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The beds in Bad Girls Go to Hell February 21, 2007

Posted by andyw in bad girls go....

The movie can be read as Meg moving from bed to bed. Starting at home, Meg appears truly relaxed and happy (the only time in the whole movie) as she tries to seduce her husband to stay at home in bed with her. Later, she walks outside in an outfit that induces the janitor to attempt to rape her. In other words, her unhappiness begins when she walks out of the home. She then goes from bed to bed in a quest for peace (or, if you like, freedom from the various situations she finds herself in). The next bed is really a couch (if you exclude the stairs/floor where the janitor attempted to rape her and which could be read as Meg’s sexuality being put into an inappropriate place: not only is it not her bed with her husband, but it isn’t even a bed at all). Her odd attempt to seduce the man (I’m sorry, I forget his name) who brought her to his home can be explained as her quest to find a bed. Left to sleep on the couch, she can’t be at peace. Her place is in the bed, and she could be attempting to seduce the man to get back to where she belongs. Since, however, it is not truly her place (it is not her husband’s bed) she cannot find peace there (indeed, she is not even invited in), and instead is forced to flee once again. Thus, the title can potentially be explained by her attempt to go outside. She becomes a bad girl when she leaves the world of the home in clothing and with a demeanor that is only appropriate for a home, and she is forced to suffer continuous displacement as she can never again achieve the peace and satisfaction that she once had in her husband’s bed (the hell is the potentially perpetual reliving of her attempt to leave the home and it’s disastrous consequences). Whether that peace is in fact an illusion is an open question. It would explain both her husband’s ability to leave the bed freely whenever he wants (showing that even there she can’t get her way whenever she wants) and that her bed actually betrays her through the nightmare.

Hopefully this wasn’t too garbled to be of any use. Basically, I think there is something very important about the various beds in the movie. In my account, I’ve tried to show that the movie ends up reaffirming the cult of domesticity (hence the setting of the 50’s) through depriving Meg of power outside of her own bed.



1. lindamc - February 26, 2007

I think this is a really interesting idea. You didn’t mention this bed, but when she raped by the janitor and he tells her to come to his room, she does so, and is immediately forced on to his grimy single bed. The majority of the rape, and then the “murder” during it take place on the floor, which if we’re going along with your theory, is really interesting. Clearly this rape, the climatic and causal moment in the film, is not meant for a bed. This is the only moment in which she fights back (she did not on the coach or in the bed of the husband and wife (although she was knocked out there). She does not accept the janitor’s bed, but afterwards is forced into other beds. Whether or not this was intended by the director, (as the film is about sex, and sex usually takes place in a bed) the bed as a visual element is very present and suggestive in the film. The fact that the first rape by the janitor is on the floor and not on the nearby bed, might suggest something more about that scene.

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