Three stories of abused and forsaken girls who return from the dead to take their revenge.
Far from being a James Cameron Aliens-esque sequel to 2008’s polarizing Deadgirl, Dead Girls is another horror anthology centered on abused women out for revenge.
Jointly directed by Neal Fischer and Del Harvey, we’re presented with three tales of woe and misogyny. The first being Over My Dead Body in which a young woman called Suzy is accidently killed by her violent boyfriend during a fight. Rather than fess up to his crime, he ropes his housemate into dumping her body under a highway bridge, locked in a refrigerator. No, I don’t think the choice of appliance was accidental. After some McGuffins involving her recently acquired tattoo, Suzy returns from the dead to exact bloody revenge on her boyfriend. There’s not really much to it after that. Just some running and screaming, confined within a man cave. There’s also a massive issue regarding how poorly lit the story is. Maybe there were scares there and I just couldn’t see them. I’m willing to bet money there weren’t.
Things don’t get much better in Theta Phis Never Die; a horror comedy where a young woman, Avery, is accidently killed by a sorority group during a spot of hazing. Rather than fess up to the crime, they all agree to dispose of her body. After some McGuffins involving voodoo, Avery comes back from the dead to exact bloody revenge on the sorority sisters. Does that sound familiar? It should do. Yes, Avery is a lot chattier than Suzy when resurrected, and yes, this second story adds a splash of culture when it brings in the idea of golems, but let’s be frank here. This is the exact same plot as Over My Dead Body, but with a college backdrop.
Admittedly, the film is called Dead Girls, and maybe there is only so far you can go with the idea of dead people getting their revenge. However, I was expecting a modicum of differences between the stories. Surely someone somewhere in the pre-production stage could have piped up and said, ‘Hey guys! Didn’t we do this already?’ Instead, by the time I’m over half way through the film, I feel like I have been watching a movie, only to immediately follow it up with its crappy straight to DVD sequel where the only resemblance to the original was its plot and title. Like watching American Psycho followed by American Psycho 2: All American Girl, but instead of American Psycho, both films are the sequel. Yes, that bad.
Even the wraparound story throws in a plethora of undead women intent on righting wrongs. The film already has a problem with being derivative, so it doesn’t help that it becomes derivative of itself.
Maybe then that’s why, for me, the third story stands out the most, if not necessarily for the better. Alternating between the past and the present, Vengeance is Mine tells the story of a teenage prostitute who has grown up in the midst of abuse at the hands of her parish priest. Despite everything that happens to her, she maintains her faith. When her abusive priest comes back into her life, the young woman finds a way to exact her gory revenge. Unfortunately, it’s a gory revenge that is let down by some comically fake testicles. There’s a sentence I did not think I would write today.
However, even with the slightly fresh air that Vengeance is Mine brings, it doesn’t mitigate the overall poor quality of the entire package that is Dead Girls. Setting aside the film’s originality – or lack thereof – Dead Girls is a deeply dull film that sleepwalks through the motions of your average slasher film before finally slapping you in the face with a pair of plastic genitalia. And if that description doesn’t serve as an adequate warning for what lies ahead when you put this bad boy on, then I don’t know what is.