“YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST TIME.”
Category: Psychological, Zombie
Directed by: Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Heral
Written by: Trent Haaga
Starring: Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Candice Accola, Michael Bowen
Music: Joesph Bauer
Cinematography: Harris Charalambous
Deadgirl is the third film from co-director Marcel Sarmiento, who I first discovered when I saw (and loved) his “D is for Dogfight” segment for The ABCs of Death. I don’t really know much on the other half of the directing team, Gadi Harel. The plot is original and quite odd; two outcast high school buddies, Rickie and JT, break into an abandoned mental asylum to throw back some beers and smash some shit. Upon entering a room deep in the bowels of the building they find a woman bound up who defies death. JT decides that this helpless dead woman would be the perfect sex slave, Rickie isn’t too down with that.
After reading the plot I figured this movie would have that “indie” look and feel to it, which it does with its slow pace and modern, clean yet gloomy looking production style. The movie holds a serious tone throughout although there are some brief moments of humor (albeit dark) thrown in there and somehow work without clashing with the overall feel of the film. I really dig the minimalistic soundtrack which helps purvey a depressing overtone to the film. The acting is very seamless and natural for the most part, ditching the typical cheesy depiction of the high school lexicon seen in most movies. Honestly the weakest acting comes from main man Shiloh Fernandez (Rickie), not that his acting bad per se but he plays his character with a serious lack of personality. On the other hand his co-star Noah Segan plays JT with so much charisma that it’s a delight to see him on the screen despite the fact that he’s fucking warped in the head. Gore wise there’s quite a few blood filled scenes to satisfy horror fans, yet it’s used tastefully in context with the story. Speaking of which the story is pretty fucked up, but strong and engaging with a few subplots littered in there. There’s also not too much backstory given to any aspect of the movie which is good, I hate when a film needs to explain how everything came to be. It detracts from the main conflict plus the unknown is always more terrifying. Michael Myers was way creepier as a mindless psychopath, but then we learn about his whole childhood, his family tree, his first love, his favorite color, what he named his goldfish, why he does what he does then all of a sudden he’s more human than monster, which is nowhere near as intimidating.
Deadgirl is definitely a unique movie, odd but I liked it. The writing was great, strong acting, gore, necrophilia. You know, the good stuff. The slow pace and overall artsy-indie tone might not be everyone’s cup of tea, if you saw Sarmiento’s ABC segment then you’ll have an idea of how this looks, except not in slow motion. Check this out if you like D is for Dogfight, a twisted premise, or lurid sex acts.