Monday, March 11, 2013


The problem with Hollywood remakes is that 9 times out of 10, it's a movie that doesn't need to be remade. The originals are usually well-known, if not cult favorites, and have their followings. I assume they're remade because they bring with them a built-in audience or at least a promotional network of a kind, not because anyone could potentially do a better job with the material than original filmmakers did the first time around.

Deadgirl is a film that could do with a remake. Obviously the directors had a hell of a lot points to make and ideas with which they wanted to come across. Unfortunately,the result ends up not being particularly interesting or accomplished. I know that might sound obnoxious considering what an out-there idea forms the germ for this movie, but it's precisely due to the fact that the plot is so shocking and yet the film is not particularly shocking that I say this.

This is a movie about two high school outcast types who explore an abandoned mental institution (actor Noah Segan, who plays ringleader JT here in addition to ne'er-do-well Justin in Someone's Knocking at the Door, in which he explores an abandoned mental institution, with bizarre and unpleasant results, is gonna get really specifically typecast if he's not careful - maybe Grave Encounters 3 or Session 10 is in the works?) and find, behind a rusted-shut door, a young woman shackled to a bed and covered in plastic. The boys discover that she is dead and cold, yet breathing and alive - and unable to be killed. JT also discovers that he enjoys the idea of having a sex slave on demand, while other lead Rickie is far more conflicted about it. Other kids from their school get involved and things eventually end up getting really messy.

Probably the biggest problem with Deadgirl is that it's not sure what kind of movie it wants to be. Obviously, it's horrific to witness a dead/undead/who knows girl be sexually assaulted over and over again, so this is a horror movie. There's also quite a bit of teen angst/romantic sentiment shown with Rickie and the girl of his dreams at school. And, perhaps to keep things from getting too obsidian black, there's some humor. Ultimately, there is a shitload of Social Commentary regarding gender roles, stereotypes, how men goad one another into doing horrific things, absentee parents, and many more. Maybe it's just hard to take the filmmakers at their word about having a deeper message when the subject matter is so base and foul.

Overall, this is a B movie with a really intriguing premise. The acting isn't horrible, but it isn't great. The script isn't awful, but it isn't particularly illuminating. The subject matter is disturbing, but in the hands of great writers, producers, and directors it could be amazingly powerful. I can only imagine what this would have been like if Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee had made it.


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