Zombie Rape

The often disturbing Deadgirl stands alone in the zombie genre as the film explores one of horror’s greatest taboos. Featuring an intriguing and underrated performance by Jenny Spain as the titular creature, Deadgirl ponders the implications of two horny teenagers discovering a naked zombie chained up in an abandoned hospital. The moral and social implications of their impending necrophilia are swiftly laid out in a twisted, sleazy tale which plausibly deconstructs the warped peer pressures often found in high school.

Deadgirl stars an interesting cast featuring Shiloh Fernandez (Evil Dead), Noah Segan (Starry Eyes), the aforementioned Jenny Spain, and a pre-Vampire Diaries Candice Accola. Mostly known for her role as Caroline on the CW vampire show, Candice looks quite different in the film given a dramatic change in hair color.

Deadgirl explores what happens when a teenage psychopath becomes obsessed with his unwilling sex slave who isn’t dead or alive.

Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) and J.T. (Noah Segan) are high school outcasts, loners who hang on the fringes of their high school pining after unobtainable girls. While J.T. is a real loser, Rickie is a mostly thoughtful and sensitive teenager on the quiet side. Those differences drive the plot forward as the two friends clash. Rickie has a crush on the pretty, popular girl played by Candice Accola.

Messing around in the deep basement of an abandoned hospital, Rickie and J.T. make a shocking discovery. They find a well-preserved, nude female body, wrapped in plastic and tied down to a table. There are no indications explaining how this happened.

The two buddies freak out when they find out she’s not actually dead but a zombie. Having struck out with the girls at his high school, J.T. quickly realizes they have a female zombie at their mercy. The fiendish remainder of Deadgirl explores what happens when a teenage psychopath exploits an unwilling sex slave who isn’t dead or alive.

Jenny Spain doesn’t have any dialogue as the poor creature but it’s hard not sympathizing with her tortured character, who becomes the plaything of demented teenagers. Her physical performance under piles of zombie make-up is remarkable.

Deadgirl pulls the neat trick of humanizing a terrifying zombie, as the creepily-designed yet alluring monster endures assault after assault. The smart screenplay unwinds the horrific consequences as J.T.’s demented plans spill over into the buddies’ high school life, dragging in outsiders with disastrous results.

Once you get over the initial shock value, Deadgirl remains an incredibly memorable zombie film with a great cast and terrifying suspense as things begin going wrong for the boys. Going far beyond the boundaries of its formulaic genre, Deadgirl is a creatively disturbed peek at taboo material.

The film’s strong character depth and clever writing spin frightening terror from its dark premise. The real monsters are the teenagers, not the poor zombie trapped alone. Deadgirl is required viewing for all credible zombie enthusiasts.

Video

Deadgirl’s 2.35:1 video has not aged well for a 2009 movie, originally finished as a digital intermediate with no particular aesthetic applied to its haphazard lighting and uneven contrast. Shot on the Thompson Viper, an early 2000s digital camera commonly used on indie films during its brief heyday, the murky cinematography from Harris Charalambous comes off flat in 1080p resolution with murky shadow delineation and relatively poor definition.

Unearthed Films does a fine job giving Deadgirl its best possible presentation on Blu-ray but dull colors and muddy detail limit its overall picture quality grade. The unrated cut runs 101 minutes on a BD-50, encoded in high-bitrate AVC. Some banding in the video appears possibly baked into the digital source. The final video quality on Blu-ray surpasses DVD but fans accustomed to newer digital film productions will have to settle for Deadgirl’s limitations.

Outside of possibly improved encoding parameters, there likely isn’t a big difference between this new 15th Anniversary edition’s picture quality and the original BD from Dark Sky Films.

Audio

The low-budget indie production is heard in 5.1 DTS-HD MA sound. Deadgirl’s surround mix is decidedly limited with most action happening up front and mild LFE support. Back channels offer little discrete separation, largely adding a little atmosphere and space to composer Joseph Bauer’s score. Dialogue levels jump up and down, occasionally getting buried in select scenes.

Optional English and English SDH subtitles play in a yellow font outside the scope presentation.

Extras

Unearthed Films gifts Deadgirl several new interviews and bonus features for this 15th Anniversary Blu-ray. They also include the legacy special features pulled from the original Dark Sky Films’ BD, long out of print. Arriving in a clear case with a slipcover and reversible artwork, it’s a recommended upgrade if you’ve never owned Deadgirl. The disc is coded for Region A.

PDFs for Deadgirl’s Shooting Script and the first draft of Deadgirl 2 (which never got made) are included.

Audio Commentary with Cast & Crew – A sprawling discussion from the 2009 BD with no less than eight members, including both co-directors, the editor, cinematographer, composer and lead actors Noah Segan and Shiloh Fernandez.

Audio Commentary by actor Jenny Spain – Spain is paired here with a moderator as she recounts making the movie.

Interview with Co-Director Gadi Harel (14:29 in HD)

Interview with Writer Trent Haaga (24:13 in HD) – Having cut his teeth at Troma, the writer discusses how the idea came about.

Interview with Actor Noah Segan (17:55 in HD)

Interview with Actor Shiloh Fernandez (09:05 in HD)

Interview with Special Makeup Effects Artist & Designer Jim Ojala (30:11 in HD)

Behind The Scenes Gallery (04:05 in HD)

Production Gallery (03:03 in HD)

Extended Makeup FX Gallery (10:46 in HD)

Exquisite Corpse: The Making of Deadgirl (07:14 in HD)

Jenny Spain’s Audition (01:58 in SD)

Deleted Scenes (07:01 in HD)

Deadgirl Theatrical Trailer (02:26 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

Deadgirl
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
5

Movie

One of the most memorable and morbidly disturbing zombie movies ever made

Sending
User Review
4 (1 vote)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 36 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots ripped directly from the Blu-ray:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *