Sunday, October 4, 2015

Scary Movie Month 2015 Day 4: Burying the Ex

Burying the Ex

Well, that could have gone better. I mean, it's not a terrible movie, not by a long shot, but it's also very...disposable. It pains me to say that about something by Joe Dante, one of my favorite filmmakers, but unfortunately it's the truth. Even his famously troubled Looney Tunes movie was much more satisfying (and much, much more Joe Dante) than this limp zombie comedy. 

Max (Anton Yelchin) is a regular guy working in a store that I wish we saw more of, a horror themed novelty shop called Bloody Mary's. I honestly could have watched an entire movie based around just Max doing their inventory, but alas had to watch this instead. Max has just moved in with domineering vegan (an oxymoron, that) girlfriend Eve (Ashley Greene) who is making him miserable. Still, he promises to be with her forever while in the presence of a little genie devil statue shortly before she's hit by a bus. Oopsie. Eve has promises to keep, so she claws her way back from the grave just as Max begins a relationship with Olivia (Alexandra Daddario), the girl of not only his dreams, but probably the dreams of 90% of male Joe Dante fans. 

What follows is a series of sitcom-level misunderstandings (if Chrissy was suddenly undead on an episode of Three's Company it probably wouldn't play too terribly different than it does here) punctuated by gross-out zombie jokes. There are a few scattered chuckles, but it's all very forgettable and has surprisingly little personality, especially for a Joe Dante joint. There is (of course) a welcome cameo by Dick Miller, but it's not enough to make it feel like Dante's heart is truly in it. Not that I won't still watch anything he does, but it's sad seeing a filmmaker with such a personal stamp working on autopilot.

In fairness, it may work better without the expectation of "a Joe Dante film" heaped upon it. I watched it with a friend who doesn't much care about who directed what and she enjoyed it more than I did, so mileage may vary for all you non-nerds out there. Even divorced from those Dante-enhanced expectations I still have issues with the movie (no character behaves like an actual human being) but it's amusing enough to pass the time, I suppose. 

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