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Film / Burying the Ex

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Burying the Ex is a 2015 horror/comedy film directed by Joe Dante and written by Alan Trezza. It was originally a short film made in 2008.

Max (Anton Yelchin) decides to ask his girlfriend, Evelyn (Ashley Greene), to move in with him, a decision he quickly regrets after Evelyn reveals herself to be a controlling shrew. Just as Max prepares to end their relationship at the urging of his half-brother Travis (Oliver Cooper), Evelyn is hit by a bus and dies. After a period of mourning, Max strikes up a relationship with Olivia (Alexandra Daddario), an ice cream shop owner whom Evelyn earlier insulted. Unfortunately, Evelyn comes Back from the Dead and returns to Max, who now finds himself torn between his girlfriend and his new love interest. Even worse, Evelyn threatens to turn him into one of the living dead so they'll be together forever.

This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptation Name Change: The protagonist of the 2008 short film was named "Zak". Here, it's "Max".
  • Attractive Zombie: Evelyn retains most of her beauty after coming back to life.
  • Auto Erotica: Late in the movie, Max and Olivia have sex in the backseat of her station wagon.
  • Ax-Crazy: Evelyn slowly becomes this after coming back as a zombie.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Evelyn returns as a zombie after being hit by a bus.
    • Travis does, too, after being mauled by Evelyn when he attempts to kill her.
  • Badass Normal: Both Max and Olivia fight decently well against Evelyn in the end, though it's Travis who finally puts a permanent end to Evelyn.
  • Betty and Veronica: Max becomes involved in this kind of relationship with Evelyn and Olivia.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Max arrives in time to stop Evelyn from killing Olivia.
  • Bond One-Liner: Evelyn, after killing and eating Travis.
    Evelyn: This better not go straight to my thighs.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Travis, dude, you really should've just killed Evelyn before she went and turned you into one of the undead.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Travis mentions soiling his underwear after seeing that Evelyn is a zombie.
  • The Cameo:
    • Dick Miller as the police officer whose assistance Max tries to get.
    • Mark Alan as the Goth club bartender, essentially reprising his role from Splatter.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Max, during his fight with Evelyn. Olivia gives him a helping hand, throwing a vase at Evelyn's head while she's attacking Max.
  • Control Freak: Evelyn, all the way. She forced Max to trade his car for a scooter and switch to a vegetarian diet, and after they move in together, she re-decorates the apartment without asking for his permission or input, ruining the vintage horror movie posters he was going to sell.
  • Does Not Like Guns: In response to Travis's suggestion that he shoot Evelyn in the head, Max states that he doesn't believe in firearms.
  • Fat Slob: Travis lives in a garage and is on the heavy side.
  • Freak Out: Evelyn does this after learning of Max's infidelity, crushing his phone and screaming in rage.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's implied that Evelyn's clingy-ness and hyper-sexual urges stem from losing her mom at a young age. Early in the movie, she tells Max that a part of her broke when her mom died, and she feels that ever since dating Max, she felt that she was brought back to life. As a result, she seems to have developed an over-dependence on Max to satisfy herself and make herself feel safe, which is why she fears losing him.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: An outtake of the embalming fluid vomiting scene is featured as a post-credits stinger.
  • Horror Hunger: For most of the film, post-resurrection Evelyn doesn't eat at all. But then she sees a clip from The Gore Gore Girls and it stirs something inside her.
    Evelyn: I just got the strangest craving.
    Travis: For what?
    Evelyn: Brains.
  • Granola Girl: Evelyn is a vegan environmentalist blogger who uses organic wheatgrass-based wall paint and buys hypo-allergenic throw rugs.
  • I Am the Trope: "I AM RESURRECTED!!!" Shouted by Evelyn before she kidnaps Olivia.
  • It's All About Me: Evelyn has this mindset about, well, just about everything.
  • Jackass Genie: As if the name Satan Genie wasn't already obvious enough, the magical statue that sets the plot into motion even has a note attached that states it fulfills wishes in the worst way possible.
