Reviewed by Johnny Butane
Starring Leslie Andrews, John McGarr, Charlie Trepany, Stephen Geoffreys
Directed by Eben McGarr
You really can’t get a more descriptive title than Sick Girl for this twisted slice of indie goodness. Though the production values aren’t top notch, the acting is questionable and some plot elements will make your eyes roll back in your head, it’s still a slice above most indie fare.
The story is of Izzy (Andrews), a girl whose been left in charge of taking care of her younger brother after her parents die and her older brother, who she’s in love with, leaves to join the Marines. Smart move on his part, all things considered. Izzy is very protective of her younger brother and will do anything to stop him from being picked on. Anything.
The only parental supervision they have is Barney (McGarr), a huge biker with a gentle soul. He was a friend of their dad’s, you see, and feels responsible for making sure the kids are okay. Not responsible enough to take away the hand-cannon Lexxie buys her 9-year-old brother for Christmas, but responsible enough to at least make a fuss about it.
Among the rest of her problems, Izzy has a penchant for violence, as well. If you wrong her or her brother, chances are she’s going to either kill you quick, if you’re lucky, or capture you and put you in her barn, if you’re unlucky. Either way your demise is going to be nasty and humiliating. That’s just how Izzy rolls.
You see, what Sick Girl lacks in strong thespian talent or compelling storytelling it makes up for in pure fucked-upness. Kids kill kids, kids kill themselves, a girl is raped by a severed penis, a nun is pissed on, a sister soul kisses her older brother like it’s going out of style … and more There are quite a few “what the fuck?!” moments in Sick Girl, usually brought on by Izzy’s sudden mood swings and violent outbursts.
Unfortunately Sick Girl also spends way too much time showing you the “normal” side of Izzy’s life, which is terribly dull. I know it was done to establish just how surprising her true nature will be to most when they find out what she’s been doing, but the scenes rely on these characters to act, which most of them aren’t very good at. Surprisingly Stephen Geoffreys turns in one of the most believable performances as a schoolteacher whose rat is stolen & starved by the school bully.
You’ll spend a lot of time waiting for the next horrific thing to happen, but when it does you’ll likely feel it was worth the wait. You can feel that there’s some real potential in this troupe, all they need to do is focus on making sure more time is spent on the performances, because that really was the most distracting part of the whole experience.
McGarr has a seriously twisted idea of horror and something tells me Sick Girl is just scratching the surface of what we’re going to see from him in the future. Synapse has the film slotted for a 2009 DVD release and you really should give it a chance if you’re patience for indies is strong, Sick Girl’s got a lot going for it.
3 out of 5
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