What happens when you come upon something that you can do anything to? Will you still retain your humaneness? Or will you finally succumb to your dark desires? The 2008 movie Deadgirl directed by Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel, touches upon those who act upon these repressed desires and those who fight it.
In the compilation of Mark Jancovich, the complied essays in Part One usually talks about repression, which is the overall theme in the movie Deadgirl. Repression takes place in all the characters of the movie, especially J.T., Rickie, and, of course, the titular dead girl.
J.T. and Rickie are high school best friends that just gawk at the girls they can’t have, especially Rickie who has been in love with Joann, his childhood friend, who is now a popular girl with a jock boyfriend. When they found the dead girl in the abandoned building, something sinister stirred up in J.T., he has never left the dead girl since. From the start till the end of the movie, he would rape the dead girl and even invited their other friend, Wheeler to do the same. I say rape because he would penetrate this poor girl without her consent. Just because she can’t talk does not mean they are all allowed to do those horrible things to her. Aside from rape, J.T. also tried to kill her, however, she cannot be killed for the simple reason that she is already dead, which is how he found out she is a zombie. His repressed desire for power and control that society denied him now has an avenue, in a form of a beautiful girl that cannot escape, talk, or deny him. This is why he rapes her every time he wants to because rape is about power; showing that the rapist is more powerful so the victim succumbs to what the rapist wants. Why would J.T. want to leave a place where he’s the king?
Rickie, on the other hand, is restricted by his blind love for Joanna and his fleeting conscience. He has tried multiple times to convince J.T. and Wheeler to release the dead girl and even tried to free her himself which, ultimately, fails. His obsession with Joann is what pushed him to succumb to the idea of Joann being the next deadgirl.
The deadgirl is physically restrained by the chains that bound her to a table. She is objectified by J.T., Wheeler, and the 2 jocks that later come to the basement to also rape her. She was never given a name, and they all referred to her as her nickname, ‘deadgirl’, and the pronoun ‘it’ because all she is for the boys is an object for them to toy with and garner pleasure. When she was finally freed, she took revenge on her attackers and ran for the door, in fear of being restrained again for other people’s use. No one knows how she became the deadgirl or even ended up in an abandoned basement of an asylum, but her desire to attain freedom was definitely repressed by the monsters named J.T. and Wheeler, and those that came before them.
This was a film that would definitely disgust you, aside from the horrible actions and choices made by the characters but it is something you continue to watch because of it will fascinate you and out of curiosity you will wonder what will happen next to the deadgirl and what other bad decision will these characters make. Basically, this movie is a perfect example of the paradox of horror, repelled by disgust but pulled back in by fascination.
One thing that will fascinate you is the topic of necrophilia that the movie touches upon. This concept is pretty much taboo because as a religious country, we have a natural duty to respect the dead, and in this film they not only objectified the dead but also disrespected it by playing with it. Another thing is, of course, how the movie treated women. None of the characters respected women, but only saw them as sexual objects. Three instances that I would mention are one, how they treated the deadgirl, Rickie’s questionable gentlemanly advances towards Joann that faded once he realized he really had no chance with her so he made her the next deadgirl, and finally, how J.T. and Wheeler were waiting by the gasoline station to attack a woman and make her another deadgirl granted that she has the right attributes (big boobs and butt, pretty face).
Overall, it was hard to relate to the characters because they had no depth especially the women in the film and was definitely about male dominance and masochism. It had its comical moments but not really a film I would watch again.