by Anthony King
Very few films get under my skin and make this writer feel uncomfortable. Moments such as these come and go, but entire films? I can think of 11. Make that 12 with Unearthed Films' brand new 15th anniversary edition of Marcel Sarmiento's and Gadi Harel's disturbing coming of age film, Deadgirl (2008).
*Sexual assault TW ahead*
Meanwhile, back on the outside, Rickie is pining after JoAnn (Candice King), who is dating the star football player. J.T. then wraps their friend Dwyer into his diabolical new life, and the two spend all their time raping the (un)deadgirl. As time progresses, the friendship between Rickie and J.T. fractures as the latter slips further and further into monsterdom. More head-spinning twists abound, but only those who aren't faint of heart can discover what happens in the third act for themselves. Suffice to say, Deadgirl was not the movie I was expecting, and navigated uncomfortably dark (but sadly and brutally honest) territory with an emotional and artistic hand.
Unearthed Films, a label known for and dedicated to releasing disturbing films (Dr. Lamb, The Untold Story, Guinea Pig films, etc.), has delivered a remarkable package for the 15th anniversary of Deadgirl. As messed up as the film is, Deadgirl also doubles as an emotional coming of age story and a beautiful art film. While the Unearthed release ports over the commentaries, making-of, and Jenny Spain's audition tape from the original 2011 Blu-ray, new extras abound. Along with two new behind the scenes and make-up FX galleries, there are five brand new interviews with co-director Gadi Harel (he's a very sweet, not demented person; the interview actually made me feel a little better about the movie), writer Trent Haaga, actors Segan and Fernandez, and special makeup effects designer Jim Ojala.Der Fan, to name a few) but mostly I just happily enjoy watching them. Think of me what you will. Then there are those that have made me squirm; movies that seem to force my hand to cover my mouth. Deadgirl can proudly proclaim itself as the latest addition to the list.
Included on said list are five short films. Stan Brakhage's The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes (1971) is the film I proclaim to be the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. It's his all-access documentary showing never before seen footage of the Pittsburgh morgue. Another short on the list is Alan Clarke's "Elephant" (1989), a dialogue-free TV movie that follows brutal assassinations during The Troubles in Northern Ireland. It's the only film I had to turn off halfway through to take a break, and it runs for less than 40 minutes.
There you have it. Get the Deadgirl Blu-ray from Unearthed Films and watch some disturbing shit this Scary Movie Month. If you dare.