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SuicideGirls Must Die! [Unrated]

First Look Pictures // Unrated // June 29, 2010
List Price: $28.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Tyler Foster | posted July 24, 2010 | E-mail the Author
In an effort to expand their brand, adult entertainment site SuicideGirls moved from the web to the DVD market with titles like SuicideGirls: The First Tour and SuicideGirls: Italian Villa. I haven't seen them, but based on the trailers on this disc (and a healthy dose of general assumption), they seem to be your basic "behind-the-scenes" DVDs. Now, they're offering two slightly less-standard programs: The SuicideGirls Guide to Living and SuicideGirls Must Die!. The former is a collection of Earth-stoppingly important tips, like how to bail on your wedding and how to kill a vampire. I ended up with the latter, which is supposedly a hidden-camera horror film, shot without the girls' knowledge.

The premise is simple: 14 of the SuicideGirls are packed up (Amina, Bailey, Bully, Daven, Evan, Fractal, James, Joleigh, Mary, Quinne, Roach, Roza, Sawa and Soren), assistant (Rigel) in tow, and carted out to a secluded location where they'll shoot a calendar. Of course, girls start going missing, and it quickly becomes clear that something's rotten in Denmark. And I'll give the film a tiny measure of credit: I suppose in theory it's more creative than a video calendar, and it shows that someone's trying to think outside the box. Unfortunately, the movie is pretty unrelentingly awful, thanks to two key factors, the first one hanging over the entire production at all times, and the latter a gradually building problem that slowly consumes the film.

First: there's just no way this movie isn't 90% straight up staged. I admit, there are a couple of girls here (like Joleigh) who are at least surprisingly good actors, and maybe one or two isolated moments (when the camera gets extra grainy) are genuine, but it's clear that nobody considered the logistics of how hard it would have been to actually make a bunch of innocent people fear for their life, and the project had to be almost entirely patched up with fakery after the fact. One of the movie's centerpieces is a "confessional" booth with a camera pointed at the occupant, and whenever something goes wrong, everyone ends up filtering in to vent or cry. Most of these "talking head" pieces are so unbelievable they're almost painful, instantly ruining all pretense of credibility. I can't stand it when someone's trying and failing to mimic the specific syntax of a conversational, casual, candid stream-of-consciousness; something about the gap between success and failure deeply irks me, and most of these girls definitely can't stick the landing. Even worse, whoever edited the program decided the most important thing to do with these segments is repeat things the audience already knows. A girl will vanish, and almost like clockwork, three snippets of different girls saying "X is gone!" from the booth will play. The cinematography of the film also breaks several logical rules that prove the film is staged (it's suspiciously easy to get shots of a boat in the middle of the lake late in the film).

Second, and perhaps more importantly, I'm left wondering why I should care. SuicideGirls Must Die! falls back on my least favorite conflict of all time as backbone for the plot: social drama. Everyone talks behind each others' backs, passes judgment, is uncooperative, and generally comes off as self-absorbed (once again, with the exception of Joleigh, who is actually given a reaction that seems fitting of a real person in the same situation). The two worst offenders here are the models Fractal and Amina, who, if in the exceptionally unlikely case that this movie isn't super, ultra, mega-fake, should really consider that they're both genuinely awful people with terrible attitudes. This high school-level soap opera intermingles with the poorly-executed staging in a way that amplifies both of them, while the film's melodramatic music and editing ram the point home even further.

But I guess if you came for the girls, the movie kind of delivers. There's certainly more than enough nudity to go around, and if the SuicideGirls are your thing, maybe that's enough value to make it worth your time and money. Still, with those other DVDs available, or, you know, a subscription to the website in question equally within reach, why add bad acting and false advertising to the mix?

SuicideGirls Must Die! comes in a fairly nice thin digibook with a cardboard band around it trumpeting the "reality horror movie" angle. It's a little heavy on fonts and the little "notes" scribbled on it are kind of dumb, but it's a nice-looking package.

The Video and Audio
Must Die was shot on a number of video sources, so some of the footage is really grainy, some of it is hand-held consumer-grade video quality, etc., but for the most part, the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is underwhelming. It looks fine for what it is, I suppose, but it's definitely on the soft side, and you can see jagged edges whenever a photo pops on the screen.

Dolby Digital 5.1 is included. It's mixed kind of loud, probably because the shooting style could have obscured much of the movie's sterling dialogue, but other than that it's perfectly run-of-the-mill. English captions for the deaf and hard of hearing and Spanish subtitles are also included, as is a 2.0 mix.

The Extras
Only one video extra on this disc: a very short interview called "Rigel's Confessional" (2:05), which only runs two minutes, but more than half of it is probably footage from the movie. Other than that, there's a photo gallery made up of the shoots done during the movie, which I guess is a nice, logical extra, but the pictures are kind of small, and nudity or no nudity, photos on DVD have never really appealed to me.

Trailers for Suicide Girls: The Italian Villa, Suicide Girls Guide to Living, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (um, yep), and the insanely bad-looking Costa Rican Summer play before the menu. A trailer for SuicideGirls Must Die! is also included.

Unless you're a hardcore SG fan, SuicideGirls Must Die is a vaguely promising concept wasted because the film doesn't follow through. And even then, I can't imagine it being particularly revealing or special; you'd just know the girls were genuinely terrified, which, frankly, would've just made me feel sorry for them. Skip it.

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