Earlier this year, Jonathan Levine’s zombie love story Warm Bodies seemed to please fans of Isaac Marion’s novel, and it took in over three times its budget in the global box office. But it wasn’t exactly a classic, and I forget it exists more often than not. As such, the appearance of another undead romance inspires more guttural groans than excitement, but Jeff Baena’s directorial debut Life After Beth has a huge, talented cast of comedians that makes me think it will have quite a bit more brains than the average zombie victim. (More small intestines, too.) And of the film’s recently released first images, the one seen above is by far the most impressive. If you’re gonna have a zombie movie, you’d better tease your potential audience with something dead and bloody.
In Life After Beth, Zach (Dan DeHaan) and Beth (Aubrey Plaza) are a young couple whose relationship is hindered by Beth’s untimely death, which of course depresses Zach immensely. At least, until she comes back from the dead, which Zach takes as a sign that their love has been given a second chance. I’m going to assume he’ll be easing his way back into French kissing and oral sex, given she probably wants to eat flesh and all. I really wasn’t sure when this film was announced what kind of a zombie Beth was going to be, and I guess she’s the kind that has to be tied up on the floor. In other words, the hot kind.
Here’s a tamer still, featuring Zach and Beth floating in a pool on what looks like the skinniest floats I’ve ever seen. While it’s unclear if she has yet to become a zombie when this shot takes place, her “Jesus on the cross” pose tells me that she is.
And then there’s the plainest of the images, which features Zach looking worried as he wears a pretty rocking scarf. Or maybe he just has a sweater around his neck to avoid getting bitten there.
Beyond the popular two main stars, the rest of the cast is filled out by the likes of Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect), John C. Reilly (Walk Hard), Molly Shannon (Saturday Night Live), Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds), and Paul Reiser, who is of course best known for Mad About You but we like to credit him with Aliens. There are too many talented and hilarious people involved in this for it to fail. And while it’s Baena’s first directing gig, he co-wrote 2004’s comedy I Heart Huckabees with director David O. Russell, so at least he knows how to make things quirky.
It’s not quite clear if this film is based at all on the U.K. short film Life After Beth that came out a couple of years ago, which is a dialogue-free scene of a dead guy and his woman dancing around while dreamlike music plays in the background. I can’t imagine it is, since the two couldn’t be more different, but stranger adaptations have happened. Take a look at the short below.