Make-Out With Violence (Zombie Romance Addendum)

I’d like to think that I know a thing or two about zombie films. In fact, last month I felt so confident in my knowledge of the genre that I wrote a post about the more obscure sub-genre of zombie romances. I came up with a list of what I still think are terrific zombie romances, but I really fumbled the ball by not including the Deagol Brothers film Make-Out with Violence. I’ll admit that I had not heard of this film at the time, but, thankfully, this has now changed. Not only is this a terrific zombie romance, it’s a terrific film. It has a compelling narrative, well-developed characters, and a terrific original soundtrack. So I feel it’s my duty as a horror blogger to set the record straight and offer this small amendment to my list of “Six Great Zombie Romances.”

7. Patrick and Wendy in Make-Out with Violence (2009)
The film begins with the twin brothers Patrick and Carol mourning the disappearance of their childhood friend Wendy just after their high school graduation. In some ways, the film is really their story, and the way they are making that painfully awkward transition into adulthood. The film is narrated by their younger brother. It’s a clever touch, in that it gives the film both a sense of nostalgia, as well as a slightly distant and skewed perspective. Carol discovers Wendy’s body in a remote field, which would be traumatic enough, but her corpse is inexplicably animated. She’s not alive, but not quite dead either. He takes her home, and the brothers are ill-prepared for this new responsibility. In a scene that is both grotesque and absurdly funny, they try force feeding her sandwiches. When that doesn’t work, because she can’t chew, they liquify her food, but eventually realize that she needs to eat things that are a little more alive. Patrick, who’s been quietly in love with Wendy for a long time, becomes her primary caretaker, and he quickly moves from feeding her, to cleaning her and providing her with fresh clothing, and throwing her a birthday party. These scenes are lurid, but they also come across as almost necessary, as if he’s simply caring from someone who is disabled or sick. Eventually, it becomes clear that Patrick is dangerously, obsessively in love with the undead Wendy and will do anything to be with her. In the end, this is a terrific film about growing up and the profound difficulties in letting go.

Relationship status: In too deep.

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