So, Shaun of the Dead was a good movie, right? Prime example of the rom-zom-com genre. Some even called it the first rom-zom-com. But did you know there was a rom-zom-com before Shaun of the Dead hit the silver screen? Even before ‘R’ Warm Bodies ever got cold. Before Life After Beth was born. And yes, before Joe Dante unearthed Burying the Ex. So let’s see how My Boyfriend’s Back compares to these more recent wonderful zombie romantic comedies.
So, the plot of My Boyfriend’s Back seems pretty upfront from the moment you look at the cover and the title of the movie. It is obvious that this boyfriend comes back from the grave to be with the girl of his dreams. This is pretty much how it goes. Boy meets girl. Boy falls for girl. Boy schemes to get girl. Boy’s schemes kind of work, but he dies in the process. Boy comes back from dead to be with said girl. Girl is oddly unable to resist the decomposing hero. Pretty simple plot, no?
Johnny loves Missy; so much so that he has harbored his love for her since elementary school and has never given it up. When things get rocky between her and her prototypical jock boyfriend (because all high school movie antagonists have to be dumb jocks), Johnny decides to seize the opportunity. Using the time-honored tradition of creating an act to impress a girl, Johnny hatches his plan. His friend will hold her up at her convenience store job and Johnny will save her and sweep her off her feet. Unfortunately, on the same night, a real criminal comes to rob the place and Johnny is unfortunately shot and passes on.
Wait a second, 15 minutes in and our protagonist dies? How is this going to work? Well, as I’ve already explained, after winning Missy’s heart with his dying act, Johnny refuses to rest on his laurels. With his overwhelming devotion to Missy, he picks himself up out of the grave and shambles back into her life. Initially not thinking anything of it, he tries to go back to life as normal by attending class and planning to take Missy out to the prom.
As days pass on, he becomes aware of his zombie affliction and its side effects. Parts of his body start to come lose, food is uninteresting to him, and he has started to have some odd cravings. The weirdest side effect of all is that now Missy seems to be entirely unable to resist him. I knew vampires had a charm, but who knew about zombies?
Unfortunately for our morgue escaping man of the hour, not everyone is as happy to see him back from the dead as Missy and his parents. A lot of the townspeople are wary of him, especially Missy’s boyfriend and his lackey played by a rather young Philip Seymour Hoffman. With all of these factors standing in his way and getting worse with each day, we see Johnny struggle to get any meaningful moments with his love as the prom approaches.
All in all, My Boyfriend’s Back plays out much like you expect a teen comedy to play out. As a nice touch, there are comic cut scenes spliced into a few scene transitions. Additionally, the special sauce of Johnny’s zombie predicament adds some humor to the mix. The humor is occasionally clever and just as often a little childish, but overall it works pretty well for the tone of the movie. I did, however, expect it to be a little funnier than it was. His need to feed on people to keep himself together adds both to the humor and the strife. My Boyfriend’s Back is still a decently entertaining early entry into the growing rom-zom-com genre.
Clarity is pretty darn good on this release of My Boyfriend’s Back. Grain is satisfying but not overwhelming, especially for a smaller comedy of its age. Colors are mostly accurate and skin tones are fine. There are some moments in scenes with lighter backgrounds that do feel a little bland, but overall not too bad. Those who remember the film fondly should be mostly pleased with the transfer that the film has been given.
Picture Quality: 3/5
Unlike the video for this release, the audio is not nearly as satisfying for fans of My Boyfriend’s Back. Featuring only a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track, the dialog is at least easy to hear and understand throughout the movie, but nothing really stands out. We at least may not be losing too much here because it is a comedy ,without much in the way of booming special effects. Serviceable track for sure, but nothing that will wow the viewer.
Audio Quality: 2/5
SPECIAL FEATURES AND PACKAGING
Not a darn thing. Thanks Mill Creek. Once again we are given a static menu with the option to play the movie. Release also includes just the standard issue packaging and artwork.
Special Features and Packaging: 0.5/5
With pretty good picture, pretty bad audio, and no special features to speak of, this release of My Boyfriend’s Back is not going to blow anyone away. For that matter, neither will the movie. It is funny at times, but still should be funnier than it is. Some of it doesn’t age well, but there is still some charm there. I would argue that every movie I listed at the beginning of this review is better than this, but there is still some fun to be had. I’d say it is worth a view at the bargain price, and at close to five bucks and it might surprise you, but be warned that it is nothing special.
Final Score: 2/5