Boy Eats Girl is a zombie rom-com in the same vein as Shaun of the Dead which was released the year before. It follows the usual outline of (non-zombie) romantic comedies; boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, problem appears (in this case the undead), boy and girl solve problem and live happily ever after. It was funded by the Irish film board in association with Isle of Man films and filmed in Ireland.
There is a host of the expected characters – including the school slag, the bully and the best friend comedy duo. As with all good low budget horror films, there features the creepy old man (C.O.M) who knows more than he lets on and has the solution to the zombie epidemic spreading through the local high school. In Boy Eats Girl, the C.O.M is a priest played by Laylor Roddy who continues to pop up at helpful times to drive the plot forwards.
The film focusses on teenager Nathan, played by David Leon (Alexander, Vera) who, after confessing his love to Jessica, played by Samantha Mumba (of early 2000’s pop fame) accidently dies and is reanimated by his single mother Grace (Deirdre O’Kane) using voodoo magic that she helpfully discovered in a secret room of the local church the day before.
Soon Nathan begins to feel a hunger that cannot be sated and at the end of term disco bites the school bully who in turn becomes a zombie infecting –and eating – more fellow classmates and teachers.
Unlike the rest of the flesh-eating contingent, Nathan manages to keep his human sensibilities (with the explanation that he was the first reanimated) and with the help of Jessica and a tractor manages to fend off their undead classmates and retreat to a handy barn which they then set fire to in order to kill the remaining zombies.In the meantime the ever helpful C.O.M has popped back up and told Grace the cure to her sons’ affliction (snake venom, continuing the ‘voodoo’ theme). With a cure, it is possible for the traditional happy ending to take place, leading this film more into the rom-com category rather than the zombie apocalypse category.
The special effects throughout the film are very low budget and charming in a naïve way, at one point it appears that a bucket of offal is thrown across the screen. The film is rated 18, and was banned on release in by the Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) due to the depiction of suicide. Indeed, the aforementioned scene is the only reason I can think of the 18 rating as it is not particularly gory nor is there any nudity or use of the c-word.
Overall, this film, whilst unoriginal is a fine little foray into the zom-rom-com genre with the low budget special effects adding rather than subtracting from the charm. If you are looking for a gritty end of the world zombie film (similar to 28 Days Later) I would not recommend this film as it is more a rom-com with added zombies rather than a zombie apocalypse film. However, if Shaun of the dead or comedy horror is what you are looking for this film is well worth a watch.