Boy Eats Girl (US - DVD R1)
Gabe watches as the boy bites, chews, swallows, digests, and passes the girl
Nathan is in love with Jessica, but he can't find the courage to ask her out. So Nathan’s best friends take the initiative and set them up on a date, but Jessica’s disapproving father butts in and things fall apart. Mistakenly led to believe that Jessica went all the way with local lothario Kenneth, Nathan ends up drunk and falls victim to a careless, fatal accident. Nathan’s dumbass mother steals an old voodoo book and performs a restorative ritual and brings back Nathan—as a flesh-craving zombie who sires more teen undead while trying to control his appetite for his beloved.
The problem with Boy Eats Girl is that it was already made—twice. The first time it was called My Boyfriend’s Back (originally titled Johnny Zombie), and it was kind of cute, but overall not particularly memorable beyond its concept, which was of course a through back to ‘50s B-horror comedies like I Was a Teenage Frankenstein. More recently the same theme was revisited in Night of the Living Dorks, a German made feature which was a more amusing mix of modern zombedy, re-vitalized by Edgar Wright’s genuinely awesome Shaun of the Dead, and ‘80s John Hughes ‘classics’. If you’ve seen either of those films, or any other recent high school or zombie flicks, you’ve already seen Boy Eats Girl.
This one’s been sitting on Lionsgate’s shelves for two years, apparently, as I’m sure about thirty dozen other zombie movies have. Between this, Fido, and Night of the Living Dead 3D it appears that the studio will be releasing a flesh muncher flick every month for the next several years. Unfortunately, I doubt any of them will compare to Fido, which is the only zombie related movie since Shaun of the Dead to do anything truly original with the monsters.
Boy Eats Girl is hardly even a movie, it’s more of a showcase for its pretty young actors, a few decently R-rated effects, and a whole lot of British pop music. The pretty young actors are actually pretty good, even with the lame dialogue and totally convenient plot contrivances. The violent effects reasonably satisfying, though they don’t quite push the bad taste barrier far enough to recommend the film to gorehounds, save one sequence that does its best to out-do Braindead’s lawnmower massacre, though it comes as too little too late. The music just generally isn’t good.
We shouldn’t expect much from a single layered disc Lionsgate let collect dust on the shelf for a few years, but Boy Eats Girl looks fairly above average in most respects. Colours are vibrant, specifically in day light sequences, and display minimal noise and artefacts. Darker scenes do not fair as well, often appearing muddy, and sometimes revealing too many chunks of low-level noise. Blacks are reasonably deep, but take on the colour of their surroundings to a certain degree throughout. Edges are softer in darker scenes, but never too soft, and details are pretty sharp without much edge enhancement.
This Dolby Digital 5.1 track doesn’t quite overcome the film’s obviously mediocre budget. Surround and stereo effects are sort of spiffy, but often sound like they came from an SFX library, rather than from set or foley. Dialogue is clear, or rather, as clear as such accents can be to these American ears, as is the film's music. Again, I’d like to stress the utter lameness of this soundtrack. Apparently this film was trying to imitate Shaun of the Dead’s ultra hip acquired music soundtrack, but the filmmakers have mistaken ‘hip’ with ‘insipid’.
I want to say you only get trailers, but the special features menu swears that the first trailer is actually a making of featurette. If by ‘making of featurette’ they mean ‘really long ad’, then I suppose they’re correct. If you’re looking to learn something about the film you’re out of luck here.
To summarize, Boy Eats Girl isn’t even a little bit scary, it’s only as funny as its decent cast can muster, the plot is all rehash and zero intrigue, but the gore effects are just messy enough to maybe suggest a rent to really, really, desperate zombiephiles. I think that even I may be done with zombie movies for a while after this listless mediocrity festival. The disc looks and sounds better than a lot of Lionsgate low-budget releases, but has basically no extras, and an annoyingly obviously pointed soundtrack. Also, it’s only actually seventy-five minutes long, the filmmaker’s just drag out the end credits.
Review by Gabriel Powers
Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian
Release Date: 18th December 2007
Disc Type: Single side, single layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Extras: Making of Featurette, Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Ernie Barbarash, Stephen Bradley
Cast: Bryan Murray, Samantha Mumba, Laurence Kinlan, Deirdre O'Kane, Tadhg Murphy
Genre: Comedy and Horror
Length: 80 minutes
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