Sunday, June 13, 2010


This movie is all kinds of disturbing - especially from a woman's point of view - but I also thought it was great.

The story is pretty simple - two teenage boys, Rickie and J.T., head out for a night of beer and destruction at an abandoned mental institution and end up stumbling upon a naked girl chained to a table and covered in plastic. The kicker is that she's still alive - barely, it seems - and she's also in a room that's apparently been sealed off. Rickie wants to untie her and let her go, but J.T. isn't so sure he's ready to do that. After all, she's attractive, it seems that nobody knows she's there - and neither of the boys have any other prospects on the horizon. J.T,wants to 'wait a day or two' so he can keep her as his own personal plaything.

Apparently J.T. is more disturbed than we initially realize, because he eventually shows Rickie that this girl is not any ordinary girl - she's some kind of zombie and can be cut, strangled, or shot - she just won't stay dead no matter what J.T. does to her. What's really disturbing to me about this scene that J.T. has discovered this in the first place - he says to Rickie at one point, 'I've killed her three times and she won't stay dead'.

J.T. comes to see the girl as his own personal property - one that he can make money on by sharing her with others. The movie echos The Girl Next Door in that it's amazing and disturbing that so many other people are willing to get in on the action and not really do anything - or seem to feel anything for - about the fate of this girl on the slab.

Needless to say, there really aren't any likeable characters - even Rickie, who seems they may have some sort of conscience about him - doesn't ever seem to just do the right thing, and even his attempts at 'helping' seem kind of feeble and half-hearted. Rickie always seems, in the end, too concerned about what his 'friends' think of him to really be of any kind of hero.

As for the 'dead girl' herself, we never get any answers about her - we're left to our own imaginations as to how she got there and what she really is. I also thought the woman who played the dead girl, Jenny Spain, did a terrific job in the movie. It may seem that lying on a table naked with no dialogue doesn't take any real talent, but I thought it was a great performance, and she really creeped me out more than once. The terrific makeup effects helped as well.

A creepy, disturbing movie - definitely worth a watch.


Emily said...

Great writeup. I also loved this movie. It proves that there's still (no pun intended) plenty of life left in the zombie genre if you bring something new to it.

Also, I didn't really think of The Girl Next Door connection until you mentioned it. Now I shall.

王周宏儒 said...
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智宜 said...
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Mother Firefly said...

Thanks! The movie also reminded me of The River's Edge.
And I agree, there's still lots of good movies left to be made about zombies!

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Atroxion said...

Tell me about it. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first watched this movie and I was totally taken by surprise. It's definitely not an easy ride, but it's one you haven't exactly seen before, so it's worth checking it out.

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m said...

This sounds totally fucked. I'm Netflixing it right now.

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Lazarus Lupin said...

I've been interested in how a woman would review this film. I was greatly disturbed by it myself but I can't really fault the character logic here. There would be some dumbasses who'd see a zombie as... um.. available.


Lazarus Lupin
apologizing for my half of the human race
Arts and review

Mother Firefly said...

Lazarus: I think if I'd felt that the movie was glorifying violence against women or trying to be titillating in some way, I'd have felt differently. As it was, I didn't feel that was the case. Sadly, how the characters behaved in the movie is not all that unrealistic. We had a case here a few years ago involving a young woman being held against her will where a few males of various ages knew about it.

m: You'll have to let us know what you thought!

Atroxion: I agree, it's not an easy ride. there's definitely nothing wrong with horror movies making us uncomfortable sometimes.

m said...

I was thoroughly disturbed by this film. It was incredibly creepy. I consider myself something of a zombie buff, and this was such a fascinating take on the zombie mythos. I especially loved the ending. The soundtrack was also incredible. I've been having nightmares for days and I love it :)

Mother Firefly said...

I agree, M, the ending was fantastic. For further nightmares, may I suggest the French movies 'Inside' and 'Martyrs'? If you haven't already seen them, of course. They both feature female antagonists and protagonists and they're ALL kinds of fucked up.