Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bonus DVD review: "Deadgirl"

Just when you think horror films have violated every taboo known to mankind, along comes "Deadgirl" to shatter one we (hopefully) hadn't even considered: Zombie rape.

Yes, really.

The tagline for this stylish low-budget indie says it all: "You never forget your first time."

Here's the set-up: Two slacker teens ditch class to go drink some beers at the local abandoned insane asylum. Deep in the bowels of the musty building, they come across the body of a dead girl, chained up and covered in plastic, hidden in a room behind a door that rusted shut years ago. How did she get there?

Their questions will have to wait, because it turns out the girl is still breathing! She won't talk and behaves like a feral animal, snapping at them with her teeth.

Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez, a dead ringer for a young Joaquin Phoenix) wants to set her free, but his best friend J.T. (Noah Segan) has a more sinister thought: What if they just kept her? After all, it's doubtful anyone even knows she's here. They could use her as their sex slave.

Rickie is horrified, and they fight and argue, until J.T. discovers a terrible secret: The girl (Jenny Spain, who spends the entire movie naked) seems impervious to injury. J.T. "kills" her three times, but she keeps moving and twitching, even after being shot three times.

Rickie, who's got a thing for a rich girl at school (Candice Accola), determines to sneak in and free the girl, but discovers that J.T. has brought in their friend Wheeler (Eric Podnar) to take part in the debauchery.

Things really get hairy when a couple of jock bullies invade the zombie sex sanctum, and one of them takes up a dare to have the girl perform fellatio on him. Living dead+genitals=not good.

Despite its premise, "Deadgirl" really isn't a schlocky spoof, but a well-made and superbly acted (for a horror flick) film from directors Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel, and screenwriter Treng Haaga.

Still, there are plenty of gross-out moments, including a severed limb, an upper lip that's bitten off, and a memorable scene in the school bathroom with some exploding guts splatting against the tile. The unrated DVD, which hits stores Sept. 15, includes some sections that are worth watching in slo-mo for the bloody special effects aficionado.

3.5 stars

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