Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I Got Blood in My Tummy!
Alison (Maaike Neuville) travels to an old Eastern European hospital to have breast-reduction surgery done. She is driven there by her boyfriend Michael (Bart Hollanders) and accompanied by her mother, Sylvia (Annick Christiaens), who is tagging along to get a face-lift. They arrive at the hospital to find it a bit more decrepit than they were led to believe but staffed by an efficient group of lovely women and men. Alison is taken to the room to have her surgery done, Sylvia is whisked away for her work, and Michael is left to his own devices. He wanders around and discovers a room with a woman tied down. She appears normal but in pain. He takes a mask off of her face to reveal a gory maw, and he shrieks and runs. He accidentally helps set her loose, and the woman—who is really a zombie, the result of hospital rejuvenation therapies gone wrong—bites and eats people, spreading the zombie infection, until the whole hospital is infested and our heroes, along with some plucky survivors we meet along the way, must fight their way to freedom.
Yep, pretty much the same plot as hundreds of other zombie films, Yummy plays it a bit different with its hospital setting, its plastic surgery milieu, and its Easter European background. Also, it plays a lot of the movie for laughs. Michael is a klutz and a bit of a bumbler, so he finds himself in trouble time and time again because of his aversion to blood and his general clumsiness. Some of the gags work, some don’t. The other characters are a bit unlikable, to say the least, even protagonist Alison, who feels very self-absorbed at times. In any case, this is a pretty decent little zombie film, with good bits of gore and some nice set-pieces. It is particularly compelling when the group is looking for a way out, only to find they’re trapped, and the ending is especially grim and nihilistic (although with a bit of a black comedic twist), so kudos to director Lars Damoiseaux for that.
It’s hard to pull off a horror comedy. Go too broad, and it’s funny and not scary; go too scary, and the laughs feel forced. This one falls more in the former category, a bit funnier than scary, but it comes close to really nailing the formula. I guess there’s just one or two too many goofball scenes for this to reach a Shaun of the Dead kind of level, and it’s also missing that intangible love for the zombie world that makes Shaun so special. This falls somewhere between Return of the Living Dead and its sequel. Yummy is good and fun, if not particularly amazing, and that’s okay. It will entertain you and is the kind of film that rewards a re-watch or two. Not a classic, but not a stinker, this is a solid zombie horror comedy that walks across well-trod ground, offering a few dashes of its own personality to keep the living dead fresh and free of rot.