My Boyfriend's Back
Reviewed by Russell Tharp
Rating: 7 Beans
aybe it's just me, but shouldn't comedies be at least a little bit funny? Just a little, now. You don't need to injure me or anything, but at least make me chuckle. Or smile. Or stop fidgeting in boredom. Or something. I suppose this twisted sense of expectation on my part is why I'm so loathe to refer to "My Boyfriend's Back" as a comedy. I just don't know what else to call it. "Maggot-infested Pile of Donkey Droppings" isn't an official film category.
Johnny Dingle (Andrew Lowery) has really got the hots for Missy McCloud (Traci Lind, a budding porn star name if I've ever heard one). He has apparently loved her from afar since they were embryos, and he finally gets the nerve to act on it 17 years later when he asks her to the prom. She agrees to go with him, and he is joyous for about 45 seconds before being shot dead by guy robbing a convenience store.
However, nothing--not even death--can keep a horny teenager down for long. Determined to keep his prom date, Johnny returns from the dead as a zombie. But not a creepy, cool Romero zombie. Nah. Just a regular teenaged guy zombie, who still feels love and fear and desire and insecurity and the occasional urge to devour a classmate. Johnny's parents, Mary Beth Hurt (who keeps coming *this* close to having an actual acting career) and Edward Herrman (the current Chrysler pitchman) don't respond as I would to having a zombie come to their door, i.e. running screaming to the nearest gun cabinet so I could unload a shotgun into its head, but instead they welcome Johnny home with open arms, and even go so far as to kidnap local tykes to give their boy a good homestyle meal. Man, this is funny. Woo hoo.
Well, some classmate of Johnny dies, and Johnny succumbs to the temptation to eat his liver (presumably with fava beans and a nice bottle of Chianti). This wakes up the slow-witted townsfolk to the fact that zombies are a menace. They decide to kill him again, he is hell-bent on keeping that date for the prom, and yadda yadda yadda. Everyone lives happily ever after.
You know, flesh-eating zombies CAN be played for laughs. George "Night of the Living Dead" Romero leavened the horror of being eaten alive by the walking dead with numerous scenes of zombies being hit in the face with pies and whatnot. And "Return of the Living Dead" had a roaring good time turning the conventions of Romero's zombie trilogy on their heads. So it can be done. But not apparently by a team of writers and director with about 15 minutes of movie experience between them. And certainly not by this insipid little movie.
Play dead, Johnny. Good boy.
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