Yummy is a zombie film. That is stating the obvious, but I say it with wholehearted sincerity. It is a zombie film, but a zombie film that takes you on a wild and bloody ride. We live in a day and age where the words “zombie movie” may elicit a groan or two because, well, there is a surplus of them. Rest assured that Yummy rises above the generic undead, and brings some life to the subgenre. The usual zombie tropes are present. They’re just elevated with the addition of extra bodily fluids. Blood and guts are aplenty, but so are vomit, body fat, and bile. Sounds gnarly, yes? It is.
This zombie shindig takes place at a plastic surgery facility where Michael (Bart Hollanders) has taken his girlfriend, Alison (Maaike Neuville), and her mother, Sylvia (Annick Christiaens), for a few procedures. Alison wants a breast reduction while her mom has opted to modify her body in a few different ways. While the two ladies are being prepped for surgery, Michael wanders off with facility employee, Daniel (Benjamin Ramon), and comes across a masked woman strapped to a medical table. After removing the mask from the woman, Michael discovers that the mask was there for a reason. The woman is a result of an experiment gone awry. The woman is a living dead girl. What follows is a race to survive the undead, see how many bodily fluids characters can be covered with, and make it out of the facility alive.
“…a zombie film that takes you on a wild and bloody ride.”
Director, Lars Damoiseaux, knows a thing or two about what viewers want from a zombie film. Yummy is a product of his short, Patient Zero (2016), which has the same plot, but was filmed from the point of view of a singular zombie as it terrorizes a facility and the streets outside. The short is a 3 minute adrenaline rush akin to films like Crank (2006) and Hardcore Henry (2015). Damoiseaux took the plot from his short, and lengthened it out into a narrative that is more Dead Alive (1993) than a nonstop action film. This little ol’ reviewer comparing Yummy to the classic Peter Jackson vehicle may not set the fires ablaze, yet it is being said with absolute honesty.
The focus of Yummy is the love story between Michael and Alison. He has a ring for her, and plans to propose to her after her surgery. Performers of these characters along with their dialogue created by Damoiseaux and cowriter, Eveline Hagenbeek, keep us involved with them. They’re the anchor that is set up, and keep us on the side of the humans during the chaos that is about to erupt. Of course, other characters are there solely to be zombie bait.
And whew, are they zombie bait! As mentioned, the bodily fluids run freely. The body parts are scattered everywhere. The use of gore – at most times – is the film’s way of bringing in the laughs. There are some gags as funny as they are wince-inducing. The camera doesn’t shy away from anything. Gore in a zombie film of this ilk is necessary, and we get it in conventional and unconventional ways. While most of the gore gags manage to pull off their comedic aspirations, the majority of the film’s push for laughs do not fare as well. A quirky moment here and a character decision there elicits a smile. The nearly nonstop pacing of the film barely gives any time to let you laugh at those moments before the next moment happens. One film’s unappreciated aspect is another man’s prize though. The loud and fast pace of the film may take a backseat to the humor for others.
That’s what’s so great about Yummy. The levels that are present in the film are presented as a buffet of what is loved about zombie cinema. It’s also representative of an actual buffet. Some may go for the toe and finger casserole while others may go for the filet o’ brain. Damoiseaux laid it out all there right in front of us for a sitting of one delicious, grotesque meal.
“Yummy rises above the generic undead, and brings some life to the subgenre.”
Yummy’s buffet delight premieres exclusively on Shudder on July 25 in the US and UK. Give it a watch, and let us know what you thought on our Twitter, reddit, Instagram, and at the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!