Saturday 27 June 2020

Shudder Saturday: Yummy (2019)

Directed and co-written by Lars Damoiseaux (working with Eveline Hagenbeek), Yummy is a lively and splattery zombie comedy horror, and it's one that manages to keep things moving briskly enough from start to finish without any truly brilliant set-pieces to set it apart from many others.

Maaike Neuville is Allison, a young woman heading to a hospital in Eastern Europe for a long-awaited breast reduction procedure. She is attending with her partner, Michael (Bart Hollanders), and her mother, Sylvia (Annick Christiaens). Unfortunately, something has happened to a number of other patients, which results in your typical zombie outbreak scenario. Joining up with another staff member (Janja, played by Clara Cleymans), Dr. K. (Eric Godon), and the irritatingly flirtatious and horny Daniel (Benjamin Ramon).

Yummy does everything well. Damoiseaux is a good enough director, and the script is competent enough in setting the tone of the film, as well as putting the characters in place and progressing everything along from bad to worse. Where it falls down is in the dialogue, and the lack of any real depth for the main characters. Allison and Michael are sweet, that's about it. Oh, and Michael can't stand the sight of blood. Sylvia is vain. Daniel is lusty. Janja is an attractive nurse who goes about being an attractive nurse.

The cast don't do a bad job, and they fit their characters well enough. Neuville has to put up with her breasts being the focus of the film for most of the opening third, and she does that while also being a good female lead to root for, and Hollanders is a sweet partner for her. Ramon is enjoyably over the top, and he's the kind of character you need in almost every zombie film (the asshole you want to see being munched before the end credits roll). And Cleymans has to look very attractive, and also as if she knows more than she is letting on. She does both easily enough. Christiaens and Godon aren't bad, but they're never the focus of any scene, so you suspect that they're more disposable than some of the others.

The blood is thrown around in generous amounts, and there are some good special effects on display as zombies bite into people or struggle to move around with their own serious injuries meaning a lot of their body parts aren't where they should be, and keeping the majority of the action set in the hospital is a good move. It's not good enough though, unfortunately, and the goodwill it earns with the sheer sense of enthusiasm and fun throughout it is diminished by the lack of any real tension, and a lack of interest in how everything will actually resolve for everyone.

There's enough here to make me interested in everyone involved, however, both behind and in front of the camera. And enough here to entertain horror fans after a fun 90-ish minutes of zombie action.


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