Controlling the Dead: Thirst For Power

Two teenage boys who were constantly ‘othered’ by ‘normal’ kids decided to run out and cut class to relieve their stress in an abandoned mental hospital. The two were alone – no one judges them, no one picks on them, and most importantly they can everything and anything they want. So they decided to explore the abandoned mental hospital. Great, I’m in for a ride, I thought.

As I have suspected, people who explore haunted places will not go out of the place without finding anything chilling. Aside from a very viscous black dog, the boys found a naked body of woman who appears to be bound on a bed. Rickie bolts out leaving his friend JT who wanted to keep the girl for their own pleasure. He opted out and later on coming back to convince JT to go back to normal life. Obviously, after seeing a bound girl who appears to be immortal, JT refused to let go and used the girl for his carnal desires and later on recruiting Wheeler and joined in taking turns of using the girl.

At this point, the deadgirl did not have anything to do but to stay bound on to the edges of the bed, and be used by men repeatedly. Although dead and cannot converse like normal people, her autonomy and independence were denied – she had no choice but to accept whatever’s coming for her for a really long time. Aside from this, she’s a completely ‘other’ creature given the fact that she cannot be killed, even with three bullets. When JT cannot eliminate her when she was trying to kill him, JT repressed the deadgirl’s freedom by making her a hostage to make her ‘safer’.

However, what is more interesting is to find out a deeper reason for JT’s behaviour. It was then in this scene that I found out that this child has been feeling so alone and othered that’s why he kept the bound girl in that abandoned hospital. He justified it further when he said that in that place, they were running it – they were the boss. The children who were isolated and were considered weird had their own place where they could express what they truly felt. Judging by it, JT had to go to an extent wherein he would damage the dignity of a deadgirl and of what was left with her. JT was angry and deprived with raging hormones, I might add and was willing to create an army of deadgirls to create autonomy over those who disregarded his existence. Control and power was his way through vengeance over those who ridiculed him.


Wood, Robin. “American Nightmare Horror in the 70’s”. Horror, The Film Reader. London: Routledge (2002)


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