Sunday, August 3, 2008

Movie Review: Boy Eats Girl

Boy Eats Girl

Starring: David Leon, Samantha Mumba, Tadgh Murphy, Laurence Kinlan, Sara James, Mark Huberman, and Deirdre O'Kane

Directed by: Stephen Bradley

Written by: Derek Landy

Production Companies: Element Films, Lunar Films, and Odyssey Entertainment

Release Date: May 12, 2005 (Cannes Film Market)

Ok, let me go ahead and make my unpopular declaration...Boy Eats Girl is better than 2004's Shaun of the Dead. And it's not because of the wonderfully suggestive title.

Boy Eats Girl is the story of unrequited teen love, teen angst, teen hijinks, teen showers, and teen zombies.

Nathan loves Jessica. Cheryl dates Samson, but because Nathan doesn't give her a look, she wants him too. Samson wants Jessica. So does Kenneth, but then he wants everybody. Diggs wants...anybody. That's your standard teen romantic comedy set-up.

The twist?

After Nathan dies, his mum, Grace, can't accept it. She steals a book of voodoo locked away in a hidden crypt in a local church and resurrects the young a flesh-craving zombie.

As if being a teenager in love isn't hard enough!

When Samson confronts Nathan about flirting with his girlfriend, Nathan loses control and ends up unknowingly starting a zombie epidemic.

This Irish film is a fun zom-edy that is able to combine the dissimilar elements of zombie horror and comedy. Whereas Shaun of the Dead started as a comedy, slipped into standard horror, and ended with what was intended to be comedy but I felt was tragic, Boy Eats Girl maintains its comedy throughout. While there were a couple of jumps created through traditional means, there was not a real attempt to scare, because, let's face it, it's hard to laugh when you're scared. They replace the fear factor with ample eye-catching gore. That's something all horror comedies need to decide. Is it trying to scare us, or make us laugh, because you can't do both and attempts to do so make for an awkward final cut.

Like most teen comedies, everything falls into place a bit unbelievably, but the script is amazingly a tight story with very little being forced or arbitrary. Nathan drunkenly playing with a noose makes sense after Diggs answered the question of how being Irish made him feel and her responded, "Suicidal." Especially considering the mix-up about Jessica and Kenneth on the night that Nathan was going to tell Jess how he feels about her. A quick scene with Cheryl smoking explains why she has matches later. And the cure to the zombie epidemic, while a bit convenient, actually fits into the voodoo originas of this plague. But the ending of the movie does have some forced aspects, but then most teen comedies and horror films do.

There's some pretty good religious symbolism thrown in to boot. We see a stain glass representation of Eve and the tempting snake, and Grace finds herself tempted by voodoo rituals to bring her son back to life.

Taking the lead as Nathan is David Leon. Leon plays the angsty, overserious Nathan well, though I'm not sure he'd be able to pull off a more serious character. But some of my concern about Leon's acting ability may be because he was overshadowed by Samantha Mumba.

The drop-dead gorgeous Samantha Mumba steals the show. She plays Jessica with a natural ease. She played the teenage role so well, I had to check her age before being willing to announce to the internet community her hottiness. She's 25, so I don't feel like dirty old man putting up that shower scene.

Buddies Henry and Diggs are played by Laurence Kinlan and Tadhg Murphy. Kinlan's character of Henry seemed pretty bland, but that's more of a problem with the script than his acting. Diggs got all the funny lines, and Murphy plays the quirky character with comedic skill.

Sara James and Mark Huberman play bitchy Cheryl and dumb jock Samson. Huberman spends most of the movie running around and tackling people, but James was able to keep you from absolutly hating Cheryl. She brought out the funny, stereotypical charateristics of the school bitch so well that you didn't grimace when she came on screen. You were looking forward to the humor.

Not getting enough scenes was zombifying milf, Deirdre O'Kane as Nathan's mother, Grace. She captured the well-intentioned mother in the few scenes that we see her.

It may not be breaking new ground in either the teen comedy or horror genres, but it's a fun watch nonetheless. Plenty of laughs, plenty of gore, and strong, beautiful women. If only Mumba had turned around front in that shower scene.

Where Are They Now?

David Leon hasn't returned to horror. His next film,RocknRolla, set to release in Britain on September 5, and in the US on October 31, tells the story of some of the London's scrappiest tough guys pitted against its more established underworld players over a stolen painting. The film is directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and stars Tom Wilkinson (The Excorcism of Emily Rose

Samantha Mumba returned to horror in 2006's Nailed, a thriller about two men who break into a house looking for valuables, and find instead a man lying on a bed, covered in bandages, whose caretaker may have intentions that are less than honorable. All is not as it seems as things begin to go wrong for the thieves and the plot takes a turn for the worse, bringing the supernatural into play. In 2009, we'll see Mumba in Shifter, a brand new take on the werewolf mythos, following the brutal life of a mob hitman who is much more than human. He can be or look like almost any beast or man, and never be stopped. At least, that is, until a rival boss calls in something even worse than he is...

Neither Tadgh Murphy nor Laurence Kinlan have acted again in horror.

Sara James hasn't returned to horror, either, but appears in the Irish romance Satellites & Meteorites, about Lucinda and Daniel who start a slow romance just as the worst meteor showers in history rain down on Earth.

Mark Huberman also appears in the horror short The Garden of Ireland, A short surreal tale about one of Ireland's elite murderers as he picks, plants and tends to his victims buried deep in the Wicklow mountains.

Dierdre O'Kane stars in the 2008 drama series "BitterSweet" as Marie, one of three thirty-something Dublin female friends who are re-united with now very different lifestyles. Things are not what they were.

And announcing, from Attack of the Radioactive Tees, the first of a new line of horror movie tees. With this suggestive design, let everyone know how much you love horror movies, monsters, and being scared. Flaunt your fear freak and say Make me scream.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

This is one fun movie. It's a mixture of horror and comedy. But most of the time, it's all comedy. There are a lot of funny scenes like the granny on a motorcycle and the couple who managed to kiss in the middle of the zombie annihilation. A lot of laughs and surprises await those who will watch this film.

Michelle Pendlelton