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Mark McClain Wilson,
A drug-addicted psychiatrist inherits the case of twin sisters who speak to nobody and do everything in complete synchronization. Will she be able crack their mysterious case or will she die trying? Set in the deteriorating vistas of rust-belt Pittsburgh, Strange Girls is a dark tale of horror, manipulation, violence, and obsession. Written by
In this blackly comic character study, bloody results ensue when psychically-bonded twin mental patients cope with the outside world under less than ideal circumstances.
With strong shadings of the real life case of the notorious Gibbons Twins,
(LINKS: http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts-ents/stage-visual- arts/tragic-tale-of-twins-and-their-secret-world-1.1045865 and http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20094856,00.html )
gritty Pittsburgh locations accent this quirky, well-made independent effort. While darkly tongue-in-cheek, Strange Girls spans several genres - character study, romance, and slasher -with unexpected plot points and an ambiguous ending. It somehow manages to get where it's going, maintaining credibility along the way, even though it misses the opportunity that its unique premise dangles for the sorts of twists and turns which could make it more sophisticated and eerily engrossing.
Strange Girls brings a tale of two sisters who share a deep psychological bond along with their contemptuous hatred of everyone and everything in the world at large. Committed since early childhood, conducting all of their activities in synchronized unison including walking together in lock-step, Virginia and Georgia (Angela and Jordan Berliner) are insular, eccentric, taciturn -they haven't uttered a word to anyone in years, discounting their own clandestine, cloistered communications to each other in an invented language.
The duo suffers delusions of artistic grandeur: they are jointly authoring a misguided and amateurishly melodramatic, epic romance novel on the scale of Norma Desmond's Greek odyssey-length, Salome, in the 1950 noir classic, Sunset Boulevard. Virginia and Georgia yearn for independence so they can contrive their own poetically idealized, Boho- chic existence -but not by adjusting to their surroundings. Rather, the twins shall compel their surroundings to "adjust" to themselves.
Strange Girls begins by following in detail, the arrival of a freshly- minted psychiatrist (Adrienne Wehr) whose first assignment is to unravel the twin's enigma and get them to open up. But Strange Girls isn't about her challenges in doing so; in an abrupt and disorienting opening twist, the twins murder her when they discover she is going to delay their discharge. Obfuscating damning documents and forging new ones, Virginia and Georgia scheme a probationary release.
The girls set up housekeeping in a claustrophobic flat rented from a crotchety old biddy of a totalitarian landlady, who with a single complaint, wields the power to send the sisters right back to the booby- hatch. To make matters worse, due to state budget constraints, the apartment is located in a less than ideal section of Pittsburgh. It's not exactly the quaintly trendy, elite neighborhood of Shadyside. Rather, it's more like John Waters's anti-idealized, decrepit Baltimore, replete with a cavalcade of aggressive lowlifes and downtrodden deviants.
The sisters endure unpleasant run-ins with a hodgepodge of eccentric and garishly trashy local denizens, while staging an idyllic facade for their timid, unrealistically optimistic caseworker (Joanna Lowe). Then a new element injects itself into their conundrum: Virginia finds a boyfriend, Oyo (Andre Delawrence Rice Jr.). The trouble is, Oyo can't tell the twins apart. Up to now, the two sisters have managed to live in unison as one person. But this was in a controlled, and limited environment. With the array of new options which the outside world avails to them, the gruesome twosome discovers they're not as mutually in-tune as they have imagined -with horrid results.
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