Before we get into the review — hell, before we get into the synopsis, I want to warn you before reading the following piece. The Theta Girl is one of those films that, if you are like me, is better going into completely ignorant. It’s incredibly well done, especially for an exploitation film, and has a very interesting set of characters and a trippy story that is better viewed organically than with set expectations. If you like (or like watching) orgies, drugs, rock, punk, gore, blasphemy and overall madness, then trust me and make a plan to see the film, either at one of the upcoming theatrical releases or when it comes to Bluray or DVD. It won’t disappoint. Right, with that out of the way, let’s pop that pill and talk about one of the best exploitations films in a generation.
Gayce, a take-no-shit young woman, deals a hallucinogenic drug called “theta,” facilitating an audience for her friends’ all-girl rock band. When Gayce’s friends are brutally murdered, she must solve the mystery behind the murders and protect herself from the killer. She discovers the connections between theta and the murders — and learns a terrifying truth. That the world — indeed her whole reality — is not as it seems.
Directed by Christopher Bickel and written and produced by David Axe, The Theta girl is, in their own words, an “exercise in sex, drugs, punk rock, brutality, gore, revenge, and self-actualization ... but really it's an art film.” Starring Victoria Elizabeth Donofrio as our leading lady Gayce, Shane Silman as the murderous Brother Marcus and Darrelle Dove as the unfortunate Derek, The Theta Girl will take you on a trip that is out of this world — literally. There have been a handful of movies that have used a similar plot successfully in the past; a psychotropic drug opening the mind to new dimensions and the creature(s) that dwell there, but few have managed to do so as an indie exploitation film of this caliber. The Theta Girl goes balls out, literally and figuratively, from start to gory finish. Where other films in the genre use graphic nudity and gore for shock value, The Theta Girl manages to keep in relevant to the plot and as tasteful as one possibly can when working with disemboweled youths and drug-induced orgies — an applaudable feat.
The score is fantastic and adds immensely to the feel of the film; the anarchic punk songs of the soundtrack and the eerie ambiance of the background tracks both blending well together. The music very much lends us insight as to the mood of the characters; coming on and coming down, sadness, fear, regret — all of the emotions seemingly having their own theme song which, for me, added to the overall experience in a very positive way. All the music is available for streaming, purchase, and download from Bandcamp here. I personally went and picked up a track or two after watching the film as some were pretty catchy and I am listening to them as I write this piece. Respect to whomever took the time to compile the soundtrack, you deserve a medal.
The cinematography was also top-notch — not just the gore, guts and streams of blood, but the hallucination world (the trip?) that the characters enter is also very well crafted for what must have been a limited budget. Nothing felt cheap or film-schoolish, which is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in indie films. All of the sets are real and grungy; from the bars, streets, and alleys, to the farmhouses and churches that our protagonists murder, defile and blast their way through. The editing, shots, and camera work are all noteworthy, again adding to the very A-grade feel of the film.
There were some moments that did feel a little grindhouse, especially when it came to the acting. Certain actors were better than others, and while that was probably one of the two downsides of the film, it was still very forgivable as half the cast was supposed to be fucked out of their minds most of the time. The other negative for me was the last act. It wasn’t a bad ending per se, I just wish they had continued to push the envelope like with the first acts. I wanted something more bizarre; more obscene…something more of a mind-fuck that the film was teasing earlier on.
Overall though, fantastic movie. I enjoyed every blood-soaked minute of it, probably because a lot of it was relatable. Not the murderous rampage parts of course, but drug-fueled orgies and tripping out in dive bars will always be fond memories for me. As stated at the start, there are some limited screenings currently showing in the US which I will post below and if you can make it to one of those, do yourself a favour. If not, make a note of this one and see it when you can. Catch the trailer below and as always, stay sordid.
July 26, 7:30 P.M. MDT
Colorado Springs 13
Colorado Springs, CO
July 27, 7:00 P.M. MDT
The Gorehound’s Playground
Fort Collins, CO
July 31, 7:30 P.M. EST
Azalea Square Stadium 16 & RPX
July 31, 7:30 P.M. PST
Sept. 4, 7:30 PM EST
Sept. 4, 7:30 P.M. AKDT
Dimond Center 9 Cinemas
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.