Join me as we travel down the rabbit hole of a terrible, weird movie from 1993, featuring early appearances from great actors who would go on to do great things and never ever mention this film on their resumes again. Oh and just in case this review gives you a hankering to relive your prom days, be sure to check out Mix Tape & Cupcakes’s Prom Night nostaliga playlist.
A week ago, I saw The Cutting Edge, for the first time. I have to say that I LOVED it and I want moooore. So I decided to watch one of the movies that Amazon recommends for people who have just watched The Cutting Edge. And that lead me to this:
I felt compelled to watch it because I had once considered writing a Zombie rom-com in college, but I was too busy partying (and studying!) to actually write script. My idea wasn’t exactly like this. It was going to be a meet-cute situation immediately preceding a Zombie apocalypse and then the couple from the meet-cute would reconnect as Zombies and have to deal with the ups and downs of a new romance while also dealing with being the undead.
PLUS, Edward Hermann from Gilmore Girls is in My Boyfriend’s Back so I obviously HAD to watch it.
Anyway, this movie is all about this boy who has loved this girl, Missy, since childhood, which seems sweet except that he’s a major creeper:
I think we are supposed to feel like it’s not a big deal that he’s a major creep because he’s dreaming in the scene above, but I’m still going to hold it against him. Like THAT is how you dream of talking to the person you’ve been in “love” with for years?
I almost stopped the movie here. The dude sucks and everyone is dressed like they are in a bad Twin Peaks knock-off. But then Phillip Seymour Hoffman shows up as a jock-lackey and I’m intrigued enough to continue.
Things take a turn for the creepy again when our “protagonist” (ugh, can we call him that?) concocts a plan, which he describes as “swashbuckling, romantic, daring,” and which I describe as “something that could land you in jail or at least with a hefty restraining order but nope probably just jail.” The plan is to have his friend, Eddie, pretend to try to kill Missy. Then McCreeper (not even going to learn his real name) can save her life and make her fall in love with him.
I’m not sure why he’s participating because Eddie seems to be right on the money with this analysis:
Unfortunately, Eddie isn’t able to carry out his side of the plan because a real robber shows up. This man doesn’t sound at all like Eddie. His eyes are also a different color. Yet McCreeper is apparently too stupid to realize that this is not his friend. He acts like he’s tough stuff and starts to fight off the robber. He eventually realizes that this isn’t Eddie, but he still jumps in front of what he must now know is an actual bullet. As he dies, McCreeper asks Missy out to prom and she says yes.
Now things get interesting. Before, things were sad and creepy and not funny. But then McCreeper comes back from the dead, so yeah. I’m kind of interested to see where this goes. As McCreeper heads home from his grave, a gravedigger tells him that he’s now a member of the “undead” and is supposed to NEVER leave the cemetery. But McCreeper’s parents are surprisingly chill with the whole thing:
I start to understand the gravedigger’s warning when McCreeper tries to eat Eddie’s arm for lunch instead of the cafeteria food. Being the McCreeper that he is, he doesn’t seem disturbed by this new development. However, he’s very upset that Missy no longer seems interested in going to prom with him. I shouldn’t be surprised that this narcissistic a-hole can’t tell the difference between a deathbed promise and actual romantic love, but I’m too far into the film to stop now, so I proceed against my better judgement.
Missy starts to tell him off, but then her boyfriend interrupts and tells her that she’s not allowed to talk to the dead kid because she’s ruining their reputations. She claims that McCreeper is “actually a nice guy” and decides to go out with him to spite her boyfriend. Wow, I mean this girl really has a warped view of the word “nice”. I wish I could jump into this film and stage an intervention for her.
Let me take a moment to say that the Amazon algorithm is terribly flawed. My Boyfriend’s Back is NOT like The Cutting Edge. Even though The Cutting Edge has some hints of influence from The Taming of the Shrew, it is ultimately an empowering tale of self-confidence, trust, and toe axels. But there’s still a small chance Missy could tell everyone to go to hell, right?
