Director Michael Hoffman Jr. working with screenwriter Meghan Jones, noting their fourth time to collaborate on a horror film that swirls around the sorority girl horror topics and here with Girls Gone Dead, no different except it is a play on words for Girls Gone Wild; although, not a straight parody. The homage does extend often enough throughout the production and assisted by co-director Aaron T. Wells who helps with making constant references to other horror classics from the 1980s, which adds an entertaining value. As interesting side note this is the second time Hoffman bases a film on the theme of spring break, the other film was Spring Break Massacre (2008).
Speaking of values, a wonderful cast of b-movie actors fills out the edges of the film, with campy dialogue, providing reference material to the massacre series such as sorority and slumber party. Scream queen legend Linnea Quigley makes the briefest cameo, as the owner of a tiki bar with a fake Australian accent, another cheesy campy fun moment, for many it is a letdown, a star of over ninety horror films with a role in highly anticipated Adam Ahlbrandt’s Hunters (2015) with such a minor role. Then add in a cameo from Shawn C. Phillips who just gets ‘lucky’ in his role, before making the stage effort left for die. The storyline involves Rebecca (Katie Peterson who is one of the few stars in the film without pre-horror film credits) a young woman leading a sheltered life, filled with harsh treatments from a religious mother. Her friends all ex-cheerleaders with one using her father’s home near Daytona for a vacation, the only issue is it’s located in a retirement community, no problem, they head to party zone in Florida, with celeb Beetlejuice (himself) filming ‘Crazy Girls Unlimited’. The body count for horror fans starts early, never actually stops, thankfully, thanks to a killer in a red cloak and original weapon. Her friends do not break with horror’s stereotypical identification markers, and adding clichés and arrogant Missy (Shea Stewart), Lisa (Krystyna Ahlers), Kelly (Caley Hayes), and teased Jessie (Ryan Keely). However a standout in this nudity filled ride, Ron Jeremy, the adult star performer though not the only one in this film, but the most noted, with over 55 horror film titles to list of credits, who curses and complains about no paycheck till mayhem starts, signaling to gore-hounds to prepare for excitement. One needs to enjoy the credits for the action doesn’t stop, not for this 100-plus minute film, Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain sings a country (for those unaware he’s the drummer in the said metal band), and Jerry Lawler, of WWE fame, appears for another nutty moment in the credits.
This film never excels past mediocrity and yet still manages to entertain delivering equally with overall constant reminders of religious messages, some coming from b-movie legend Joel D. Wynkoop, while infernal images appear in form of alcohol, sexual situations happening faster than the camera can capture insane moment. The production values stay very high, and give sharpness to each frame, never permitting the film quality to slack, rather to stay true to 80s formulas of slasher and excessive sexual immorals splashing in every manner. The special effects, which can sometimes lack on independent films, find themselves splattering everyone with the bloodlust, especially when the killer uses a medieval weapon, a warhammer – part axe and part hammer, makes a nasty slice and smash, resulting in severed limbs. In addition, the nudity streams in every facet of the movie, providing many lewd references similar to the style of Broken Lizard’s Club Dread; even though the dialogue falls into a sarcastic tone repeating constantly only broken with profanity laced
If one sought a ridiculous over-the-top barring it all for the camera’s eye, then Girls Gone Dead is exactly what you want, completely effective in delivering all the passion of horror, gore, blood, and scantily clad women. All morals find themselves checked at the door, except when the religious mother and boyfriend enters into the mix, otherwise exaggerated to absurd levels and intent, and sometimes in the horror genre, fans enjoy a return to sorority themed massacres, the movie knows its place and never strives for more acclaimed then it earned. Morgan spreads the slasher material with all the necessary fluff, and gives a great finale, which stretches into and through the credits.
This review originally published in Rogue Cinema’s February issue in 2015 with a view count of 1,774.
IMDb Rating: 3.5/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.5/10