Friday, March 9, 2007
BOY EATS GIRL (Review)
The misguided love of a mother (Deirdre O’Kane) for her son Nathan (David Leon) causes a zombie outbreak in the suburbs of Dublin, even as Nathan is doing his best to profess his love for his long-time friend Jessica (Samantha Mumba, who was in the horrid remake of The Time Machine).
Yes, in the tradition of Shaun of the Dead, Boy Eats Girl is another zom-rom-com, though sadly, it doesn’t quite have the bite of its much funnier predecessor.
The I Was A Teen-Age Zombie gambit isn’t firing on all cylinders here, as the hilarious bits aren’t all that hilarious, and the grue doesn’t really start flying till the all-out gorefest towards film’s end.
So it isn’t a laughing-in-stitches comedy and it isn’t a gorehound’s wet dream either. Nor is the romance part of the equation sparkling with originality.
Even as a teen film Boy Eats Girl doesn’t really achieve anything distinctive. The usual teen archetypes are represented, as are the well-meaning though reviled teacher types, but these aren’t really characters so much as they are stereotypes: the Slut, the Bully, the Sleazebag. There’s the Best Friend Who Wants to Be Something More, the Best Female Friend Who Is Actually The Object of Desire, and the Sidekicks.
There seems to be no effort whatsoever on the part of the script to actually mold these types into characters. They may as well be zombies for all the individuality they show.
All in all, this is a lukewarm entry in the burgeoning genre of zombie cinema, which is a shame. Just as George Romero takes aim at culture and society in his Dead films, Boy Eats Girl director Stephen Bradley and scriptwriter Derek Landy could have taken the opportunity to take some digs at the educational system and the insular, stratified society that is high school, but instead go for the bland, low road, in a particularly ho-hum fashion. Horror is always so much better when it’s about something more than just the monster and the screaming victim; comedy, when it’s making you think, as well as laugh.
If Boy Eats Girl had at least been as funny as Shaun of the Dead, then it may have been worth watching, with or without any satirical content. But it isn’t.
And no amount of post-28 Days Later no-longer-lethargic zombies can change that.
(Boy Eats Girl DVD cover art courtesy of amazon.com.)