‘Boy Eats Girl’ – 2005
Director: Stephen Bradley
Writer: Derek Landy
Starring: Samantha Mumba and David Leon
Tagline: “School’s out… and so are the zombies!”, “This zombie loves his girlfriend for her brains.”
Runtime: 77 minutes
There are horrors and there are comedies and then there are horror-comedies. Which are sometimes better than either of the other two categories. Boy Eats Girl is firmly one of these. It came out in 2005, straight on the heels of 2004’s successful Shaun of the Dead, and sports a similar package; zombies and laughs, though this time with an Irish accent.
Boy Eats Girl, a title that could work as only a porno or a zombie flick, is the story of Nathan. He’s neither popular nor unpopular, standing out just enough to attract the unwanted attentions of the school slut, Cheryl, and the jealousy of her sometimes boyfriend, Samson. But Nathan is uninterested in all that because he’s hopelessly smitten with his best friend, Jessica (played by popstar Samantha Mumba). Jessica appears to feel the same way, but both are somewhat reticent to declare their feelings. That is until one night that propels the rest of the rest of the film. Nathan and Jessica are set to meet and Nathan plans to confess his love. Unfortunately, Jessica’s dad doesn’t seem to be as big a fan of Nathan as Jessica is so he commands her to her room and, when Nathan calls, tells him she left with a hot guy in a hot car. Jessica, meanwhile, sneaks out of her bedroom and finding Nathan gone from their rendezvous point, accepts a ride from the school lothario, who has had everyone but Jessica. She’s not interested, obviously. But she does drop her flashlight just in time for a dejected Nathan to walk by and imagine far more nefarious things than what is really going on. He promptly goes home, blasts some music while drinking a fifth of whiskey and then ties a noose around his neck. Just as he realizes he’s being ridiculous his mother busts into his room to turn down his music, knocks him off his chair, and essentially kills her son.
But never fear; Nathan’s mom knows where there is a Voodoo book tucked away in a crypt, just chalk full of spells that can bring back the dead. What she doesn’t know is that there’s something wrong with the book, and those brought back to life are brought back with an insatiable taste for human flesh. Pretty soon Nathan can’t help getting into a fight where he bites someone and before you can say “teen angst” there’s a high school filled with hungry, dead, co-eds.
From there it’s pretty much what you would expect from something that’s about equal parts zombie flick and romantic comedy, because it is both. Throughout all the killing and danger and running for their lives this movie never manages to forget the bit it’s named after. Except the eating part, I suppose. It’s still a love story, age old, about best friends who mean more to each other than they’re letting on.
Favorite scenes include in the beginning when we’re getting to know Kenneth, said lothario. He’s receiving a blow job in his car from a blonde who then lays on a bunch of hints that she wants him to invite her to the school dance. He informs her he’s taking someone else as he blows his nose with a childish looking thong. The blonde, shocked, asks if they belong to her sister. Kenneth manages to look cagey for a few minutes before delivering the cheesy line “Come on, she’s, like, fourteen”.
Also some very amusing kills. Such as when a boy goes into the confessional and is pulled through the partition only to have his eye immediately fall to the ground with a leak of blood. Then when Kenneth eventually gets it in the only way you’d imagine given his continual getting blowies in cars. Finally, I’m not sure what it is that Jessica’s father does, but he has some seriously bad ass equipment in his backyard, the sort of tractor, backhoe combination that tears through a pack of zombified teenagers like tissue paper.
Boy Eats Girl is a cheesy, humorous, romp of the highest order, and one that I actually recommend highly. It could have gone either way, been groaningly ridiculous, or amusingly excellent. Thank goodness for small favors, it was the latter.