Thursday, March 22, 2018

BUFF ’18: The Theta Girl

You have to wonder how many fraternities and sororities knew the Greek letter theta was an ancient symbol of death. Gayce Delko probably did when she named the designer hallucinogen she peddles Theta. She considers herself a punk rock Aldous Huxley, but she is in totally over her head. However, she is too handy with a sawed-off shotgun to be considered a victim. In fact, she will get herself some big-time payback in Christopher Bickels’ The Theta Girl (trailer here), which screens tonight as part of the 2018Boston Underground Film Festival.

Delko sort of manages the all-woman dirt-punk band The Truth Foundation and sells her product in the clubs they play. However, Theta is an unusual drug that induces a shared collective high amongst everyone using at a given time. It really does open doors—in this case whisking users off to a cosmic plane inhabited by a weird pixie deity, somewhat reminiscent of MST3K’s Mr. B. Natural.

Everything is all fine and good, with Delko splitting all her proceeds with her oversexed bisexual talent, until Brother Marcus, a psychotic apocalyptic fundamentalist is doused and ferried off to the domain of “The Entity.” Believing the all-powerful pixie will bring about the Rapture if he can build up the initial momentum, Brother M and his two reluctant sidekicks start knocking off everyone else associated with Theta in a spectacularly gory fashion, including most of Truth Foundation. That makes Delko mean-mad, so she teams up with Derek, her (late) supplier’s middle man, to avenge the band.

Then it starts getting kind of violent—and tripped out. Yeah, you could say it is all slightly grindhouse. Basically, it is all about drugs, sex, violence, and punk rock. However, it is still disappointing Bickels and screenwriter David Axe make the villains Christian fanatics. Seriously, would it have killed them to make the bad guys Third Imam Islamist fundamentalists? Oh right, it actually could have. Christians—they’re always the safe, turn-the-other-cheek villains.

Be that as it is, it must be noted how awesomely fierce Victoria Elizabeth Donofrio is as Delko. Granted, she is not Kim Ok-vin in The Villainess, but she is up there with Violetta Schurawlow in Cold Hell. She also develops some ambiguously indeterminate chemistry with both Darelle D. Dove and Quinn Deogracias as Derek and Yolanda, the Truth Foundation’s lead vocalist.

Surely, you have a good idea whether Theta Girl will float your boat by now. On some level, you have to marvel at how steadfastly it defies good taste. The energy is also cranked all the way up, as if the Theta-users popped an amphetamine chaser. Recommended for fans of punk rock neo-grindhouse, The Theta Girl screens tonight (3/22) during the Boston Underground Film Festival.