So, the question of whether Belgium can make a good zombie film seems to have been answered, and that answer is: “Hell Yes!” Now, I’m only basing that answer on one film, the new splatter flick Yummy, but that film is an absolute treat, and you need to see it.
Alison (Maaike Neuville) is driving to a sketchy foreign hospital in order to get breast reduction surgery. Yes, that’s a topic we don’t see much of in films, let alone zombie comedies, and the surprise here is that it’s dealt with sensitively. Her reasons for getting surgery are legit, and her boyfriend Michael (Bart Hollanders) is supportive, and reassures her that she‘s the one who gets to choose what to do with her own body. I liked them both immediately.
Don’t worry; the crass and tasteless stuff you’re all here to see is coming up fast. The hospital gets hit with a zombie infestation almost immediately, and things get enjoyably gross and splattery. These zombies tend to scramble after their prey on all fours, and it’s just as creepy a sight as it was in REC (2007), and is similarly shocking and exhilarating.
The characters get separated, find other survivors, some of whom shouldn’t be trusted, and form temporary alliances that don’t always go well. Things move at an agreeably breathless speed, and the filmmakers use our familiarity with the zombie genre to skip over the boring explanations and arguments, and get straight to the action. (Michael’s medical background, and his aversion to the sight of blood are interesting complications, though.) I wouldn’t call Yummy a comedy, but it has moments of dark humour, or at least gross spectacle to shriek at.
Yeah, I know; buying tickets for a zombie movie is a risk. Lots of them are crap. But occasionally you’ll stumble across a really good one, like Re-Animator, Dead Alive, Evil Dead, or now, Yummy. Grab your subtitle-reading glasses, and get in on this one.
Yummy is available for screening as part of the Calgary Underground Film Festival until June 28. To watch go to https://www.calgaryundergroundfilm.org/2020/yummy.
John Tebbutt is the Video Vulture. He has been writing about obscure and ridiculous cinema since 1997. You can keep up with his nonsense on his website, Facebook, Twitter and through episodes of a program he’s doing with NUTV.