Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Girls Gone Dead
Just when you thought it was safe to go topless
Anyone out there who doesn’t know what a “Girls Gone Wild” video is? Seriously? Well in a nutshell, it’s a gift of a premise to base a slasher movie on. Basically, these videos consist of the recordings of enterprising filth merchants who trawl around the big Spring Break destination persuading attractive, and completely inebriated, college girls to take their tops off for the camera. Hell, half the time they don’t even have to be that attractive. Anyhow, what we have here is an attempt by a slightly less enterprising filth merchant called Michael Hoffman Jr to apply this idea to a slasher template.
Should be solid gold titties, eh?
Contains drunk chicks and inadvertent hard to spot spoiler below
Incidentally before I start, have a look at that DVD case. See the names being used for the leads? Shameful. These are all cameos and have a total screen time between them of about 20 minutes. Quigley, for example, plays an Aussie bar owner, although the rest do “play” themselves. I’d also like to heap derision on the ludicrously long credit sequence at the end of the film which consists wholly of “Crazy Girls Unlimited” outtakes, that I’m certain only exists to extend the run time. I watched it for the articles, by the way.
Girls Gone Dead chronicles the tender and heartwarming story of Becca (Katie Petersen) a 20 something college student desperate to escape from the clutches of her overly religious mother and douchebag ex boyfriend. With the help of her friends, and a pair of jean shorts that travel the globe, she’s able to learn a bit about herself, grow as a woman, and take her place in the modern world. Only kidding, it’s a slasher movie, so what really happens is that she hooks up with her deplorable gang of sluts (Shea Stewart, Caley Hales, Ryan Keely, Krystyna Ahlers, Brandy Whitford) to go to the sleepy little town of Manatee Creek for their spring break.
Predictably, Manatee Creek turns out to be lame, and they’re also being terrorised by a hooded and masked nutter with an immense war hammer. So, there’s huge amounts of splashing each other in the pool, vast amounts of casual nudity, a predictable and stupid reveal of who the killer is and some quite well handled gore. All so-so for a slasher, but there’s also a thinly veiled and staggeringly unsubtle piece of social commentary lurking below the surface.
This isn’t the worst slasher around. It’s not great, but it does, at least, understand what people that watch these kind of films expect to see- shit loads of nudity and some messy killings. The acting, as is going to no doubt come as a total surprise is thoroughly mediocre, with (and this will be a shock) Jeremy and Ryan Keely coming out most in credit. The reason I say this is a shock is that these are the two porn stars on the list and, let’s face it, acting isn’t high up the list of requirements for a porn star. Keely, actually, deserves much better than to spend a career in Lesbo porn, as she’s no mug in front of the camera. Jeremy, on the other hand, sends himself up superbly, bringing a world-weary and depressed version of himself to life. Christ alone knows what Quigley thinks she’s playing at.
As mentioned, the gore is satisfyingly messy with axes to the head, decapitations, amputations and so forth galore. As a particular note of credit for the film, there’s not a drop of CGI blood here, and therefore it’s far more entertaining and far more convincing than the usual nonsense in this caliber of film. The claret spills all over the fucking place, almost fountains on more than one occasion, and the climax of the movie sees Becca hosed head to foot in it.
Unfortunately, the social commentary doesn’t work. Yes, we know that Girls Gone Wild videos are at the arse-end of exploitative Reality TV, but the film lays it on so thick that it becomes boring rapidly. Beetlejuice is on form as the pervy midget with a camera on a helmet, but do we really need endless bloody fake ads with him and some of the less than attractive women in his films? The commentary by Sal the Stockbroker is both unpleasantly misogynistic (in a fucking slasher film, for the love of the flying spaghetti monster) and remarkably boring, and the whole Crazy Girls Unlimited sequences drag on far too much. Yes, I appreciate the effort to be a bit more cerebral, but the model here should have been Robocop and not whatever the hell they think they’re actually playing at.
The other problem is that the film is paste-eatingly stupid. Despite attempts at being clever, it doesn’t miss a single tried and tested slasher beat, yet still manages to leave vast plot holes that become irritating. Why, for example, does the killer go down to Daytona to slaughter everyone at the Crazy Girls shoot, when her targets are NOT FUCKING THERE? And don’t get me started on the lazy bloody characterisation and bedroom scene with the group of random cockends that turn up out of the blue. Not fucking good enough, writers, and that’s presuming I forget about the frankly fucking stupid way that Jessie checks out.
All in all, really, stupidity is something that I tend to want in these films. I expect a certain level of dumbness from the characters; such as the virgin going up the stairs to investigate a noise. I, honestly, hope that someone says “I’m off to get beer, I’ll be right back” (Someone does, incidentally), but there’s a difference between a convention and crass fucking idiocy. Here the motivation for much of the action(probably in the name of satire) is so god damned flimsy and idiotic that when coupled with the other plot failings it can be little more than annoying.
Finally, I am going to ask again for a fucking moratorium on bloody Scooby Doo endings in slasher films. It’s particularly egregious here in that if you can’t work out who the killer is (and the blatant red herring fails dismally) then, really, don’t ever watch a slasher film again. The motivation is so, so stupid and obvious, and the movement of the killer so clearly suggestive, that it’s completely pointless to even try to pretend that the killer isn’t going to be who you think it will be.
Overall: Girls Gone Dead is a totally meh film. If you want to see a shit load of nudity, and an excess of gore then it really isn’t too bad. However, if you’re not a 14 year old boy, and expect just a little bit more from a horror movie then I’d suggest giving it a skip. I don’t really recommend this one, which isn’t no surprise, but I’m not going to attempt to put anyone off- it just kind of exists, doesn’t suck too hard, then buggers off leaving a faint whiff of flatulence behind it.
In all honesty, all the component parts are here for a great beer driven schlockfest, but it’s sunk by some pretty inept writing.
I haven’t a clue where I’m going next, but until then,