Boy Eats Girl

Year: 2005
Production Co: Element Films
Director: Stephen Bradley
Cast: Samantha Mumba, David Leon
There's a movement in film recently to make and market your film as a slick, Hollywood-standards production that could play anywhere rather than ground it in the territory and customs of its origins, even if they're in the film itself.

Recent examples have been Sean Ellis' Cashback and the soon-to-be-seen (as I write this Gabriel, a slick Hollywood-style actioner you'd have no idea was shot in Australia.

Despite looking like a teen horror comedy that could have come from any small town in America, the film (as opposed to the marketing) wears its Irishness proudly on its sleeve with the language, customs, people and design all grounded locally but with an eye on having the movie travel internationally.

Hero Nathan (Leon) has a best friend in Jessica (Mumba, who made a brief splash in the 2002 Time Machine remake and is a pop star in the UK but hasn't really capitalised on her popularity internationally) and is secretly in love with her. On the night he intends to tell her, he dies in a freak accident. His mother is restoring a church where she'd stumbled upon an atypical book full of spells that she uses to bring him back to life as a flesh-eating zombie (in the making).

He seems able to control his urges but quickly attacks the school bully, making him into a ravenous flesh eater who proceeds to spread the virus around town before the whole place is crawling with the hungry undead. For reasons that are never explained, the hero is still quite human, fighting off the urges to eat human flesh until he, his love-to-be, local hottie and comic relief friends have to save the day.

It's slick enough but a little clunky and could have been much better with more time to edit it better. Notable for one of the goriest scenes ever as the heroine attacks the undead with a farming implement - one the producers would presumably have hoped would sell the whole film.

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