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Review: Yummy (2020)

It’s a family outing, Alison (Maaike Neuville), her boyfriend Michael (Bart Hollanders) and Alison’s mother Sylvia (Annick Christiaens) are hitting the road. Where are they heading? A cut-price Eastern European plastic surgery clinic of course. Mom wants a few more nips and tucks, even though she’s had more bodywork done on her than my old Trans Am. Alison wants a boob job, a reduction job, that is. Something nobody there can quite understand. Michael hates the sight of blood, but is too nice not to drive them.

Belgium isn’t exactly known for its horror cinema. Daughters of Darkness, Calvaire and maybe The Pack come to mind. For those with bloodier tastes, there’s the infamous Lucker the Necrophagous and, of course, Rabid Grannies. Director Lars Damoiseaux and co-writer Eveline Hagenbeek (Undercover) want to change that with Yummy, a zombie bloodbath with moments of delightfully dark humour.

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It seems the doctors at the clinic want to offer more than just plastic surgery. They’re experimenting with a rejuvenation formula, something that never ends well. And it doesn’t this time either, resulting in an outbreak of zombies at the clinic. Accidentally enabled by Michael.

Yummy lays the blood and gore on heavily. Within minutes of the outbreak, we see a bit of gut-munching that gives a new meaning to eating someone out. Another zombie is on the receiving end of a fire extinguisher beat down. And what happens to one dude’s gear had me seriously wincing. The gore is practical, though I think there was some CGI blood spray in a couple of scenes. Between the amount of blood flying around and some of the lighting, it’s hard to be sure.

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This is offset with more splatstick incidents such as a frantic zombie attack scored to techno and a liposuction operation put into reverse, with explosive results. The shift in tone is sometimes jarring and not always successful. But as the film goes on, the humour tends to fade out and Yummy becomes a fairly straightforward horror film.

While it’s not another Train to Busan, Yummy is a fast-moving and fun dose of the walking, crawling and running dead.

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Yummy is currently available on Shudder in the US and UK, but not here in Canada, it seems. The film’s Facebook page may have more info about other release plans.

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