Reviewed by Johnny Butane
Starring Samantha Mumba, David Leon, Laurence Kinlan
Directed by Stephen Bradley
Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Ah, teenage love. It sure was a pain in the ass, wasn’t it? I had a lot of issues with girls growing up, as I’m sure most guys did, but I count myself lucky having avoided the whole death/resurrection/ flesh craving stage.
The hero of Boy Eats Girl, Nathan (Leon), is not so lucky, however. Here’s what happens; one of his closest friends, Jessica (Mumba) is Nathan’s first true love but the two have been friends for so long that he can’t find a way of telling her how he feels. It’s clear to pretty much everyone else that she feels the same way, but we all know how complicated matters of the heart can get.
One night the two of them arrange to meet in a somewhat creepy looking shack in the middle of nowhere, but Jessica can’t make it. No cell coverage, a rain storm, and an ill-timed duck to pick up a flashlight leads Nathan to believe that that love of his life is just as slutty as the rest of the girls in school. He doesn’t take it well.
Drinking too much whiskey, he contemplates ending it all, utilizing the noose he has inexplicably hanging in his room, though not able to fully commit to the deed. His mom decides for him, bursting into his room to demand he turn down his crappy Irish pop music (of which the film is riddled), and accidentally sends him swingin’. There’s some guilt for ya.
Luckily his mother works in a church, and just a few days earlier happened up on a hidden crypt beneath the house of worship which housed a book filled with arcane voodoo spells, including one for bringing the dead back to life. Without thinking she uses it, not realizing until too late that the book is missing some vital instructions. Now Nathan is back among the living but feels no pain, has unnatural strength, and starts to look at young, supple flesh in a very un-teenager like way.
Finally at a school dance he gives into his baser instincts, taking a chunk out of the neck of a jock that threatens to seduce his woman. Quicker than you can say “plague”, the entire town is riddled with zombies, causing all sorts of mayhem and carnage.
The biggest issues I had with Boy Eats Girl is also something you’d almost expect from a movie that’s basically a teen romantic comedy with zombies: the limited dimensions of the characters. From Nathan to Jessica to the stereotypes roaming the hallways of their high school, not a single one stands out as anything more than the most basic of character outlines. Of course, when you have a 72-minute movie in which to tell of love, death, resurrection, and a zombie infestation, I guess fleshing out your characters isn’t really that tantamount to fitting all the twists and turns in.
Not that Boy Eats Girl is a major plot twister; don’t get me wrong; it’s actually a pretty standard teenager in love story with a zombie plot that seems almost secondary for the first half of the brief running time. I will say, though, that once the zombie carnage starts up it never slows down until the (incredibly cheesy) ending. When the dead start eating the living, I was at first concerned that it would be a bloodless affair, since not much is shown at first. Such is not the case; instead the gore keeps increasing as the movie nears the end, cumulating in a scene involving a horde of the dead and a backhoe. That scene along will likely leave you with a very large grin on your face; it sure as hell worked for me!
Extras on the disc are pretty sparse with only a quick standard making-of featurette and a trailer. Considering Lionsgate could have simply put this out as a bare bones disc I guess we should consider ourselves lucky to get anything at all.
Bad Irish pop music, flat characters, and quick running time aside, how is Boy Eats Girl? Fun, plain and simple. Don’t expect biting social commentary (pun intended), laugh-out-loud humor, or anything groundbreaking for the zombie genre and you’ll be fine. Some choice gore, nice looking women, and a quick pace put Boy Eats Girl as the kind of flick that would go well in a midnight movie double bill with something like Night of the Creeps.
3 out of 5
2 out of 5
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