Max (Anton Yelchin) loves his girlfriend Evelyn (Ashley Greene) - or at least he thinks he does, but she is growing very needy lately combined with an overly aggressive streak. He can put that down to her insecurity, but the nagging feeling she isn't quite the right girl for him stays in his thoughts, the way she treats his half brother Travis (Oliver Cooper) not to his liking, no matter that the guy is a total slob who has a habit of bringing his latest conquests over to have sex with them on the sofa of Max's apartment, not the most endearing of traits. Still, when Max and Evelyn venture into an ice cream shop and he starts up a friendly conversation with Olivia (Alexandra Daddario), there are unforeseen consequences...
Not least because Max works in a shop selling horror and science fiction memorabilia, and one object just in is a Satan genie which unbeknownst to him has the power to grant wishes, even if you didn't want them granted in the first place. It was a creaky method of kicking off what was a zombie flick with a romantic comedy twist (or perhaps vice versa), though it didn't fall back on the more clichéd voodoo ceremony of bringing back the dead that it might have, the idol's eyes glow red and that's your lot. By mixing the two genres screenwriter Alan Trezza might have been hoping for something fairly original, yet this sat on the shelf for so long that another movie with the same concept beat him to the punch.
That was Life After Beth, which took a more indie comedy approach, there may have been connections between the two but Burying the Ex was less self-consciously quirky, and more playing to the gallery of seasoned horror fans of all ages who have ever found their passion for fright flicks an impediment in their day to day life. We could put that angle down to the presence of the man behind the camera, Joe Dante, who was one of those horror fans himself of a long time standing, and surely sympathised when Evelyn just doesn't understand why you simply don't fold original Italian shocker posters and put them away in a drawer. If you couldn't see what the big deal was, this was not the film for you.
To cut a long story short (though it wasn't that long, to be honest), Evelyn is run over by a bus and Max feels awful about it, understandably as he was planning to break up with her, but this was far too drastic a way for him. On the bright side, after a decent period of mourning, he does meet up with Olivia again and they hit it off, going to midnight movies and whatnot, but there's always the presence of Evelyn standing between them. The literal presence - the idol has seen to it that she digs her way out of the grave to return to Max, fitting perhaps in that she was very environmentally friendly and deep into recycling, but there's always a stage too far, and she has crossed it for her baffled boyfriend, who now must juggle two love interests at once.
Interestingly, while this could all be pinned on the zombie girl's over amorous endeavours to stay with the reluctant object of her desire, Max isn't let off the hook so easily. If he had just been honest and told Evelyn that he wasn't in love with her anymore, then a lot of trouble could have been saved, but he is now far too scared of her to admit his feelings for another woman. Mostly she wants to have sex with him, a concept which disgusts him now considering her decaying state, another example of the pressure he has placed himself under, though on the other hand Olivia is so perfect for him in that they share the same interest in horror movies that the odds are stacked against poor old Evelyn from the start. This being a Dante film the references to other genre flicks are prevalent, and yes there was an appearance by Dick Miller as the world's oldest cop (seeing him showing up in this director's work has become one of the most charming running jokes in the Dante canon), but this remained a tale of crippling indecision and its awkward (here, dangerous) results. Music by Joseph LoDuca.
American director of science fiction and horror, a former critic who got his big break from Roger Corman directing Hollywood Boulevard. Piranha was next, and he had big hits with The Howling and Gremlins. But his less successful films can be as interesting: Explorers didn't do as well as he had hoped, but illustrated the love of pop culture that is apparent in all his work.