When you hear that an indie horror film was made on a budget of about the price of a used car, you never know what to expect. Usually, you get zombies, demonic possessions, or haunted houses. You know, the easier things to pull off with simple practical effects, amateur actors, and equipment rented over a series of weekends in borrowed apartments/houses or warehouse locations with the occasional cheap greenscreen thrown in for flavor. What you don’t expect is The Theta Girl. This film explodes onto the screen like the lovechild of Ted V. Mikels and Jodorowsky, skull-fucks you like a tag team of Blue Sunshine and Blood Feast, and when it’s done you will say, “Thank you, may I have another.” Written by David Axe, directed by Christopher Bickel, and shot mostly in Columbia, South Carolina (with a climax filmed in Inman, SC), The Theta Girl is one of the most ambitious low-budget horror films I’ve ever seen, swaggering onto the screen with more confidence and imagination than it has any right to. I fell in love from the opening sequence as our titular Theta Girl, Gayce (Victoria Elizabeth Donofrio) walks seedy nighttime streets in a series of shots that would be perfectly at home in Basket Case or Maniac Cop. The basic story is fairly straightforward: To help support her friends’ all-girl punk band, Gayce sells a hallucinogenic drug called Theta that triggers a metaphysical experience that is shared with other users, but after a particularly intense trip, Gayce’s friends are brutally murdered and it’s up to her and her dealer, Derek (Darrelle D. Dove), to find and stop the killer. Seems simple enough, right? Then you skipped right over that bit about “a hallucinogenic drug called Theta that triggers a metaphysical experience that is shared with other users.” Even without the surreal explorations of consciousness and a refreshingly nihilistic apocalyptic streak, The Theta Girl would be notable for its excellent use of local music, bloody practical effects, and absolute indifference to the viewers’ comfort levels. There’s rampant drug use, full-frontal nudity, both gay and straight orgies, and gory death all wrapped up in a conflict between a religion-fueled murder spree and a lust for righteous spiritual revenge. Victoria Elizabeth Donofrio is sublime as Gayce, channeling innocence, experience, and rage from moment to moment, and Shane Silman, as Brother Marcus, is (no pun intended) a revelation. While Donofrio nails her role as the film’s protagonist, Silman does a lot of heavy lifting, grounding nearly every scene he’s in and making what could have been a walking cliché into something much more interesting and satisfying. Particularly when it comes to the film’s bloody climax. This film is a testament to what you can do in low-budget film if you set your mind to it. And if you’re not sure where to start, the end credits give you a little push, listing the three cameras used – a Canon 80D, a DJI Osmo, and a GoPro Hero Black (which, after a quick google search, can be rented for a week at under 200 bucks ALL TOGETHER) – as well as specifying that the film was edited in Adobe Premiere. You are then encouraged to “make your own fucking movie”! So write that shit down and get on with it. The Theta Girl is currently playing festivals across the US and is a semi-finalist for the Optical Theatre Festival in Rome, Italy. Be sure to follow the Theta Girl Facebook page to find out where it might pop up in your area. Until then, here’s a taste of what to expect: Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.