My Boyfriend's Back

Director: Bob Balaban

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Johnny Dingle (Andrew Lowery) has loved the sheriiff's daughter Missy McCloud (Traci Lind) since they were preschoolers. In a timeless suburb that smacks of but isn't the '50s, Johnny dares dream of romance with the most beautiful girl in sschool.

My Boyfriend's BackSlapstick but unfunny, My Boyfriend's Back (1993) strives to be cutesy from the start. But the main characters are insufficiently written & poorly played, without the requisit comic timing.

Not until (thank god at last) Johnny gets killed due to his own stupidity does anything good begin to happen.

After a feeble stab at staging a comical funeral, night falls, & Johnny scrabbles out of the grave. He's now a zombie, though in the main still the same guy he was before he was embalmed.

He's welcomed home & mom (Mary Beth Hurt) asks if he's hungry. "There's a lot of food left over from the funeral." He tries to resume his former life as a regular guy hoping to go to the prom with Missy.

This is an alternate world wherein nurdiness is rewarded. Johnny's largely accepted as an upstanding citizen & student who just happens to be undead. Though Missy hardly noticed Johnny during his life, she seems to have a veritable fetish for corpses & is now very attracted to Johnny.

My Boyfriend's BackThe humor improves & the silliness trebles as romance builds betrween Missy & Johnny Zombie. A little problem arises when it becomes known he has an unpleasant urge, to whit, an appetite for human flesh.

He's decaying rapidly so he consults with Maggy (Cloris Leachman). Her husband also returned from the dead fifteen years before, so she knows the ways of zombies. Maggy tells him, "There is something you can do. But it's a terrible thing." And she tells him to just eat the flesh of the living.

Chuck (Philip Seymore Hoffman) accidentally stuck an axe in his own head, so Johnny feasts without actually having to personally kill someone. His mother wants her darling son to eat well, so kidnaps a child for him to eat, but he refuses his mom's dinner plans.

Another complication enters the story through the person of the silly scientist who is the stand-in for a mad scientist. He uses Johnny's rotting skin to create a serum useful for rejuvenation. This thread of the story makes it a little easier to sustain a short sketch-comedy idea at feature-film length, but it's hardly memorable stuff.

The film is goodhearted in its peculiar way, worthy of a few grins, & off the beaten path of the usual zombie movies. I'd give it a moderate hoorah by comparison to the usual.

For more zombie flicks, continue to:
Undead (2003) and Hide & Creep (2004)

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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