If you had to pick a single horror genre that has been done to death, zombies would probably come out victorious. From the mid 2000s all the way to now, the flood of zombie stories have become overwhelming to say the least. That’s not to say the genre is out of juice, though; there are still plenty of newer releases dealing in the realm of the undead to enjoy.
In this case, Shudder’s new original zombie flick, Yummy, is a good option for a rainy movie day.
Brought to us by the lovely people over in Belgium, Yummy is a gory trip into a “totally not-creepy-at-all” Eastern European hospital that specializes in extreme plastic surgery. Here, we follow Alison as she prepares for a breast reduction surgery with her boyfriend, Michael, by her side and her mother, Sylvia, in another room preparing for another face lift. With a simple set up comes the simple conflict: zombies. Thus begins an intense final hour in which our main characters attempt to escape the Resident-Evil-NEST-looking hospital, with strangers in tow.
To put it simply, the adventure to escape the grasp of the undead is a complete blast. It helps that each zombie design is unique to its person, making each spooky encounter different from the last. All of this wouldn’t have been possible if not for the strong attention to detail put into these horrific creations. Whether it be a walking fish with an intense hunger or a legless zombie consuming its own flesh, the immense talent behind the horror of Yummy really makes this film come alive.
And it helps when the gore is over the top and unfathomably gratuitous in the best way possible. Stomachs bursting in a spectacle of goo and blood, pus shooting out of zombies’ wounds, heads being crushed, fingers sliced off– you get the picture. Many times in Yummy did I wish I could be watching this at a midnight showcase somewhere with a crowd full of intoxicated horror freaks. The cheers that would pump out of that auditorium would be deafening.
Yet with all of the pros when it comes to the horror aspects, Yummy unfortunately falls short in the story department. While most of the film follows the simple act of survival, the final 30 minutes attempt to throw in a slew of unnecessary twists and turns that feel both unnatural and incredibly convoluted. All of this leading to an ending that feels both abrupt and unsatisfying.
Still, even with a story a bit less thrilling than you would hope from a zombie flick, there is still enough fun to be had with Yummy to warrant a late night watch. Plenty of the imagery is memorable; one scene in particular featuring an enlarged piece of genitalia set on fire is so ridiculous, it still cracks me up as I’m writing this.
So if you got that hankering for the undead and need a piece of light horror, consider taking a bite out of Yummy.
dir. Lars Damoiseaux
Now streaming on Shudder (free 30-day trial with code SHUTIN)
Streaming is no substitute for taking in a screening at a locally owned cinema, and right now Boston’s most beloved theaters need your help to survive. If you have the means, the Hassle strongly recommends making a donation, purchasing a gift card, or becoming a member at the Brattle Theatre, Coolidge Corner Theatre, and/or the Somerville Theatre. Keep film alive, y’all.