Make-Out with Violence (2008) Poster

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When a decomposing girlfriend is better than no girlfriend at all...
Paul Magne Haakonsen3 August 2012
The DVD cover for "Make-Out with Violence" had the 'the year's rom-zom-com' on it, and that is what caught my attention along with a couple of other high praise lines from various magazines and websites. And being the zombie aficionado that I am, I just had to get it and see what it was.

And now having seen it, I must say that it wasn't anything at all what I had expected it to be. The movie was incredibly slow moving. That being said, then I am not saying that the movie was bad, because it was really nicely filmed and edited, plus it had a good enough storyline. I, however, had just expected something more from it and more than just one decomposing girl, zombie-wise. And the 'zombie' is more of a backdrop character to help the story along.

The story in "Make-Out with Violence" is about two brothers, Patrick (played by Eric Lehning) and Carol (played by Cody DeVos) who is trying to deal with and come to terms with the loss of their close friend Wendy (played by Shellie Marie Shartzer). They happen to come across her body, as it was never found, but Wendy is now a living dead. They bring her to a house, where they try to keep her alive and have something that resemble a life.

Actually, the storyline was well put together and worked out well enough, I just had a whole other expectation to what it would be. And as such, I wasn't really enjoying the movie, because it was a drama and not a horror (as the DVD cover had listed as the genre). Don't expect this movie to be a zombie fest, because it only have that one zombie in it.

The people they had hired for the various roles were actually doing good jobs with their roles, and they really helped the movie to step up a notch. Most noteworthy, in my opinion, was Eric Lehning; his performance was just incredible.

If you enjoy zombie movies that aren't mainstream, then "Make-Out with Violence" might just be something for you. Just bear in mind that it is a drama about the lives of the brothers and their friends and their morbid situation of having a living dead amongst them, and not being a horror zombie movie. It is a beautiful movie, to be honest, but hardly an ordinary zombie movie.
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Slightly creepy, very funny, and perversely engaging little indie
larry-41112 March 2009
The Deagol Brothers' "Make-Out with Violence" is a stylish, smart, sweet little American indie that is sure to leave the viewer buzzing. This isn't your typical genre film, and the quirky mix of comedy and horror defies description. Films that terrorize with tongue firmly planted in cheek are among my favorites, but "Make-Out with Violence" doesn't even fit that profile.

The film opens with the slightly creepy voice-over of little brother Beetle (scene-stealer Brett Miller), segues to flashbacks shot with a soft, dreamy, oversaturated look, then takes the viewer on a ride through the most perverse summer this group of slightly off-kilter misfits has ever had. The soundtrack is one of the film's strongest elements, mostly the work of composer Jordan Lehning (who also plays lead character Rody). The writing, direction, editing, and production of the film are all the handiwork of a small group of multitalented family members. Even the actors had a hand in the film's creative process. The two brothers at the center of the film (Eric Lehning and Cody DeVos) are also credited as writers, along with the Deagols. The film is shot and edited with such precision that there isn't a single frame of filler. Every word, every camera angle, every visual and sound effect is devoted to advancing the story. The filmmakers certainly made the best use of their low budget -- from all appearances there were no post-production special effects. Everything appears to have been done in-camera. No small feat for a genre film. This is quite an impressive calling card for these first-time feature filmmakers.
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What to Do When Your Girlfriend's Undead?
evanston_dad10 June 2011
There are enough stylistic coups to indicate that the creators of "Make-Out with Violence," an uneasy genre-bending tale about twin brothers who are keeping the not-quite-dead (or once but no longer dead) object of the oldest brother's affections on ice in the bathtub of a friend's house, have potential to make a really good movie. However, this isn't that movie. It's not especially bad, but it suffers from a lack of confidence in tone. The writers and directors pitch it somewhere between the deadpan humor of "Napolean Dynamite" and the disturbing surrealism of "Donnie Darko," but don't commit fully in either direction. Therefore, it too often leaves the audience feeling adrift, not sure how we're supposed to be reacting.

