Say what you want about Bob Balaban’s horror comedy “My Boyfriend’s Back,” but it’s one of the more pleasant and twisted films to ever come out of the nineties. This was a decade where horror almost died, and what horror there was was deadly serious. “My Boyfriend’s Back” is a funny and sometimes demented take on acceptance with Andrew Lowery giving a bang up performance as Johnny Dingle. Dingle is a love starved high schooler who has the deepest affections for his lifelong love Missy McCloud. To win her heart, he stages a fake grocery store robbery to save her, but things go awry when an actual robbery ensues, and Johnny is murdered. Mysteriously, he comes back from the dead and is told that he can lurk around, but only in the confines of the town cemetery.
If he steps out, consequences could be dire. Surely enough, hoping to get a second chance with Missy, Dingle re-integrates in to his old school and family, and realizes that he’s not only garnering the habits of a typical zombies, but he’s also having a problem keeping his body parts on his person. This opens up the door for Balaban and writer Dean Lorey to prop up a lot of gross out comedy that’s more grotesque than funny, to be honest. In either case, while Johnny is rotting he also garners immense hunger and finds a taste for human flesh that he’s unwilling to indulge in, even when his loving parents accept his state of being and kidnap a child for him to chomp down on. “My Boyfriend’s Back” is surely not high art, but it does get the job done with quick laughs and some a unique tone that lands well thanks to the tongue in cheek performances by folks like Cloris Leachman, star Lowery, and Traci Lind, who is just gorgeous as Missy.
There’s also a very early turn by Matthew McConaughey and a supporting performance by a very young Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a school bully who gets an unfortunate axe to the skull. “My Boyfriend’s Back” doesn’t always serve up the ideas about acceptance and prejudice well, but it does do a great job unfolding an underdog tale of a well meaning guy whose love for a girl transcends death. It’s one of my genre favorites of the nineties, and I’m glad it finally has a treatment on Blu-Ray for the small fanbase. Sadly, Mill Creek doesn’t provide fans with extras for the movie. There isn’t even an original trailer to be found, but hey, at least the movie is on Blu-Ray. I’m a glass half full kind of guy.