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Boy Eats Girl

Directed by Stephen Bradley

Written by Derek Landy

Starring Laurence Kinlan, Tadhg Murphy, Sara James, Samantha Mumba

Produced by Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe

Rated R

80 minutes

***

Okay, brace yourselves, folks…because sitting here in my hot little hand is a relative rarity, but one we’ve seen before with good effect. What I’m referring to so deliberately vaguely is nothing less than an Irish zombie movie. The Euro-horror market has been less than stellar these last couple years, with only a relative handful of titles reaching American shores. It’s been gravely overshadowed by the Asian film market, which as we all know has been flooding the market with titles for like the last thousand years.

Anyway, this time we get Irish zombies, and the high school kids who must take them on and attempt to survive the incursion. One of them, you see, is going to die in a surprising accident, and his mother’s going to use some assorted what looks like voudou to bring him back to life. With marginally predictable results.

Now, let’s start with the problems this sucker’s facing going in.

We’re short on star power. Samantha Mumba is their big name and she was huge back in, what, 2004?

We’re short on budget. The DVD menu is basically the box art with fog effects.

And we’re clearly short on runtime. 80 minutes, kiddies…80 minutes. That’s only slightly longer than an episode of “One Tree Hill” for crying out loud. When the WB can put up a dozen pieces of crap that are just barely outmassed by an actual feature film, you know it doesn’t bode well.

Thankfully, however, despite a pedigree that makes it look like it should be put down promptly before it can breed and run a generation of horrible little bastard puppies all around the neighborhood, “Boy Eats Girl” manages to recover itself on the weight of sheer, blinding hilarity. There will be plenty—plenty!—of moments in which you will chuckle, chortle, or outright guffaw and be unable to restrain yourself. In short, this sucker’s a funny Irish zombie movie.

Well, occasionally, anyway. There’s really nothing funny about people getting eaten, and that will happen more than once around here. This is, after all, a zombie movie, and you can’t have a zombie movie without the living getting lunched up.

And, as is usually the case with the more recent zombie films, there’s one big problem. Too much buildup, not enough zombie apocalypse. For an eighty minute zombie movie, the fact that only the last twenty-five, thirty minutes or so actually has zombies in it is just downright inexcusable.

Which isn’t to say it’s bad, mind you…it just needs more zombies.

The ending is actually a step up from the opening, if for no other reason that it’s where all the zombies are. And that gives it a lot of extra force that the opening didn’t have. That and there’s plenty of action going on, which also lends force.

The special features include audio options, English and Spanish subtitles, a making-of featurette, and trailers for “Werewolf: The Devil’s Hound,” “Skinwalkers,” “Fido,” “Invasion,” “Night of the Living Dead 3D,” and an advertisement for Fearnet.com.

All in all, there are vastly worse zombie movies than “Boy Eats Girl,” but that’s still not saying very much. It should at least prove halfway decent, however, and that in the end is worth more than you’d think.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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