It doesn't help that the majority of the acting is sub-par, especially that of the actor who has perhaps the most crucial role, Patrick (Eric Lehning), the older (by minutes) brother. Cody DeVos, on the other hand, playing the younger twin Carol, goes a long way if not quite all the way at making up for what Lehning fails to deliver. Leah High, as Addy, love interest for Carol, does some nice work, but Jordan Lehning, as the friend who lends his house to a zombie, and Brett Miller as Beetle, the younger brother of Patrick and Carol who also serves as our narrator, are weak.

The film's central conceit -- that Patrick's love for a zombie is a symbol for all the unrequited angst-filled yearnings swirling around this group of almost-adults over the course of a lazy summer -- is a good one, and the movie's not a total wash by a long shot. But mostly it spends its running time being just good enough to make you wish it was better.

Grade: B-
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Yes - pretentious, boring, and tries ever-so-hard to be "indie" - watch Deadgirl instead.
jeromestiller10 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A previous reviewer says it all, and says it well. This film reeks of indie cred, and has a few good performances (and a few awful ones) and a great soundtrack, but it's not funny, quirky, offbeat, frightening, thought-provoking, or anything else worthwhile. It would be a fairly impressive film school project. Why it won awards and so much notice I will never know, but I suspect it has something to do with yet another triumph of form over substance.

Best high school oriented not-quite-dead girl double bill ever: Deadgirl - truly frightening and truly funny and an intense ending; Jennifer's Body - not really a zombie film but who cares? Brilliant.

Best. Ever.

Skip Making out with Violence.

Spoiler Alert: There's really no making out in this film. Also no violence.
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A pretentious "indie" movie that wants to be Deadgirl for lonely teenagers.
Matt Kracht14 December 2010
Unlike Deadgirl, which was released around the same time, this movie struck me as pretentious nonsense that exists only to showcase the indie cred of all involved. There wasn't anything really *wrong* with it, per se, but I found myself constantly rolling my eyes and sighing heavily. Most of the scenes are melodramatic, though the acting is decent enough. None of the characters ever seem to express any strong emotions, though I suppose that's probably the fault of the writers/directors than the actors. Speaking of the writing, it was pretty mediocre. I've seen much, much worse, but with the pretentiousness of the directing, I was really expecting something a bit deeper. The soundtrack seems to be a major part of the experience, and I'm sure that if you're one of those hipsters who can't get enough of pretentious, derivative pop music, you'll love it to death. Unfortunately, I don't think I was in the target demographic for this movie. Some movies can transcend their genre and target demographic, like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (spaghetti western), The Shining (horror), and The Godfather (crime drama). That requires good directing and writing, however, and this movie simply can't rise above the silly pretensions of the Smeagol brothers (or whatever). If you're into this sort of thing (pretentious "indie" movies), you'll probably love it, but I was overcome by boredom and annoyance.
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koomazaz31 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
'Twas terrible. During it's premiere, people were getting up and leaving. I wanted to. I honestly don't know how it won any awards. It was simply a bloody, gory mess. The story doesn't make much sense at all, and it is just quite plainly strange. I don't know what people saw in this movie, but the girl eats dogs, rats, and a man. Just weird. It is now my duty in life to prevent as many people as possible from watching this terrible movie of crap. I dislike it. I dislike the story. There was really nothing good in the movie, and nothing good that came out of the movie. I highly recommend watching it. It is great in all senses of the word. It was terrible. Don't watch this poop hole.
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"Good people...not very good film-makers" pretty much sums this one up...
MrGKB12 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
...and that's from the kid who played the little brother in this tedious emo-saturated "drama" (and I use the term loosely) that reminded me of a boring "alternative" comic book transposed to video (think Daniel Clowes only not nearly as clever or involving). I really don't mean to be mean to these people, as I'm sure they meant well, but Syd Field would have torn their script in half after about five pages, and Ted Sturgeon would have simply told them to start over after they had a real story, real actors, and a real budget. This might (and I emphasize might) have made a decent 20-minute short, but stretched to feature length it's simply stultifying. Featuring ostensible twins (the characters, not the actors) with distressingly bad haircuts and the expressiveness and appeal of a bag of rocks (the femme leads totally outclass all the men in this poor thing), and a soundtrack guaranteed to make you switch your allegiance to heavy metal, rap, or even classical music just to rid your system of any trace of unadulterated wimp, this forgettable indie has little, if anything, to say, and very little to show. There are a handful of interesting camera shots, sporadic passable acting (again, pretty much all from the ladies), and precious little else; there's simply nothing to latch onto to hold any interest beyond the fascination of watching a wreck unfold before your disbelieving eyes. A sad squandering of my time, sorry to say, and a bit of my public library's limited resources. Word to the wise, pass this one up and remain lucky to never know what you missed. I'm going to have to go track down "Deadgirl" now, having read the other comments on this board. Surely it's better than this badly titled yawner.
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Slow and boring
Dirk Krop6 February 2015
This is sort of an indie coming-of-age story with snippets of horror.

