Lionsgate // 2005 // 80 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 18th, 2007
This zombie loves his girlfriend for her brains. (Awesome tagline.)
Who knew the Irish made such clever horror comedies?
Nathan (David Leon) is nurturing a hopeless crush on his long-time platonic friend Jessica (Samantha Mumba). Just when he works up the courage to take their relationship to the next level, a misunderstanding sends him spiraling into a bout of depression and near-suicidal tendencies. Well, what starts as near-suicidal turns into the real thing when Nathan's mom accidentally causes her son's death. Distraught, she lays down some voodoo magic on her recently deceased firstborn and brings him back to the world of living.
Unfortunately, he's still dead and begins hungering for human flesh. Worse, his condition can be passed onto others with a well-placed bite. Soon all of Nathan and Jessica's classmates become infected with the zombie disease and embark on a bloody rampage, forcing Nathan to clean up the mess he started. And that means shedding a lot of zombie blood.
Great little movie, this. While certainly influenced by zombie classics Shaun of the Dead and Dead Alive (a climactic lawnmower scene at the end attests to this), the filmmakers behind this wry, gruesome import execute a wholly entertaining take on a genre that features a multitude of wannabes clamoring for your attention. Zombie-hounds, consider this a hearty recommendation. Go see Boy Eats Girl.
Again, no new ground is being broken, but when you're dealing with a category of films that has been pulverized for so long, both on the big and small screens, a win is a film that breathes new life into emaciated material. Boy Eats Girl does that with a funny script, quirky characters and a closing act of epic sinew proportions.
David Leon anchors the affair with his quirky hapless-teen-turned-undead routine. He's got charisma to spare and rips into the amusing grist the script provides when Nathan must deal with being a zombie. In fact, I think that's one of the more original contributions to the zombie film, the "zombie that doesn't know he's a zombie" aspect. Nathan is suddenly faced with a stopped pulse, superior strength, constant dehydration, an uncontainable lust for human flesh and, of course, failure to achieve an erection. What's a teenager to do besides blaming mono! The shenanigans that commence between Nathan and his idiot friends are very Shaun-like, yet different enough to avoid the copycat label. Funny stuff.
Balancing out the goofiness, however, is some righteous splatter. Though it takes its time, Boy Eats Girl just soaks the screen in the final third, unleashing multiple geysers of blood, mixed with enough fake limbs and body parts to set some kind of Ireland filmmaking record. The mayhem culminates in a raucous sequence with Jessica climbing into some kind of unholy combine-lawnmower contraption and tearing through legions of zombified former classmates. Lots of fun, with apparently no expense spared.
I think the only nits I can pick are with the pacing and a jarring plot contrivance. The flick takes a while to get rolling, establishing the Nathan-Jessica relationship, which dragged a bit, but once the zombie stuff goes down it's full speed ahead. Without getting into spoilers, the undead antidote is a huge cop-out.
Nice-looking disc from Lionsgate here. The video quality (1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen) is sharp, sporting great color work (keyword: red) and holding fast with strong detailing throughout. Clean Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 mixes for the sound. Sadly, there's just one extra of note, a brief, low-impact making-of documentary.
Funny, gory and just flat-out entertaining, Boy Eats Girl deserves a shot at your DVD player.
Not bloody guilty.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Making-of Documentary