Well. That was a thing. That was a hell of a thing.
In this instance the thing is a movie. A movie called Yummy which is the first feature length film from writer/director Lars Damoiseaux and I have to bust out the quote again. I gotta, it’s the law. This film? It. Is. GLORIOUS. Yummy is an audiovisual assault on the senses, a film swimming in bathtubs of blood sprinkled with viscera and only the finest deadpan comedy and it deserves to stand proud on any horror fan’s shelf, watchlist or library.
The plot is simple enough. A trio which comprises Alison (Maaike Neuville), Michael (Bart Hollanders), and Alison’s mother Sylvia (Annick Christiaens), go to the shadiest cosmetic surgery establishment known to mankind. Alison is tired of people staring at her, so is looking for a breast reduction, while Sylvia is looking for, well, let’s just say it includes the phrase “anal bleach” and leave it at that.
While being given a tour of the facility, Michael stumbles across a woman tied down to the bed who turns out to be… a zombie. Why is there a zombie in the basement? Something to do with experimental stem cells. Don’t think about it too hard, it really doesn’t matter, because in short order the woman escapes, does what zombies do and within minutes the hospital has become an abattoir as patients and staff are devoured. Blood splatters the walls, the floors, the characters, there are innards everywhere, practical gore by the bucketload (and yet a strange use of CGI vomit early on) and it features some of the best kills I’ve seen in a long time. There’s death by liposuction, there’s a zombie foetus, there’s even a man getting his dick set on fire which was the point where I had to do something I haven’t done since since watching Hereditary.
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I had to pause the film and take a moment to gather my thoughts and attempt to process what the fuck I had just seen. It only takes twenty-five minutes for the first zombie to appear on screen and from that point on the movie barely stops for breath till the credits finally roll. If I had to pick a film to compare this to, to set your expectations for what you’re about to see, it’d be something like Black Sheep, another stylish black-comedy horror with a fair amount of gore. Though admittedly this comparison only works if you’ve seen Black Sheep and if you’re any sort of self-respecting horror fan then you really should have by now.
Really, there’s no reason for me not to wholeheartedly recommend this film, right? Well, except for one thing. The sound mix. The dialogue is a mix of heavily accented English and a made up Eastern-European sounding language they called “Balkanese” to avoid tying the film down to a specific location. The issue here is that sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of what people are saying in English due to the accents, and sometimes the subtitles are only on screen for a split second so there was more than one point I had to rewind to catch bits of dialogue.
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But this is a nitpick. Does it detract from the overall quality and experience of this film? No, not in the slightest, but it’s the only genuine complaint I have to make. The acting is good, the zombie effects are brilliant (especially the legless zombie who is actually played by a lady without any legs) and while it SLIGHTLY relies on the trope of “smart people doing dumb things” you can let it slide here due to what we know about the characters involved.
Wrapping things up I have one last thing to say as I do know some folks have a bit of a bugbear about it – please don’t let the need to read subtitles scare you away from watching this film, because you will be missing out on one hell of a movie.
Yummy premieres on Shudder UK on 25th June.