Review: My Boyfriend’s Back (1993) Blu Ray Release by Mill Creek (2016)

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I did watch this “maybe” for the “first time” late last year 2015? I think it popped up on one of my paid streaming services and thought I’d give it a chance. The movie was originally released back in 1993 and, at that time in my life, I was a BROKE college student and I missed a bunch of the early to mid-nineties flicks; My Boyfriend’s Back was one of them… even though I worked at a video store at the time so I really shouldn’t have an excuse but this one slipped under my radar.

Even when I saw it a few months ago I don’t really remember much of it other than the cameos. So here I am again ready to reevaluate the Mill Creek Blu Ray edition of My Boyfriend’s Back.

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MILD SPOILERS

It begins with a 1950-like doo-wop song familiar enough not to tread on copyright infringements. The first scene is a comic book of the story about to be told; a kind of Treasure Island/Moby Dick/Alice In Wonderland sort of story? A voice over sets up the exposition as the comic book pages are turned then come to life. As the exposition continues, it gets kinda creepy before going full “3 O’Clock High”/”Better Off Dead”/”Cant Buy Me Love”. I realize almost from the get-go that the movie is derivative within that moment of time. 1993 is pretty late out of the gate to do the cliché Hughes/Savage thing but they are trying something a bit different within those tropes.

Andrew Lowery plays Johnny, the virgin, lusting after Missy, the school hottie, Missy and isn’t afraid to remind her how hot she is. The school prom is coming up but Johnny feels like he has no chance of getting a date for the prom because he is a virgin… uh, what?! Johnny has dreams in the form of performance anxiety and lacks real world self-confidence to ask the girl of his dreams to prom, even though Andrew (as Johnny) has good looks, charm, and charisma. He’s better put together than a majority of the people I knew at that time. It’s similar to the feeling I had toward John Cusack in Better Off Dead, his character had much more going for him in the way of charm and charisma than I ever did but I looked up to him as an equal geeky voice of hope.

The jocks are the ultra Type-A personalities picking on the weaker classmen especially Johnny when he continuously hits on Missy. This is where the first future A-list celebrity appears in a minor role. The movie has a handful of “oh my god, is that who I think it is?” bit roles but hey, they had to start somewhere, right? You’d think the STARS of the movie would be carving out a lucrative career and not the SAG extras paid scale one-line appearance actor?

Anyway, Johnny and his buddy devise a plan to impress Missy by staging a convenience store robbery rescue. It goes wrong and Johnny dies… sorry, spoiler, but it’s pretty obvious by the title of the movie, right? Next thing we know is he’s buried but not quite finished with the living. There is a purpose as to why he’s “in-between” and he doesn’t have much time before his body completely decays to finish his task. There are rules to follow and adjustments to be made (hilariously by his parents and the entire town). It’s kinda like the plot of The Crow (1994) if you switch out the murder-revenge plot with Can’t Buy Me Love (1987).

That was the entire beginning setup for the rest of the movie, about the first 15 minutes. Right where I stopped is where the movie really has fun. I’m not going to spoil anything else so go ahead and watch the movie with fresh minds… or brrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaainnnns! For the second time watching it in so many months I really enjoyed it this time around. It’s not perfect and there isn’t much originality but what is there they pull off quite well as long as you’re along for the ride. Like any movie that is hinging on one solid premise if it’s not introducing a fresh new element or twist it can feel tiring and overworked. My Boyfriend’s Back does drag a bit but picks itself up when it needs to, I just wish it were “fleshed” out so we had a few surprises thrown in.

There’s hardly any blood and next to no gore so it’s not a Dead Alive (1992) or An American Werewolf In London (1981). It’s played as a straight PG-13 high school “I want to get laid”/”I want the pretty girl to go with me to the prom but I’m a geek” movie with a hopelessly horny zombie. It also doesn’t get raunchy but there are some innuendos and euphemisms thrown in that would likely go over the heads of the younger crowd and a rolling of the eyes from adults. Probably one of the earliest examples of accessible light-hearted zombie movies I can think of.

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Watch it with that person who doesn’t care for horror movies but loves cute high school movies/TV shows. My Boyfriend’s Back is a good middle ground. Good companion viewing with Warm Bodies (2013), Fido (2006), and Shaun of the Dead (2004).

Young celebrity faces to look for:
Matthew Fox
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Matthew McConaughey

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My Boyfriend’s Back (1993)
PG-13, 1h 25min, Comedy-Fantasy-Horror, Touchstone Pictures, Mill Creek Entertainment Distribution Blu Ray 2016.

Get My Boyfriend’s Back (1993) Mill Creek Entertainment Distribution Blu Ray 2016 on Amazon.com

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