just butchers all of the lines he’s given. This kid could have been one we care for, cheer on, and eventually make us want him to get the girl at the end, but Fernandez doesn’t do anything to help us out with that and gives us a cardboard cut-out of a high school-movie character we have seen done before. Then, there’s Noah Segan as his weird buddy, J.T., who’s actually okay in some parts, but absolutely atrocious in others where he’s trying to come-off as this big old bad-ass that bangs a dead chick. The guy was pretty good in Brick and Looper, but here, I don’t know what he’s doing. I think he was just waiting for Rian Johnson’s next movie and decided, “Oh what the hell?!? Might as well do some low-budget horror movie and see where I can go with my career.” Sorry buddy, stay with Rian.
The only one in this cast that actually has an alright performance in the whole flick is Jenny Spain as the Deadgirl, but not because of anything special she does, more or less that she just lets it all loose in what is essentially a daring-ass role. I don’t know how the girl went to the premiere without feeling terribly embarrassed and I hope she didn’t bring her mommy or daddy with her because that would have definitely sparked-up some nice conversations about where she’s going in life. Yeah, good job Jenny. You better have gotten paid the most out of all of these schmucks considering all they had to do to you was hump the hell out of ya.
Consensus: Deadgirl starts off promising, with a neat premise and idea, but never fully comes together in the end due to some bad writing, terrible acting, and a bunch of missed opportunities with where this material could have explored. However, if you are a horror fan, you may be able to get past all of that and at least enjoy what you got up on-screen. I’m not talking about the girl, either.