Dead Girl made me question morality of its characters. Who are the real monsters here? Andrew Tudor, mentions in “Why Horror?” how horror can be the “safety valve” in which we are reminded of the dangers of not keeping our repressed desires in check. We can see the two modes of the human person in the two main characters in Deadgirl, Rickie and TJ. Rickie, being the morally upright one, holding his own and repressing the sexual tension, while TJ openly releasing it onto the “other” that presents itself so conveniently. Which one is more dangerous, the repressed monster or the one that is in plain sight?
Rickie and TJ find a girl tied up in the basement of an abandoned Mental Correction Institute. The girl is obviously hot, and TJ seems to get aroused by this. Rickie, as read from his facial expression, is as well but because he has a sense of morality, and an immediate response to repress these emotions. Rickie, is an interesting character. One can easily resonate with him. He seems to have his morality in check and is obviously a good person. But is he necessarily the good guy here? This is what scared me. If a person who releases this tension scary, or is the one who holds it off till it erupts violently the scarier one? Rickie is such an example. We can see him constantly being haunted by the idea that TJ is “banging”, pardon my English, a dead girl. She may be a dead girl, but she is a girl. What TJ is doing is still technically rape. But if you think about it, could it also be that because Rickie needs to repress his sexual urges, he needs to react opposite to what he wants to do. In psychology, there is a form of coping mechanism where one acts inversely to what they feel. If they are angry they become nicer, it is the same for Rickie. Maybe Rickie is bothered by the fact of the raped dead girl because he too wants to rape her, can’t because of his morality, and so acts opposite to his desire. Before the ending of the film, I was disgusted with how TJ and the rest do what they can do. They explicitly showed what would happen if we were to go unhinged. They weren’t good, but they were more honest.
I was obviously more disgusted with how TJ reacted to the whole mess. He even utilized the other holes on the dead girl’s body. He even mentions “…we’re never gonna get anything better than this…” referring to the dead girl and the reality that they are losers. This is a sad truth he acknowledges. In their world why pass on the opportunity of a lifetime. His decision makes sense, and that’s what’s scarier. Although I am disgusted with what they are trying to do, their logic makes sense to me. Though being a man of super ego, I would still side with Rickie. This betrayed me. Later, we see a Rickie committing a TJ.
After all his efforts to stop TJ, and repress his own sexual desires, he himself has been building up tension. When the only woman he loved finally was lost, he lost it and gave into his desires. On one side, we are disgusted, and could ask ourselves how could someone enjoy watching a man rape a zombie, on the other hand we witness a man so repressed that when he finally breaks becomes hypocritical. This movie was enjoying for the same reason stated by Tudor in his article. We can reach a form of Catharsis, watching the consequences of releasing our repressed feelings and feeling satisfied that we ourselves are still able to keep ourselves under control. TJ and Rickie are both monsters, one that is openly monstrous, while the other a volcano waiting to erupt.
P.S. I was troubled by the fact that she is a zombie girl, and that she is raped. These men… How are they capable of this? I would probably have done what Rickie has done, and that scares me… To be able to do something like that to the woman I love? Despite, the scenario being hopeless. She was going to die, and so the only way to ever be with her was to keep her a zombie girl. No matter what flowery thing you put on top of it, it is still disgusting, yet it makes sense. Thank God that no one has to experience that in real life, especially not I.