31 Days of Hallowe’en 2020, Day 2: Eat, Brains, Love [2019]

Eat Brains Love (2019) - IMDb

It’s never a good sign when I’m only halfway through a movie and I’m already doing its write-up. And I don’t like not liking a film, because I can appreciate the amount of work and money that went into making even the worst one. But I really did want to like Eat, Brains, Love – if not just for its tongue-in-cheek title.

I’d actually previously read a zombie rom-com book that had done the same thing with its title called Eat, Slay, Love by Jesse Petersen, which came out two years prior to the book Eat, Brains, Love (which this movie was obviously based on). Perhaps it’s not unusual that the tones of both books were so similar, but the latter better befits the zombie subgenre…

…Of which we have more than enough movies, so this one has a lot to do to try to distinguish itself, and it already fails with its premise: a road movie set in during a zombie apocalypse. It has its differences in that the two leads are both undead themselves and mostly present as human, and there’s a parallel plot involving a teen (seriously?) government agent with an undefined clairvoyant/telekinesis superpower.

None of it works – not least the humour, which is straight out of the ’90s with its edgelord homophobia and desperation for scene-ending one-liners. All of the comedic and dramatic beats feel manufactured, so I don’t care about any of these characters. Perhaps this would have been better as a TV show – its long-format storytelling might have allowed for more character development and world-building that it was clearly going for.

But it still tries to serve up the same irreverent, fish-out-of-water tone as Zombieland – except with cringeawful, hyuk-hyuk voiceovers that add nothing to the proceedings – and falls short because there’s no depth to anything here: the uneven direction; the obvious lighting; the awkward photography; the threadbare characters, the fucking terrible, grating guitar-shredding score; the flat line readings with forced charisma that isn’t earned – it all feels, fittingly, like lesser parts of better films stitched together like a zombie and being passed off as something fresh.

Score: 🎃

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