Horror fan Max (Anton Yelchin) gets to live out his own scary movie when his ball-busting gal (Ashley Greene) buys the farm and then comes back from the dead to break even more balls and... eat brains!
Director Joe Dante will always be a fixture in my grey matter due to immortal films like The Howling, The 'Burbs, Twilight Zone: The Movie
(that one due to nostalgia) and Gremlins
. Explorers, Innerspace, Gremlins 2: The New Batch
and Matinee were also “good shite”! What I always dug about Dante is that it always felt like he came at his work from the POV of a horror fan which I of course found mucho endearing. You can’t fake that. Now I kind of lost track of the lad’s work after the cute Small Soldiers, but was in a tizzy to see that he was returning to the genre this year with the horror/comedy BURYING THE EX (WATCH IT HERE
)! So was the film worthy of the man’s legacy? Well, it was no GREMLINS but I still enjoyed the night of the living shit out of it…
Maybe I read too much into this one, but to me BURYING THE EX was about a pussy-whipped young dude with no balls, blinded by the hot as hell poon he’s getting, who is forced to regain his manhood when his castrating girlfriend dies and then comes back to bust further nut as a Zombie. In an odd characterization move, our weak-minded lead wound up being the best liar on the block, playing Ping-Pong between two dames (with one being undead) and lying his way through it without blinking. So a pussy whipped player?! You don‘t see that very often. Yup, if there’s one thing that set BURYING THE EX aside, it was its oddball screenplay. Although the chain of events was 1-2-3 (more on that later), the characters were drawn out in a off the cuff way, I mean now that I think of it, Alexandra Daddario’s earnest role aside, there was nobody truly sympathetic here. On top of that, in between Hammer films on TV, a handful of winks to other horror movies (Night of the Living Dead, Psycho, Return of the Living Dead), clever yet crass lines and the blood and guts – the sense of humor surfaced in a non political correct way here, which yes was refreshing in this day and age of “we’re offended by every single thing under the sun”.
Dante as a director proved that he hasn’t lost his touch. To some degree he pulled off here what he had done with GREMLINS, juggling tones (light, dark, funny, sad, horrific) without dropping a ball to deliver something that came off as fresher than it was on a paper. Performance wise, we had quite the cast here! Anton Yelchin and Ashley Greene worked well together as the on again, off again couple, Alexandra Daddario often stole the show with her exuberant showcase (and her piercing blue eyes and mammoth rack) and Oliver Cooper grossed it up as the slob a-hole who somehow keeps picking up hot chicks (geek fantasy going on here that’s for sure). Tag to all that an easy pace, a cool Dick Smith cameo and some groovy musical moments (love that song that played during the funeral scene) and you get a light yet twisted horror comedy, one that is worth at least one back-and across the face.
So what held me back from giving this one more inches of loving? Well it definitely sported dumb moves to serve the plot. One of them (having to do with our hero returning home after…”can’t tell”) actually had me screaming at my TV (note to self: get a f*cking life) ! But what nagged at me the most though was just how predicable the whole thing was. I called out every turn of event that went down here (yes, I'll take that medal now), so that took away from the experience that’s for sure. Finally, this baby was R rated but it held back! It should’ve gone further with the exploitation goodies but hey maybe that's just me! Who gives a shit.
All in all; BURYING THE EX made for a swell sit down. Although predictable and a tad too safe for its own good; the flick came through in an almost EC comic kind of way i.e. oddball tone, amusing performances, sick sense of humor and an obvious love for the horror genre oozing out of every frame! Give this Ex a spin before you bury her, him or it!
We get an epic cleavage shot from Alexandra Daddario that lit up the room. Chicks and gay dudes get some chunky boy's butt...
Although I'll probably never see it again, I enjoyed BURYING THE EX! It gunned out a warped sense of humor, a top notch cast and Joe Dante doing what he does best, juggling laughs, drama and horror all at the same time! Granted the story was predictable, some dumb character actions to serve the plot were in the house, characterization was a tad weird (not necessarily a bad thing) and I would have pushed that R rating further, but that didn’t change the fact that this was a charming and fun romp! You can do better than this one, you can also do much worse! It's a "one-off"!