movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] A powerful probe into the human psyche?

PEOPLE: I don’t know the director, but writer Trent Haaga wrote and played a part in The Toxic Avenger 4: Citizen Toxie. He has written a bunch of movies that have terrible-sounding titles.

Starring Shiloh Fernandez as Rickie, apparently the sanest character in the story (or so it seems?). Noah Segan (John from Cabin Fever 2) as J.T., the one who really causes everything to happen. Love interest JoAnn is played by Candice Accola (The Vampire Diaries, and a tiny bit part in Juno), who looks way better as a redhead than as a blonde. And of course who could forget Jenny Spain (another pic here) as the dead girl. This was her first movie, and her next one will actually have her… speaking! Not just being a zombie sex slave :)

Michael Bowen — the name of my uncle — plays a character named Clint — my name. A very minor character, but it’s worth mentioning for the name coincidences, and the fact that he is in Cabin Fever 2 as well. He was in Kill Bill 2, Magnolia, Beverly Hills Cop 3, and tons of other movies.

PLOT SUMMARY: Teenage romance wrapped in a dark comedy wrapped in a psychological thriller wrapped in a zombie horror wrapped in a coming of age story.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Teens fuck zombies.

QUIRKS: Doesn’t fit into a single genre very well. Is NOT an exploitation film, but actually a film about morals, power, and sexuality.

VISUALS: It looks kinda dark and low budget, but then again, I’m used to 720p or 1080p HD, and I only watched this in “shitty DVD quality”, so I can’t judge this too accurately. The look and feel were adequate enough to support the story. NO, YOU DON’T SEE ANY EXPLICIT SEX.

SOUNDTRACK: I don’t pay attention to soundtracks much — since I am musically close-minded and dislike most music — but apparently the soundtrack reminds a lot of people of the Donnie Darko soundtrack.

MORALS/POLITICS: The whole movie is one big moral quandary! There’s a lot to be said about sexism, misogyny, power, gender. Knee-jerk one dimensional feminists are gonna hate this one! People who have a knee-jerk reaction to things will insist this is misogynistic because of the subject matter. But I got a news flash for you — the sex that has the most negativity directed at it in this movie is MALES. I’m pretty sure females would never stoop to the level of the males in this movie. I’m pretty sure females would never do the things the males did here. The males in this movie represent the id urges of every male — to fuck something that feels good to fuck, human or not. Some people don’t want to admit this; some people do. But misogynistic? If anything, it’s a realistic portrayal of male misogyny, and not misogynistic in and of itself. Do people really think that guys would never do this in a million years? They’re wrong. Guys would do this. A lot of guys would. There are more slaves and rapists alive now than at any point in history, thanks to population growth. Guys would do this. Especially loser teens with nothing to lose.

GOOD STUFF: A great twist on the “zombie genre”. Not unlike I Am Legend, the true monsters in this movie are the humans, not the zombies.

BAD STUFF: Not a huge budget; this is an indie flick. So some may say the acting isn’t up to A-movie par. The thing is, how many other movies like this can you really compare this too? (Actually, there is another movie with a similar premise, but I haven’t seen it. Yet.)

And then there are the whole set of people who can’t get past the premise of the movie. Much like The Human Centipede — or even Twilight — there are a bunch of haters who never actually saw the movie. Such people seem to proudly wear their prejudiced idiocy like a badge.

People also complain about: Slow pacing, predictability, moral bankruptcy, bad dialog, and cliches. But c’mon! If a movie is over 90 minutes, those who don’t like it always say it’s slow, and those who do are always glad that it went on longer. Predictable? Yea, humans are pretty predictable to start with. Most stories are predictable. It’s the voyage, not the journey. Morally bankrupt? Why are you watching this movie, if your movies must conform to traditional morals? Go watch a romantic comedy instead! Bad dialog? I dunno, man, I find what comes out of teenagers mouths in real life to be bad dialog too, man. (They say “man” a lot, and people dislike this. Would it be better if they’d said bro”?) Most dialog between most people is bad dialog. Maybe they should talk like Shakespeare, or Juno? Cliches? I’m not sure what the existing list of zombie rape cliches are… Haters gonna hate!

Some people also don’t like the gas station scene. [Minor spoilers shead] They think it’s medically unrealistic because they’ve watched Hollywood movies too much, and think if you bleed from your head, you’re automatically unconscious or dead. But really, it helps put the boys in their place: As pathetic weaklings who couldn’t get laid unless they found a zombie chained up in an insane asylum. And of course she didn’t call the police after taking their wallets.

CONCLUSION: This is one of the most unique horror/thriller/dark comedy/drama/shocking movies that I’ve ever seen in my life. Tempted to give it a 10/10, but I’m snobby about giving 10s. It kind of defies classification, as it’s not strictly a horror, a thriller, or a dark comedy. What is definitely is, is FUCKED UP. And “fucked up” almost deserves its own genre category. This movie makes you think, it makes you cringe, it makes you squirm, it titillates you, explores sexuality, bullying, alienation, power struggles, gender roles; it makes you laugh, it makes you sad… There is a surprising range of emotion and reaction to be experienced via such a simple gimmick as “zombie sex slave”. I’m amazed that most people don’t really like this movie — but I think that says more about the people than the movie. I also think that the fact that so many people hate this SO MUCH, with the intensity of 1000 suns — is actually a compliment to the movie. It’s a hard pill to swallow, and people don’t like to be challenged. So they react. But it is that intense reaction that is exactly what is so great about this movie. It’s challenging, unlike most movies. So nice to actually be shocked again. It’s a rare thing for me.

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8.4/10.
John The Canadien: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10. “It’s like Stand By Me, only instead of just discovering a body, they also have sex with it.” Read his review here.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.0/10, Netflix: 2.8/5 stars (what?!?!!) (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.0/5 stars–IT KNOWS!!).

RECOMMENDATION: SEE IT SEE IT SEE IT!!!! Don’t be close-minded to the idea simply because it is what it is!

SIMILAR MOVIES: Make-Out With Violence actually has a similar premise, and is rated 0.9/10 higher on IMDB. Ginger Snaps comes up a lot. Zombie Strippers also deals with zombies and sex appeal, although in a completely superficial way (it’s not a great movie like this one).

This movie is like Stand By Me meets Weird Science. Or maybe Beavis & Butt-head meets American Pie meets Twilight meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I don’t know.

MOVIE QUOTE: “She’s dead!” “She’s a dead girl!”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Dildo Valerie loved it. Bunny Day liked it (“It was hot”). Jon B liked it.  Modemac thought it was twisted. ESplatter review (“one of the best horror movies of the year so far”). review (8/10). review.

FUNNIEST IMDB COMMENT: (in response to a feminist hater of the movie who called it misogynistic) “Look… I bet you’re ugly, and that’s fine. I’ll bang ugly chicks. I watch tons of films, but you missed the point of Deadgirl. This movie was telling girls that pre-marital sex is okay, and so is post-mortem sex. It’s like drunk sex, but when you slipped the girl a bunch of your Klonopin, and are all amped up on cocaine and Viagra.”

I’m also fond of: “What did they expect to see? A serious discourse on the morality of repeatedly raping a zombie?”

THE TRAILER: I only watch trailers AFTER I see movies. This one isn’t that good, but at least it doesn’t spoil all the good parts:

Mood: trying and failing to remember, even with video playback assistance
Music: Triptykon – The Prolonging