“Boy Eats Girl” derives many elements from “Shaun of the Dead” as a romance comedy with a horror and zombie twist, all the while adhering to a lot of the classic teen romance tropes. There’s the alpha female, and geeky best friends, while our hero is a reluctant protagonist thrust in to an extraordinary situation that rekindles his love for his girlfriend. Nathan is a student at a local school where he constantly fawns for the love of his life Jessica who may or may not have the same feelings. After a misunderstanding, Nathan gets drunk, and accidentally hangs himself. His mom brings him back from the grave (When are people going to learn not to use mysterious books to do magic?), and all seems too good to be true.
That is until he bites the school bully, and then the shit hits the fan. Imagine six degrees of separation ala undead. Before Nathan realizes, there’s a full fledged zombie apocalypse on their hands that he must stop, and he has to save Jessica ala “Shaun of the Dead.” Once the film starts going with all the zombie attacks, only then does it tend to pick up and become very entertaining. Image FX who creates the make up know how to make truly gruesome imagery, and “Boy Eats Girl” never falls short of that. In its very short run time, it squeezes in a lot of blood splatter, and Bradley’s direction adds to the gore with tension and atmospheric set pieces that mounts the tension. Sadly, Landy’s script is pretty basic setting up all the potential people to be eaten, and or sired in to zombie hood, and the characters are never interesting.
What’s the point of watching a movie with characters you don’t give a shit about? Whether it’s low budget, or lack of story, Bradley coasts through the important character set-ups and immediately starts the zombie carnage. Instead of focusing on the mother’s grief of her son dying and using that as a reason to help us get involved, we only see her bring him alive in a brief montage that does nothing to affect us. “Boy Eats Girl” is a very hit or miss zombie movie that can be really funny and creepy when it hits, and feels stale when it misses. It’s not “Shaun of the Dead”, but it very much deserves at least a viewing, if only for the hearty laughs it’ll inspire.