Sunday 4 October 2009


Rickie and JT discover a naked woman (owner of the most revolting merkin this side of The League of Gentlemen) chained up in an abandoned hospital. JT says they should keep her, and Rickie leaves him to it. He thinks about ringing the police, but mum’s boyfriend interrupts so he doesn’t bother…

The girl is a zombie, not that it’s relevant to the plot. This is a rape film, about a rapist and the pal who doesn’t turn him in, and the other guys they invite to take a turn. Sex with a zombie, if not precisely consensual, you might say, is strictly speaking necrophilia rather than rape – the horror equivalent of a sci-fi sexbot! – but consider that before having sex with this zombie JT has to beat her to death because she’s fighting back too much. (That’s how he discovers her secret.)

Of course you can have good films about bad people – is this a good film? It’s atmospheric and sombre, and for those handy with the remote, it has two good pause-the-video moments, including a surprisingly vigorous bowel movement. JT develops into a very creepy villain, especially once he stops wearing trousers, and other than the sound editing – always important for a horror movie – Noah Segan’s performance is the best thing about the movie.

But no, for me this wasn’t a good film. It felt like a film written by sex-starved teenagers (it actually comes from the pen of Trent Haaga, previously responsible for Toxic Avenger IV), or at least to appeal to them. It doesn’t rise above the level of a teenage conversation: “Imagine if we had a zombie to shag?” “Yeah, but imagine all the problems keeping it clean.”

And the problem with the film isn’t just that the characters are immoral people doing terrible things, it’s that nothing they do makes sense. For example, one guy who knows just how dangerous the dead girl is decides to free her on his own, with predictable consequences – and then another guy does exactly the same thing later in the movie. Having said that, the movie’s second best moment does result from its very stupidest behaviour, though I’d be surprised if it makes it to the commercial release of the DVD, given the tumescent area out of which the dead girl takes an entirely justifiable bite.

Though Deadgirl has horror movie elements – such as characters with uniformly poor decision-making skills – at heart it’s an indie film about teenage power and powerlessness, with more in common with films like Brick or Bully than Dawn of the Dead. So don’t expect to be frightened – except by a rather scary dog – just revolted.

Deadgirl: the zombie rape film you haven’t been waiting for…

Deadgirl, Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel (dirs).

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