Eat Brains Love is a gory and gleefully irreverent Horror Comedy from the director of Idle Hands. Featuring a unique spin on zombie lore, the film brings together a love triangle of teens on the lam from a secret government agency hunting them down. Filled with gross practical effects, gross-out humor, and an engrossing story about awkward teenage hormones, the film is a must-see for dedicated horror comedy fans. Recommended.
Eat Brains Love begins as pothead Jake (Jake Cannavale, Nurse Jackie) and his cheerleader crush Amanda (Angelique Rivera, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot) hit the road in search of a cure after contracting a sexually transmitted zombie virus. Pursuing them is a secret government agency led by powerful telepath Alastair (Patrick Fabian, Extracurricular Activities) and his jaded teenage protege Cass (Sarah Yarkin, Happy Death Day 2U). Along the way, Jake and Amanda develop a bond, Cass develops feelings for Jake, and Alastaire’s sinister plot is revealed. Got all that?
Jake is likable, with the actor effortlessly delivering his stoner-infused lines. He reminds me of his dad, Bobby Cannavale, whose control over his confidence makes his performances memorable. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I suppose. Jake’s on-screen chemistry with Angelique Rivera succeeds thanks to the raunchy jokes and awkwardly cute moments she easily handles. The supporting cast commits to their roles with entertaining results, even though their characters are a bit wooden.
Director Rodman Flender smartly modifies the zombie mythos to better adapt to raging teenage hormones by allowing the virus to be sexually transmitted. The zombies still bite and chew their way through body after body. Still, this sexy wrinkle allows our character’s relationships to be affected by the virus on a purely emotional level. Genius.
Eat Brains Love goes the distance and utilizes practical effects which look damn good. Ripping flesh, spilling intestines, and dismembered bodies are rendered nicely by the effects team, giving every bloody, violent scene a sense of satisfaction through hyperrealism. What a breath of fresh air! The various makeup appliances look amazing, whether a small facial tear or a gaping chest cavity overflowing with entrails. As a horror fan for many years, it's a pleasure to see the commitment to practical effects throughout the feature. Even if the story isn’t your cup of brains, gorehounds should check out this bloody good flick.
Combined with relatable performances from the main cast and confident effects work, the film succeeds in the same vein as Rodman’s most successful feature, Idle Hands. There, Rodman created a horror-centric answer to the growing tide of 90’s teen comedies and the hugely successful show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now, he takes the same formula with Eat Brains Love, hoping to capture the vigor produced by the recent onslaught of superhero films and zombie TV shows. Full of broad humor, gory violence, and whipsmart dialogue commenting on the struggles of being a teenager, Eat Brains Love is a perfect watch for fans of this hungry subgenre.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Eat Brains Love arrives courtesy of Gunpowder & Sky and OCN Distribution. The Region A BD-25 disc is housed in a transparent keepcase with reversible artwork, and an insert booklet. If you order direct from Vinegar Syndrome you score a slick exclusive slipcover. Loading the disc presents the Gunpowder & Sky logo before landing on the Main Menu screen with scenes from the film playing above typical navigation options.
The AVC-encoded 1080p HD image for Eat Brains Love is presented in the film’s original 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Lifelike colors with stable primaries offer bright hues with acceptable depth and contrast. Fine detail is apparent within medium and close-up shots. Facial features and costuming textures are evident. Makeup effects, appliances, and gory bits look impressive, with loads of detail and texture. Compression issues appear during nighttime scenes. Black levels are dark with detail in shadow impressive. Color palettes change using cliched filters: yellows for optimistic road trip scenes, blues for tactical NCD scenes, and reds for violent attacks.
Eat Brains Love lets the bodies hit the floor in a confident 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio mix. Dialogue is clear and crisp from the center and front channels. Intense rock themes fill the surround channels as our trio of teens battle government agents or devour human flesh. LFE gets punchy during action scenes but maintains a sustained moodiness otherwise. Scoring elements engage with the film's visual momentum keeping the pace moving nicely.
Gunpowder & Sky loads this release of the film with plenty for fans to chew on after the credits roll. Start with the Director’s commentary track before moving through the other selections.
Inside the bleeding undead heart of Eat Brains Love is an irreverent and often charming romantic comedy. Fueled by a cast of relative newcomers, the film relies on gross-out humor and gory practical effects to carry us through. Thankfully, it works as a millennial zom-com with its unique take on zombie lore and the addition of superhuman abilities. Gunpowder & Sky and OCN Distribution bring the film to Blu-ray with an impressive A/V package and enough bonus features to make heads roll. For horror comedy fans, this one comes Recommended.