Films & Schedules

  • Deadgirl

  • Marcel Sarmiento

  • Gadi Harel

101 minutes

Production Company:
Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Harel
Trent Haaga
Production Designer:
Diana Zeng
Harris Charalambous
Phillip Blackford
Phillip Blackford
Joseph Bauer
Principal Cast: Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Michael Bowen, Candice Accola

International Sales Agent:
The Collective/XYZ Films

Saturday September 0611:59PM RYERSON Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Monday September 0805:00PM AMC 2 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1209:00PM AMC 6 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Bound to draw controversy by virtue of its premise alone, Deadgirl spins a smart and surprisingly funny tale of friendship, morality and the horror of growing up.

Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) and JT (Noah Segan) are the kids you remember from high school as skids or bangers – dudes from the wrong side of the tracks. One afternoon, the pair skip class and escape their adolescent despair by quaffing beers and causing mischief at an abandoned mental hospital. Breaking through a rusted door that leads into a boiler room, they discover the naked body of a woman strapped to a gurney and covered in plastic. At first they suspect they've stumbled into the lair of a deranged killer, but the rusted entrance is proof that no one else has been in the space for years.

Things take a dark turn when the body shows signs of life, and JT suggests he and Rickie shouldn't waste the opportunity to have some lewd and lusty fun with their naked captive. Horrified and disgusted by his friend's intentions in this unusual circumstance, Rickie struggles with his own moral compass. When word of their discovery spreads, a dangerous battle of wills erupts between friends, leading to a disturbing climax.

Directors Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel took on a script deemed “too shocking to produce” and managed to avoid the pitfalls of exploitation, successfully delivering outrageous and sardonic thrills and chills. While already sounding perverse, Trent Haaga's script also contains a supernatural angle that puts the situation even more over the edge, chucking the old-fashioned concept of a coming-of-age film into the garbage.

Deadgirl was shot completely digitally, the first feature production to use the Codex “tapeless” system, continuing a trend first pioneered by David Fincher for his recent film Zodiac, but applying it to an indie budget.

Deadgirl is equal parts twisted teen comedy, unsettling dark fantasy and good old-fashioned horror. Not recommended for first dates… unless they're already dead!

Colin Geddes

Marcel Sarmiento was a participant in the new director's programme at Twentieth Century Fox's Searchlab, where he made It's Better to Be Wanted for Murder Than Not to Be Wanted at All (03). His other feature films include Heavy Petting (07) and Deadgirl (08).

Gadi Harel spent his early career as an apprentice to a private eye, wrote periodically for The Learning Channel and reported for The New York Observer. His films include Nights Like These (03) and Deadgirl (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award