One of the things that we need to talk about is why, as horror fans, are we so damn obsessed with the 1980’s. There are plenty of decades that have just as many credible horror flicks as the 80’s. Hell, there may be a decade in there that surpasses the 80’s in volume of fan loved films (no… YES!). What’s the reason for our fetish? What’s the obsession? Why do we pounce on the Blu Ray release of movies we still own VHS copies (and cling to the old format lovingly)? Well, it’s the same reason you’re going to find Girls Gone Dead entertaining. The tag line: Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Topless. My initial impression: No one wants to see these man boobs (moobs), but I can pretend I’m seventeen again and let the nips fall where they may. That’s why we love those damn 80’s flicks. Because all of us wish we starred in Porkys and had permission slips to let it all hang out.
Though I would not in any capacity call this a throwback or retro film, nor is it trying to be one of those nouveau-80’s chic films that are popping up all over the place, Girls Gone Dead succeeds for the same reason as the films hailing from our beloved decade. Girls Gone Dead has the appropriate level of cheese to cover your freshly delivered pizza pie while realizing that, “hey, I’m a movie called Girls Gone Dead… I think I’m allowed to have fun”. Gratuitous nudity, add some seriously fun axe/bludgeoning deaths with plenty of splatter and, well… THAT’S THE 80’S. Decadence. Hedonistic filmmaking with purpose which is: to bring in the bucks while preparing for the potential sequel and hopefully a franchise deal.
This flicks is about a gaggle of hotties who go on spring break at a rental property only to find out that a production company that makes super sleazy, reality videos about co-eds getting naked has parked in nearby Daytona Beach, FL (where boobs have their own zip code or so I’m told). The murders begin. Thrust. Repeat. We’re not talking about the next film on the AFI top 100 list here, people. Didn’t the name tell you everything you needed to know? If not, the trailer (you couldn’t resist that could you?).
Girls Gone Dead also attaches itself quite nicely to the American Pie, teen movie craze of the late 90’s/early 2000’s. Group of friends on a trip, going to break the rules and fulfill some unwritten rite of passage and then the dirty jokes start. I’m afraid the film is missing the same lovable characters that make American Pie and its brethren successful, but what it lacks in Stiflers and Stifler’s moms you make up for with appearances by Jerry “The King” Lawler of wrestling royalty. You find the ever lovely and much adored scream queen Linnea Quigley. Ron Jeremy (if he needs an introduction, you need to figure out if you’ve breached puberty). Plenty of star power or maybe you’d call it anti-star power. These are the kings and queens of the media or sport from which they stem (no offense to Beetlejuice or Howard Stern with that remark… Beetlejuice is also in the film). There’s something comforting in the lack of A-listers. Tara Reid, there are a dozen like you and they’re here and they’re funny even if you really are hot and quite funny!
There’s an appropriate level of gore that keeps it outside the realm of gross out, but we’ll keep your average horror fan entertained. This movie has a pre-Saw/Hostel feel. Before you had to worry about taking your significant other to a theater. You’ll have to catch this one on Netflix On-Demand or other online retail facility so no back row make out nookie for you. You cut that hole in the bottom of the popcorn tub for NOTHING!
Michael Hoffman, Jr., our fearless director, has positioned himself nicely among the fun loving filmmakers of our era. He uses the correct amount of blood and boob balanced with camp and humor to make you… well, entertained. It’s okay to enjoy watching this cast die. It’s why you picked up the movie that is unless you were trying to watch Girls Gone Wild On-Demand. It’s a nice play on that popular smut series. I’ll be taking a gander at Spring Break Massacre (one of Hoffman’s early works) and I’ll give you my thoughts on that in a future write up, but the word is that if you like Girls Gone Dead, you will be a smitten kitten with SBM.
So you wanna have fun and not take a movie too seriously? Wanna leave your TV a happier horror fan and not worry about talking about a movie with your coworkers around the water cooler (Remember my thoughts on A Serbian Film and the danger’s of talking with your coworkers about it?). This movie has you in mind. It’s a good movie to get your drink on to. It’s not a bad “night on the couch with your wife or girlfriend” flick as long as she likes titties and homicide. If you’ve been aching for something that’s not torture porn, won’t make you think and has your most perved-out interested in mind, thank Michael Hoffman, Jr. and get your bikini on… or take it off.