Axe Wound. Golden Shower. Rump Roast.
These are the names of the scenes within Ryan Nicholson’s newest effort titled “Dead Nude Girls” (available mid-April 2014 from www.Plotdigger.com). The film plays out similar to a personal video diary of a madman, with sadistic vignettes that paint a portrait (with blood) of a truly disturbed individual. Nicholson himself delivers the goods as the purveyor of gore–unleashing torrents of bloodshed for the camera.
“Dead Nude Girls” is something completely different. The envelope has not only been pushed but pushed off the edge of the universe and into another dimension. Remember the home movie Otis and Henry (“Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer”) were watching on TV after ‘acquiring’ their new camcorder? This is that movie! “Dead Nude Girls” is “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” for a new generation. Although devoid of any coherent plot, “Dead Nude Girls” comfortably finds its niche within the likes of “Nacho Cerda’s Aftermath” and “Guinea Pig II: Flowers of Flesh and Blood.”
After a brief segment of photography/bird watching as well as a quick strangulation to get your blood pumping, Ryan Nicholson delves into the gruel with reckless abandon. The first vignette, aptly titled “Axe Wound”, sounds just as insane as your mind is making it out to be. After being snubbed for a place to make camp (as well as showing off his ‘De-Virginizer’), the killer abducts two girls from their camp site and then takes them both back to his apartment. It is here that Nicholson introduces us to his co-star…a pair of sharp, cold, scissors. Snapping them open and closed while circling the two unconscious girls on the ground, Nicholson made me very nervous. A handful of minutes later, my fears were justified by a thousand fold!
“Golden Shower” is no better. Answering an ad , a girl arrives at the killer’s apartment with the intent on landing a job caring for an elderly person. After a brief (and bizarrely comical) ‘job description’ by the killer, the girl eventually ends up in the shower where rape and evisceration await her nubile body. Then, a small pattern emerges with the killer and a pair of sunglasses. Throughout the first vignette, the killer sports a pair of sunglasses. In “Golden Shower”, the sunglasses return albeit a different color. Could these be alter (homicidal) egos?
The third (and, in my opinion, most heinous) vignette is titled “Rump Roast” and involves two more girls and two more acts of debauchery. No exploitation film is complete without the introduction of mankind’s biggest taboo—cannibalism. The killer is decadent in this final vignette and leaves no skin unravaged. When the film is nearing the end, a serene and gentle melody begins playing over the carnage on the screen. It is here where I experienced one of my many déjà vu moments within this film. For those that can relate, what I was feeling was akin to my first moments witnessing the cannibalistic endeavors during “Cannibal Holocaust” blanketed by the hauntingly beautiful score of the late Riz Ortolani. By no means on the same level as Maestro Ortolani’s masterpiece (with no disrespect intended to Nicholson and Co.), Nicholson does amazing work in accomplishing that nostalgic feeling into his film.
Throughout “Dead Nude Girls”, I was amassed with this terrible feeling of being within an omniscient audience to the brutal acts of violence on screen. Helpless and without will, Nicholson shrewdly deconstructed my emotions into a pile of useless mulch. Nicholson also made me hyper-aware of the actions of his killer. I began conferring within my mental notes and unsheathed a plethora of information I’ve stored over the years. Carl Jung and the Duality of Man, multiple serial killer profiles, psychological reports on genital mutilation (yes I actually studied that in college), etc. The point being, Nicholson set out to make a decadent film with no coherent plot and tons of blood, intestines, and gore and STILL I managed to get the mental gears running. Sometimes there are no hidden messages prevalent within.
The killer in “Dead Nude Girls” is definitely something of an enigma. I found myself wondering about his back-story and the trauma that he suffered (most likely as a child). Here we have a killer that murders at will and is more comfortable penetrating these women with sharp objects than with his own body. After watching these exploits on screen, I would be hard-pressed not to label this murderer more dangerous than the likes of Panzram, Bundy, and Kürten.
Fans of exploitation cinema and excessive gore films will find Ryan Nicholson “Dead Nude Girls” a welcomed addition to their screens. If you thought the XXX version of “Hanger” went all the way, just wait until you get a load of Dead Nude Girls—54 minutes of visceral depravity.
– 1985 A.D.