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Askew Review 15

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(Synapse Films)  2009.  Horror/Exploitation.  79 Minutes.  Not Rated.  Contains torture, strong language, some sexual content, graphic violence and violence involving minors.  Leslie Andrews plays the role of Izzy, a cute local girl who takes care of her younger brother Kevin once her older brother Rusty leaves to fight the war overseas.  Izzy is careful, thoughtful and deadly unstable.  For those who cross her or her family, they become her victims of her insanity.
  Sick Girl is not for the weak at stomach.  There are scenes of twisted torture that guys and gals alike will grind their teeth, will cross their legs and will turn away at.  Death photographer Leslie Andrews is cute, in an odd sense, as she plays the local castaway.  Her enthusiasm for her works really carries over into her performance because as you watch her you believe her intensity and her motives in wanting to take a life.  She makes it seem casual and common which is darn right scary …and a little sexy.  Nobody is safe from Izzy, not even children and that is what makes the situation believable.  The story itself isn’t linear.  We jump back to flashbacks to learn more about the background of Izzy and Rusty.  There are moments of jump cuts back and forth from a previous scene to a current scene and, for an independent picture, I have to say that it worked for Sick Girl and it looked very professional.  The gore effects are spectacular when they are actually shown but, and I’m guessing here, since there isn’t much of a budget, the effects team, or guy, probably didn't have much to work with.  This induced many quick cuts and the hope of implying your own creative device on the audiences’ part.  I had issues with the dialogue.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is a bit weak and muffled and softened at times but loud ambience sounds, like a motorcycle reving up, really stood out.  Another issue with the dialogue is that it comes off very dry, monotone and very robotic.  It displays too much exposition and too many repeats of stuff already covered.  Other than that, the overall satisfaction of Sick Girl is high and the accompanying extras are remarkable for such an indie picture.  Be sure to check out “Death by…” featurette with Leslie Andrews and the interview with “Evil Ed,” Stephen Geoffreys, who has been away from horror for too long and has finally come out of his gay porn stint.  Sick Girl presents itself in anamophoric 1.78:1 widescreen which isn't great but it makes a huge difference from pan and scan. – Steven Lewis



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