Welcome to Knockout Horror. We are back with our third Quick Fire review of the week. I normally reserve this section for reviews of movies that don’t fit. Maybe they are horror adjacent, maybe they aren’t so good, maybe they are just pretty old. Today’s movie, Yummy, doesn’t really fit into any of those categories. It’s simply a zombie themed horror comedy. Still, there isn’t a tremendous amount to say about movies like this. With this in mind, I feel it makes sense to cover it in a Quick Fire review.
Coming by way of Belgium and directed by Lars Damoiseaux. Shudder original, Yummy is another comedy take on the zombie genre. Featuring nods to classic zombie movies and a keen sense of humour. This is a decent option for anyone looking for easy horror laughs. As always, this is a quick fire review so expect less than 1,000 words, not including this opening.
The zombie comedy horror genre is an overcrowded one. Shawn of The Dead seemed to spark something in horror filmmakers that has refused to die. The vast majority are, to be honest, fairly bad. I am not a fan of zombie flicks as it is. This is a genre that I tend to avoid. Still, I was interested to see what another European country’s take on it would be. The story follows couple Alison and Michael. Alison wants to undergo a breast reduction. The cheapest option is a sketchy Eastern European hospital. All of a sudden, things go horribly wrong.
I have not watched a tremendous amount of Belgian horror. In fact, the last one that comes to mind is Rabid Grannies from the 80s. Well, that is if we aren’t including the Irish, Belgian collab The Cellar. I was intrigued by how they would approach it. The result is a movie that is fairly good fun. Naturally, it plays to type and doesn’t really do anything different. It is enjoyable for what it is, though.
Set in a fairly large, Eastern European, hospital. Yummy has everything you might expect from a zombie comedy. There is a lot of gore, a very thin plot, tons of interesting kills and some nice practical effects. Aiming to at least have some traditional horror elements. This is a movie that wants to deliver on the things many know and love about the genre. Expect intestines spilling out of bodies. Half naked zombies chasing people around. Clumsy protagonists and doctors keeping secrets.
Featuring an interesting mix of English and a non-descript Eastern European Language. Yummy is easily digestible for Western audiences. Even if you don’t enjoy subtitled movies. Its fast paced focus on action and comedy keeps things moving along smoothly. It doesn’t ask much of the viewer. That’s exactly what you want from a zombie themed horror comedy.
The comedy is a primary focus here. It comes in both visual form and by way of character interactions. Alison’s (Maaike Neuville) ridiculously over the top bust size makes for instant laughs. Her boyfriend’s complete inability to do anything right is entertaining for its ridiculousness. Everyone introduced into the story is there to provide further comedy. Be it sleazy, drug addicted, hospital workers or devious buxom nurses. The movie is consistently humorous and light hearted. It is also rather topical given the recent obsession with cosmetic surgery.
Our main protagonist, Michael, is ill at ease as a hero. Incapable and easily perturbed. His hemophobia only further worsens the situation he has found himself in. Luckily Allison is more capable and only too willing to help him out. It makes for a decent dynamic with plenty of laughs. Of course, not all of the comedy hits. Certain scenes will likely seem too stupid to garner a laugh from some. One in particular stands out due to its absurdity. It features a prosthetic penis and a pair of bumbling idiots. Still, it got a chuckle out of me for how ridiculous it was. It can’t be said that the movie isn’t willing to take risks.
As far as scares go, there aren’t a ton here. As mentioned above, the focus is on comedy. That doesn’t mean there are no horror elements, though. The gore comes by the bucket load. Practical effects take centre stage and they are, in parts, exceptional. A zombie eating its own intestines is a rather gruesome sight. A topless zombette lumbering maniacally unsettles. The mix of 28 Days Later style rage zombies and retro Romero types is interesting. The maze like nature of the hospital keeps up the sense of suspense. The characters don’t know what is around each corner.
The film eventually moves into something reminiscent of older zombie movies. A group of ill matched survivors band together to find a way out. Some might make it, others won’t. This has all been done before but it is satisfying all the same. There are uneasy allegiances and a few plot twists to boot. An unexpected ending wraps things up in satisfying manner. It’s decent stuff. The 88 minute runtime strolls by rapidly and it stays entertaining throughout.
Naturally this type of movie won’t be for everyone. The comedy is such a strong focus that many will be put off from the get go. Horror Comedy is a divisive genre as it is. The zombie horror sub-genre is overcrowded and there isn’t much left to extract from it. The humour is about as low-brow as it gets, as well. If you have a low tolerance for dick jokes, semi naked women and sex references. You will likely find little to like.
Much of the violence is actually off screen. There is tons of gore here and plenty of excellent effects. The kills aren’t that graphic, though. Given the nature of the movie, some may be disappointed by this. The ending may leave a few people bent out of shape, as well. Acting is something of a mixed bag. Maaike Neuville, as Alison, and Bart Hollanders, as Michael, are great fun. Michael is convincingly hopeless. I enjoyed Clara Cleymans as Nurse Janja as well. Some of the other roles are not as good. Much of the acting is played for laughs and can be hammy. Nobody stands out as being particularly bad, though.
Yummy is a fun movie that stands out in a very crowded genre. Placing a typical zombie scenario in an Eastern European hospital. The action is relentless and full of laughs. A strong focus on comedy means this may not be for everyone. This is a very worn out genre. Despite this, there are some fun kills and tons of gore.
Decent performances and some excellent practical effects help keep things fun. Still, if you aren't a fan of the genre this is unlikely to change your mind. If, however, you are looking for a few laughs, you could do a lot worse.