Wow, midnight movies. I know they still happen, I just hadn't recently heard of anyone basing a distribution pattern solely around the phenomenon. Nevertheless, the producers of Deadgirl are rolling the dice on it, debuting their film at midnight this weekend (July 24 & 25, 2009), and dispatching the filmmakers and cast to screening cities across the country to get the audiences into the theaters.
Granted, they've got the right material for the hour: Deadgirl is about two teenagers who, while exploring an abandoned hospital, find a naked woman chained to a table and barricaded away in the deepest, darkest regions of the building. Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez), as much of a moral center as this film will have to offer, wants to report the find to the proper authorities. J.T. (Noah Segan) -- seeing that the woman is too feral and dangerous to be unchained, that in fact she's undead and essentially indestructible, and that, anyhoo, who the hell is going to know what goes on in a long-forgotten, makeshift prison? -- wants to have some... let's call it, "fun," first.
Directors Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel suggest that this be looked at as a kind of twisted coming-of-age story. I suspect midnight audiences will be too busy having their buttons pushed to get too far down to the subtext. In any case, it's obvious that Sarmiento and Harel (working from a script by Trent Haaga) can mount a stylish, daring nightmare, whatever the theme. It's a helluva way to greet the new day.
Here's my interview with Sarmiento and Harel:
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