Gender monstrosity

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Deadgirl (2008) is based around a group of male teens discovering and claiming ownership of a bound female zombie, using her as a sex slave. This narrative premise raises numerous tensions that are particularly amplified by using a zombie as the film’s central victim. The Deadgirl is sexually passive yet monstrous, reifying the horrors associated with the female body in patriarchal discourses. She is objectified on the basis of her gender, and this has led many reviewers to dismiss the film as misogynistic Torture Porn. However, the conditions under which masculinity is formed here – where adolescent males become "men" by enacting sexual violence – are as problematic as the specter of the female zombie. Deadgirl is clearly horrific and provocative: in this article I seek to probe implications arising from the film’s gender conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-539
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2013


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