Saturday, October 4, 2008


Keeping your minds out of the gutter for a second--and I know just how tough that can be sometimes--the title for this 2005 Irish production suggests not just an undead romantic comedy, but a fairly outrageous one at that. Maybe something on the level of Peter Jackson's BRAINDEAD, or Naoyuki Tomomatsu's STACY? That was the impression I got, which might explain why I was so disappointed in BOY EATS GIRL.

It wasn't because director Stephen Bradley didn't go over the top, but that he didn't bother to break any new ground. Practically every facet of this film has been taken directly from other movies, borrowing so heavily on teen-hijinx flicks and well-worn zombie classics that when it does offer something novel (such as zombie-slaughter-via-backhoe) it fails to generate much enthusiasm. It mirrors its influences the same way NIGHT OF THE LIVING DORKS did, so much so that I'm having trouble telling the two apart.

BOY EATS GIRL hews so close to the teen-zombie formula (and I hadn't realized there was one until now) that you can predict each scene right before it happens: our newly-zombified heroes experience hunger pangs that can't be sated until--oh, no!--they dine on human flesh, there's the obligatory scene in which characters discover they have no vital signs, etc. Had Bradley injected any genuine humor into these tired proceedings it might've made them more interesting, but instead lets the acute familiarity grind the film to a halt. And I might not go so far as to call the picture an idiot plot, but it relies enough on simple misunderstandings to come pretty damn close.

There are too many zombie comedies out there that do more to make BOY EATS GIRL worth your time. Although its solid, photogenic cast does what they can with the material, it's too weak to compete with SHAUN OF THE DEAD, etc.

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