Mushy and sweet? Joe Bob? Don't get confused by the title My Boyfriend's Back and think MonsterVision is switching over to RomanceVision. We know you're counting on Joe Bob and has he ever let you down? My Boyfriend's Back is proof that all you need to make a movie is a girl and a monster. Even weirder, this movie is a zombie-laced black comedy from the folks at Disney, though you probably would never have known if we didn't just tell you. Just think about it: a boyfriend who returns from the other side...See where we're heading?
My Boyfriend's Back is the story of Missy and Johnny. Missy is the queen of the high school, the prettiest and the best-liked. Johnny of course has visions of her going to the prom with him, visions that aren't very likely to become reality. At this point, Fate steps in to lend a hand or more accurately a bullet. In some circumstances too involved to get into right now, Johnny takes a bullet meant for Missy. Feeling like she might owe him one, Missy agrees to be his prom date. Of course there has to be a catch as any Screenwriting 101 grad could tell you. In this case, it's that Johnny dies. But heck, why should that stop a dream date? Returning as a zombie (though obviously not the lumbering, mindless kind) he finds that Missy likes him even better now that he's not a -- how shall we put this delicately -- completely together person. In fact, chasing dropped body parts now occupies about as much time as the date. And unfortunately Johnny is just starting to figure out what's for dinner...
Not exactly typical Disney fodder, you might say, and you'd certainly be right. In a classic what-were-they-thinking move, the company hired Sean S. Cunningham, director of the original Friday the 13th, to produce. For a director they went with Bob Balaban, a familiar low-key actor who had earlier directed the razor-sharp political cannibal comedy "Parents." This doesn't seem to quite add up and in fact it didn't. Disney made some changes to the original script (called Johnny Zombie at that point), eliminating a zombie community based in the cemetery. There are also rumors that the film was re-edited before opening, possibly to hit that key PG-13 rating. We guess Mickey Mouse won't be appearing in George Romero movies anytime soon.
Boyfriend-that's-back Johnny is played by Andrew Lowery, who some MonsterVision viewers may remember from the original movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on MonsterVision. As for Missy, the filmmakers went straight to former model Traci Lind who, as an actor, alternated between films like Fright Night II and Survival Quest with Wim Wenders' The End of Violence and Volker Schlöndorff's Homo Faber. Presumably working to help out fellow actor Balaban, a bunch of more familiar faces pop up throughout the film, faces with names attached like Edward Herrmann, Mary Beth Hurt, Paul Dooley, Austin Pendleton and Cloris Leachman.
But we saved the best for last. My Boyfriend's Back marks one of the very first roles for almost-superstar Matthew McConaughey, who appears as Guy #2. Earlier in 1993 he'd debuted in Dazed and Confused. Oddly enough, one source claims that Renee Zellweger also makes an appearance in the film, just one year before the she and McConaughey appeared in Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That's entirely plausible since My Boyfriend's Back was filmed in Austin, Texas, stomping ground for those Texan actors. The two films also share Joe Stevens, who's kept to Texas-filmed movies in the meantime. (Heck, while we're on this subject, the hitchhiker in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Ed Neal, appears here briefly as one of Big Chuck's thugs). And the character Chuck Bronski will look familiar as well, since that's Philip Seymour Hoffman, just a few years before hitting blockbusterdom in Twister and hooking up with Paul Thomas Anderson (he's been in all of Anderson's films including Boogie Nights and Magnolia).
Joe Bob's in such a good mood that we're skipping the pop quiz, so you can let those names roll right out the other ear if you're so inclined. The only words really worth remembering for My Boyfriend's Back are "zombie," "comedy" and "beauty queen." A fine combination for a MonsterVision feature.
My Boyfriend's Back (1993) MonsterVision host segments
April 15, 2000 at 1:15 am. Rating: TV-14
Monstervision Movie description above © 2000 Turner Network Television. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved
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