The Theta Girl, the debut film from David Axe and Christopher Bickel, has finally arrived and it is ready to kick your ass. Taking the punk rock aesthetic of Penelope Spheeris, the urban sleaze of Abel Ferrara, and the over-the-top violence and sexuality of a Category 3 film, this existential exploitation flick is a soon-to-be classic for every underground film lover and trash cinema collector.
A down-and-out drug dealer, Gayce (Victoria Elizabeth Donofrio), slings a Lemonhead looking hallucinogenic with hopes of getting her clients more than just high. The drug, known as theta, not only blows the minds of its users, it opens their consciousness to another plane of existence. Some, including Gayce, see it as a door to heaven. Others see it as a gateway to hell. Either way, bodies, including her friends, begin piling up around her and Gayce must close the door to the evil she has unleashed on Earth and her reality.
The Theta Girl’s plot continually builds on existential philosophy regarding what religion, and God, represent to various people. It’s heady subject matter but director Christopher Bickel and writer David Axe handle it with sure-fire deft, keeping the Roger Corman-esque exploitation firmly front and center. And viewer beware, despite the subject matter, this is no indie arthouse film. This is sleaze at a breakneck pace – showcasing the most graphic sex scenes and gore I have seen all year. And if you are able to look past the extremity of it all, viewers may be surprised to see slick cinematography that is quite impressive at times, all wrapped up in a complex plot that has far more to offer than just tits and gore.