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Tragedy Girls

Other // R // March 29, 2022
List Price: $34.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Justin Remer | posted March 24, 2022 | E-mail the Author

The Movie:

The 2017 slasher comedy Tragedy Girls originally hit Blu-ray back in 2018, but it was an MOD disc with limited bonuses. A few short years later, fans are now treated to a pressed disc with flashy packaging, plus Gunpowder & Sky have loaded up the disc with oodles of new extras.

The film is the kind of self-conscious scarefest that is made for fans who prefer to see the old familiar tropes flipped on their heads. On the self-aware horror-comedy continuum, Tragedy Girls falls closer to the snarky black humor of Freaky and Heathers than the odd sweetness of Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil.

The plot follows teen gals Sadie (Deadpool's Brianna Hildebrand) and McKayla (X-Men: Apocalypse's Alexandra Shipp) as they attempt to build a following for their Tragedy Girls social media brand. To do so, they hijack the murder spree of the Rosedale Ripper (Kevin Durand), a local serial killer. They kidnap the Ripper and start posting on all the platforms about his new brutal murders -- which are actually theirs. The film doesn't really satisfyingly explain how murder = new followers, but there are enough inventive and gory kill scenes (featuring funny guest stars like Josh Hutcherson and Craig Robinson) that viewers probably won't question it -- for a while.

About halfway through the film, you can feel the filmmakers straining for more complications to keep the movie going. So, just as the Tragedy Girls start to taste the glorious internet virality they crave, the Ripper escapes and becomes a killing free-agent they can't control. Also around this time, Jack Quaid (of the 2022 Scream flick), playing Sadie's clueless love interest, ends up coming between the two psychopathic friends and splitting up their double-act for a bit. Eventually, everyone comes back together at the prom -- because it's high school, duh -- but the film just starts wrapping up story threads without finding satisfying ways to do so. Even with a buttload of late-in-the-game exposition, the film fails to really justify its final 20 minutes.

On the other hand, Hildebrand and Shipp make an absolutely perfect team: smart, charming, and adept at serving up the flick's sick humor. The movie might not always deliver, but the two leads consistently do. Slasher fans should stick it out with Tragedy Girls, if only just for the delightfully wicked performances.

The Blu-ray
Tragedy Girls comes with two-sided cover art, plus a limited-edition embossed slipcover if you purchase from the Vinegar Syndrome website.

The Video:
This AVC-encoded 1080p 2.39:1 presentation is strong for a low-budget digitally-shot feature. Colors are rich and saturated. Dark scenes have good detail without looking overly brightened or overlit. No major encoding issues present either.

The Audio:
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix is slick without but not particularly immersive. The music and effects are well-supported and the dialogue is always understandable. One subtitle option: English SDH.

Special Features:

  • Audio commentary by director Tyler MacIntyre and co-writer Chris Lee Hill - Ported over from the 2018 disc.

  • Audio commentary by film historians Kat Ellinger, Lindsay Hallam, and Miranda Corcoran

  • Interview with Tyler MacIntyre (2021) (HD, 11:54) - Co-writer/director MacIntyre talks about the project coming together and his favorite moments working on the film.

  • Interview with Chris Lee Hill (2021) (HD, 9:17) - Co-writer Hill talks about freshening up the slasher genre and the actors' approaches to bringing the script to life.

  • Conversation with director Tyler MacIntyre (2017) (HD, 34:49) - Obviously some overlap with the more recent interview, but MacIntyre goes into more detail about the film's production here.

  • Cheerleaders, Hottie Deaths & Cars (HD, 4:48) - Three moments of fairly raw B-roll from the set.

  • Most Gruesome Deaths (HD, 7:46) - Behind-the-scenes of the wood shop and gym sequences, plus some script-to-screen comparisons.

  • Movie Magic: Raw Footage vs. Finished Version (HD, 1:57) - Kind of a misnomer. More like "how it looked on set to the EPK crew vs. how it looks in the film."

  • Raw Behind-the-Scenes Footage (HD, 40:18) - A longer collection of commentary-free B-roll, including some material that pops up in the other featurettes.

  • Shooting the Motorcycle Crash (HD, 5:26) - Sorry, Josh Hutcherson.

  • Costume Sketches & Fittings (HD, 3:45)

  • Mask Designs & Camera Tests (HD, 3:11)

  • Special Makeup Effects Photo Gallery (HD, 2:33)

  • Selected Storyboards (HD, 7:58)

  • Red Carpet at Screamfest 2017 (HD, 7:37) - The cast shares their first impressions of the flick at the premiere.

  • Q&A at Screamfest 2017 (HD, 14:47)

  • Trailers

Final Thoughts:
Not perfect, but Tragedy Girls is plenty entertaining for folks who like their slashers smart, sassy, and self-aware. Recommended.

Justin Remer is a frequent wearer of beards. His new album of experimental ambient music, Joyce, is available on Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple, and wherever else fine music is enjoyed. He directed a folk-rock documentary called Making Lovers & Dollars, which is now streaming. He also can found be found online reading short stories and rambling about pop music.

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