1990s Zombie Dark Comedy Is A Quirky Gem Being Forgotten By The New Generation

By Brian Myers | Updated

Fans of zombie comedies have had more than a handful of screen gems to add to their streaming libraries and Blu-ray collections over the decades. Whether it’s the zaniness of Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead or the satire presented in Return of the Living Dead, there never seems to be a shortage of films that are as hilarious as they are gruesome. But one early 90s horror comedy has almost totally fallen off the radar, prompting a much overdue revisiting of the dark comedy My Boyfriend’s Back.

An Off-Beat Zombie Romantic Comedy

My Boyfriend’s Back is the story of teenage Johnny Dingle (Andrew Lowery) who has been smitten with classmate Missy McCloud (Traci Lind) since they were little kids. In order to get her attention and (hopefully) her affection, Johnny hatches a scheme where he and a friend fake a robbery at the retail shop where Missy works. In a cruel twist of fate, a real robber shows up at the same time and Johnny is shot and killed.

Includes A Young Philip Seymour Hoffman

But Johnny doesn’t stay in the ground long. The lovesick teenager immediately digs his way out of what is supposed to be his eternal resting place and sets off to win over the love of his life.

My Boyfriend’s Back sees Missy dump her obnoxious boyfriend Chuck (Philip Seymour Hoffman) after Chuck is mean to Johnny. But Johnny and Missy certainly aren’t meant to be, at least while Johnny is a zombie, as his body is beginning to decay and rot.

Consuming Human Flesh For Love

Desperate for a solution, Johnny goes to his doctor, who in turn sends the teen to see a zombie expert. Maggie (Cloris Leachman) was married to a zombie and tells Johnny that in order to keep from rotting away, he will have to eat human flesh. My Boyfriend’s Back takes turns that are as humorous as they are disgusting, following Johnny on the rest of his journey to keep both his romance and his body intact.

Pokes Fun At Itself

My Boyfriend’s Back might be one of the silliest zombie films ever produced, but the film’s ability to make fun of itself all along the way is one of the attributes that make it a worthwhile watch. The comedic timing is spot-on, Johnny’s feeding frenzies hilarious, and the storyline as intriguing as it is ridiculous.

A Surprisingly Smart Movie

The movie uses many tried and true teenage movie tropes to mixed levels of success. One aspect of My Boyfriend’s Back that should be pointed out is that it covertly replaced its character’s hormonal urges for lovemaking with Johnny’s insatiable appetite for human flesh. But the film’s better characteristics weren’t enough for the critics of its time, who ruthlessly panned the movie.

Box Office Flop

At the box office, My Boyfriend’s Back was a failure. It only managed to recoup an estimated $3 million against its $10 million budget. But the film’s quirkiness and quick-witted humor has helped garner a cult following over the decades among zombie film fans.

Streaming For Free And On Multiple Services


My Boyfriend’s Back also gives audiences early looks at several famous faces. Along with Philip Seymour Hoffman, the movie features bit parts from Matthew McConaughey, Mary Beth Hurt, Renee Zellweger, and Edward Herrmann.

You can stream My Boyfriend’s Back for free with Hoopla or rent it On Demand through Prime, Vudu, Google Play, and AppleTV.