Meanwhile, Missy and McCreeper go on their first date to a Zombie movie. (Ugh, too on the nose.) And all of the kids sitting near them start talking about how she’s stepping out on her boyfriend. I’m soooo over it, but then I notice that one of them is Matthew Mcconaughey! While the kids are talking shit, Missy and McCreeper are bonding over Jujubes. She gets some stuck in her teeth and he tells her to drink some soda. “I can’t believe that you came up with a whole system for this,” she says. WTF girl, you’ve never heard of drinking a soda before? I’m getting worried about Missy. I’m starting to think she’s been living in this misogynistic town for so long that she’s thinking she needs to let McCreeper think he’s smart. And he’s so NOT smart that the best she can offer is applauding his Jujube eating skills.
After the movie, Missy and McCreeper make out and his ear falls off. He immediately rushes to the doctor. (He’s already dead and decaying, so I’m not sure that this will help.) He asks the doctor to set him up with some medicine to prevent decay, but all he can do is offer him some glue for his ear. He does also put him in touch with a local woman who’s husband also came back from the dead 15 years ago. (Hm, I’m surprised that didn’t come up earlier. You’d think people might have been talking about that more.)
The woman is Cloris Leachman! Sadly, Cloris tells him that the only way he can live long enough to attend the prom is to start eating people. Yep, he needs to go FULL zombie. One bite equals 20 minutes of non-decay. McCreeper, to his credit, is conflicted about this. But he lucks out when Philip Seymour Hoffman catches him cheating with Missy and tries to kill him with an axe. Sadly, Philip Seymour Hoffman is playing a total idiot and accidentally axes himself instead of McCreeper. McCreeper starts chowing down in the middle of the hall and then thing becomes a news sensation. Also, it makes Missy not want to go to the prom with him anymore.
At this point, I’d have to say that McCreeper’s parents have totally lost their minds, most likely from the trauma of their son dying and then returning as the undead. McCreeper’s mom has decided to kidnap small child for “lunch”. I’m pretty sure even fans of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal would find this very dark.
As it turns out, this kid is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s younger brother. So their dad is understandably PISSED to an extreme level. But when he and some guys from the neighborhood come over to shoot McCreeper (apparently, forgetting he’s already dead) McCreeper’s mom very sweetly threatens them WITH A SHOTGUN. What the hell am I watching??
After the altercation in his living room, McCreeper tracks down Missy at a hair salon and tells her that he only ate Philip Seymour Hoffman so that he could be with her–an absolutely horrifying statement that Missy finds romantic:
So far the only thing I’ve learned from this movie is that Missy has an incredibly low self-esteem.
By the time prom rolls around, Missy’s parents have adamantly told her that she cannot go out with a dead kid. As Missy prepares to sneak out of the house, McCreeper tries to eat her shoulder. Sadly, Missy was willing to go out with him even though he tried to eat her alive, but McCreeper doesn’t think it’s worth the risk.
Oh hey, remember that doctor from way earlier in this movie/post? He may just be a small town doctor, but he’s just discovered a way to resurrect the dead! But he doesn’t actually want to use this modern miracle on McCreeper. No, he wants to use McCreeper to make this serum and then market it as a cosmetic treatment. He tricks McCreeper with the promise of a cure and tries to harvest his zombified skin in his lab. Luckily, Eddie and Missy save him when the doctor steps away to answer the door.
That knock at the door? It was an angry mob with a battering ram. The mob chases McCreeper to the cemetery where Missy comes to his aid once again. You know, it’s all fun and games over here, but someone basically remade this a few years ago and everyone loved it. I think it was called Twilight.
Missy and McCreeper finally make it to prom, where he collapses and disintegrates into smoke. He finally makes it to the afterlife only to discover that there has been a clerical error. He was meant to have a near-death experience instead of a death experience.
Suddenly, McCreeper is zapped back to the night of the incident. He’s shot but survives only to find that he was saved by the bullet hitting a locket he intended to give Missy in the first grade, which he is now magically wearing. But hey other magic things in this movie happened, so oh well. He confesses his feelings and Missy thinks it’s cool that this guy she barely knows is wearing a locket containing pictures of them as six-year olds. Yikes.
Final Thoughts: I think this was trying to be funny in a Heathers kind of way. It failed. But they do have comic-book style scene transitions and I thought that was kind of fun.
P.S.: I promised you a very special series announcement a couple of posts ago. That announcement will be happening on April 28th, so check back then!