  • Jerkass: Evelyn treats Travis and Olivia like shit, to put it simply. She gets worse after becoming a zombie.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Travis is a lazy bum, but he cares about his half-brother Max, encouraging him to go meet with Olivia and taking up the task of killing Evelyn when Max can't go through with it.
  • Karmic Death: Evelyn kills Travis after he tries to kill her. Travis, however, comes back to life in time to put a final end to Evelyn.
  • Kavorka Man: Travis, a Fat Slob who somehow scores with attractive women (even if one of the women bolts after they come upon Max in a compromising position with an unconscious, undead Evelyn).
  • Large Ham: Evelyn ranting at Olivia in the ice cream shop early on in the movie and later shouting "I AM RESURRECTED!" put her in this category.
  • Likes Older Women: At one point, Travis mentions hooking up with a MILF.
  • Look Both Ways: Evelyn crosses the street on her way to meet with Max, realizing too late that she's in the path of an oncoming bus.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Everything Evelyn does is because she's madly in love with Max.
  • Machete Mayhem: After discussing several potential ways to "re-kill" Evelyn, Travis decides that decapitation via machete would be the most effective.
  • Missing Mom: Evelyn mentions that her mom died sometime ago.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Olivia, as played by Alexandra Daddario. The Auto Erotica scene gives us a nice shot of her cleavage in a black bra, and in the ending scene, her nipples are visible underneath her top.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: After finding out that Max was with Olivia the night before, Evelyn kidnaps Olivia and prepares to kill her until Max arrives to stop her.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Max is nothing short of pleasant, despite all the crap that happens to him over the course of the film.
    • Olivia, while far from perfect (she forced her previous boyfriend to choose between her and his newfound Christian faith), is a much nicer person than Evelyn.
  • No Indoor Voice: Evelyn, when she's about to kidnap Olivia (see I Am the Trope above.)
  • Not Too Dead to Save the Day: Travis comes back to life as a zombie just in time to kill Evelyn, thus saving Max and Olivia.
  • Oh, Crap!: Max gets a handful of these after Evelyn comes back to life.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Evelyn is a Flesh-Eating Zombie who, although decaying as the film progresses, nevertheless still acts like herself apart from talking about killing Max to make him like her, even enjoying how her undead body can bend when doing yoga. She eventually ends up turning Travis into one of the living dead.
  • Police Are Useless: After Evelyn threatens to turn him into a zombie, Max runs to the police station and tries to convince an officer of the truth. He doesn't get any help, as the officer assumes Max is on drugs.
  • Porn Stash: At one point, Travis makes a reference to his "spank material."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Olivia gives a short one to Evelyn after finding out that she's actually Max's zombiefied soon-to-be-ex girlfriend.
    Olivia: You know, I met you before, and you were a bitch then, and you're an even bigger bitch now!
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Evelyn gets this at times as a zombie.
  • Resurrected Romance: Defied. After coming Back from the Dead, Evelyn tries to have sex with Max, who understandably resists her advances.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Evelyn calls one of the girls at the Goth club "Morticia."
    • Travis calls Evelyn "Thriller."
    • There's a "Romero & Sons" moving van in one scene.
    • Evelyn's embalming fluid vomit scene looks a whole lot like the infamous pea soup puke scene from The Exorcist.
    • Travis claims that the last time he lent Max a DVD, it got so scratched up it looked like a game of Tetris.
  • Taking You with Me: After Max officially breaks up with her, Evelyn decides to try and make him one of the undead. Fortunately, she doesn't succeed thanks to an undead Travis, so this trope is downplayed.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Evelyn pukes embalming fluid on Max shortly after coming back from the dead.
  • Would Hit a Girl: At the end, after he finally officially breaks up with Evelyn and she attempts to kill him, Max responds accordingly, bashing a framed picture on her head and finally stabbing her in the stomach and then the head.