The Theta Girl
By Dr. Michelle Conty
Last fall I had the opportunity to watch The Theta Girl – an
independent horror flick directed by Chris Bickel and submitted to Horrorhound
Film Festival. I enjoyed the film and
wrote a review of the art-meets-exploitation flick. Not long after my review was published, I was contacted by
Bickel. The team released a tighter cut
of the film, and they welcomed my opinion.
I was honored by their offer and re-watched the film.
The Theta Girl may be showing us the New Survivor girl of
horror. Gayce, played by the hard
stomping, strong gazed, Victoria Elizabeth Donofrio, shows no interest in being
the +1 for anybody – male, female, or other.
Finally, a female hero who isn’t sexualized! Gayce is a smart, strong, beautiful young
woman with street-smarts, and business sense; and her business is selling a
hallucinogenic drug called Theta.
While Gayce’s drug dealing helps facilitate an audience for
her friends’ all-girl rock band; the band was pretty strong without the drug
trip. It’s refreshing to see so many
strong female characters in one film.
Another area where this film shows its cultural relevance is
during an orgy scene. People of various colors, body shapes, and sexual
orientations are consensually getting down.
This isn’t a pack of Vicky-Secret models as we are used to seeing in sex
scenes – these are real people, portrayed in a healthy, enlightened
When Gayce’s friends are brutally murdered, including
(spoiler alert) a mute homeless man whose character came across as the epitome
of kindness, Gayce sets about to solving the mystery without the help of the
local police. Blood and gore abound in
this existentialist thriller.
With a low budget of approximately $10,000, Director Bickel
produces a film that is strong and clever.
Bloody, violent, and raw with moments of tenderness, particularly with
the afore mentioned homeless fellow, The Theta Girl cuts the throat of the status
quo, and remembers to roll the body.
The punk-rock soundtrack is a frantic heartbeat to this
potent film. There are still some rough
spots, but that’s the beauty of Indie film and the cornerstone of
punk-rock. The film team is still working on distribution, but you can
see The Theta Girl at the upcoming Horrorhound Weekend Film Festival in
Cincinnati, Ohio, March 23-25.