My Synopsis: Joaquin Phoenix finds the secret to eternal youth, teams up with another punk kid to lay waste to an old asylum where they find a supposedly naked dead girl chained to a table. Instead she's a real naked living dead girl. The boys have there way with her, even though Joaquin has reservations, hilarity ensues!
Comments: There is no ending to the lengths that people will go through in order to find their niche or create a new angle in order to establish themselves as contenders to the zombie genre and this movie is no different. It's very much a 'West-side Story' with a zombie plaything. Ultimately, director Marcel Sarmeinto (this being her third independent project) and writer Trent Haaga (who has been all over the b-horror market in the last ten years, including the latest addition to the 'Toxic Avenger' franchise), seem to be taking 'Fido' to another level, the consequences are indeed different and far less comical, but definitely follow the same moral connections. That much said, lets really bite into this one...
In my defense, Shiloh Fernandez ('Jericho,' 'Cadillac Records') does look like a younger Joaquin Phoenix without the lip scar. Oh yeah, he plays the lead misfit (Ricky) with a conscience that discovers the living dead girl. Anyway, Ricky is a misfit because his mother is never around and her drunk boyfriend is, go figure. He also has the hots for the popular girl in school but not being a football player has slimmed his chances. His buddy J.T. (Noah Segan – 'Days of Our Lives,' 'Fanboys') is just a plain freak who see's a naked living dead girl as an opportunity for some fun. Ricky and J.T. don't really see eye to eye on how best to treat said naked living dead girl and the story unfolds from here.
JT and his buddies quickly get bored with just using her as a sex toy and start torturing her to alleviate stress as Ricky finally gets the balls to hit on his crush and her asshole boyfriend kicks his ass, showing off his true colors. Well as usual one of the misfits runs his mouth and they are forced to show the popular guys the girl. Asshole bf is peer pressured into mouth raping the living dead girl which ends in the only way possible. Unfortunately you don't see much and the guy apparently didn't lose anything. Instead he disfigures her face and runs away crying. The 'West-side Story' develops as expected.
This movie is a morality play for sure. JT is sick and twisted with what he wants to do too and with the living dead girl and doesn't seem to have an issue with her demonstrated interest in eating flesh (she also takes the chunk out of dog). Ricky seems to have an empathetic connect to her but is easily overpowered by JT and his preoccupation with the girl of his affections. Asshole boyfriend was bitten, I think we know what to expect. His character development is fairly limited. I don't really feel I am spoiling much, if you've ever seen a zombie movie there are certain things to expect.
'Deadgirl' is thankfully more a psychological horror that plays around with the a fore mentioned moralities and messed up values of today's teens. I say thankfully because you don't actually see the asshole bf get his johnson bit and all gore is pretty much limited to blood or quick flashes. Trust me that's all you need for the asshole bf in the bathroom scene. JT's downward spiral is complete by the end of the movie, upon realization that the girl is not just living dead but a traditional zombie he envisions a harem. The stalking of future living dead girls is an amazingly disturbing scene. The good news is that everyone gets what they deserve in the end. You have to see it to get what I mean. Although the twist is the only expected.
So to the judgment scale, I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 living dead girls based on originality, some interesting twists, and all in all a excellent addition to zombie-lore. It stands pretty strong as an independent film and definitely does an excellent job establishing the director and writer as an upcoming force. Where it falls flat is in its use of cliché teenage issues and characters. Though it would be hard to imagine it told from any other perspective. If you have no problem with teenage boys acting horrible, zombie girl torture, the occasional blood splatter, and an obvious ending, then this is a must to add to your collection.
'Til next we bleed,