Don't be misled by the cover and the title of this flick (as I was), because this is in no way a full blown horror flick.

Wendy comes back from the dead as some sort of a zombie. Without the craving for human brains that is, because once again: this is not a horror story.

The rest of the story is about Wendy's friends being bored and feeling sorry for themselves. Without having any shocking epiphanies while doing so.

The movie starts with over half an hour of storytelling and elaborating on the characters.

Although the acting is more than decent, the pace of the story is excruciatingly slow and filled with unnecessary scenes (buying a chocolate milkshake, minutes of walking through fields etc.).

Maybe it's me being impatient, but I turned it off. How long can one watch a couple of teenagers walking around explaining how sad they are?

But then again, that's just my 2 cents....
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Let me guess.....student film?
slatromhsiloof15 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Appears to be a no budget film shot by an amateur film crew with no name actors, reading a script wrote by a ten year old, and directed by the family dog. The only redeeming quality of this film was that I got to tell my wife "I told you so." after telling her it was going to be a terrible waste of time go nowhere pile of garbage. I called it right on the nose. Terrible movie. Wouldn't watch it again if my face was on fire and watching this movie was the only thing in the world that would put out the flames. Scene after scene of useless drivel that was irrelevant to the story'm not sure there even was a story line actually. There are so many questions left unanswered, the biggest is "Why did I watch this whole terrible movie?". It would have been far more entertaining to watch random clips of Spongebob Squarepants upside-down and backwards. Here is a hint. f you look up a movie on the IMDb site and any of the reviews contain the word "indie", flush your money down the toilet and stay home. You'll end up being a lot more entertained watching re-runs of Jersey Shore ya muff cabbage. After all, Snookie wants smoosh-smoosh. Right?
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You might say PETER PAN meets WARM BODIES . . .
Tad Pole4 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
. . . with maybe a little A BOY AND HIS DOG thrown in for good measure. Just as in PETER PAN, this movie focuses on the three Darling boys, but in an incestuous twist, one of the trio is hung up on just-like-a-sister Wendy. As the littlest Darling notes in his opening voice-over, "Patrick was never ready for Wendy to be dead." So Patrick plays dress-up all summer with Wendy's occasionally-animated corpse (mostly in a friend's bathtub), while his little brother Beetlejuice falls in love with the dogs belonging to Wendy's likely killer, Rody, who is incommunicado for the season, while the other main suspect in Wendy's demise--her actual lover, Brian--has moved on to getting "sleaze comfort" from middle brother Carol and the late Wendy's mutual crush, Addy, while oldest brother Patrick--whose umbilical cord was wrapped around twin Carol's throat during delivery--is busy feeding his own second crush Rody's dogs (now beloved by Beetle) to the carnivorous Wendy before feeding himself to her at the bottom of his backyard swim pool. While Wendy may seem to be the quintessential ZOMBIE WITHOUT A CAUSE to her tribe of Lost Boys, none of the parents in MAKE OUT WITH VIOLENCE really give a hoot whether any of their children will survive the summer, since they all have important grown-ups stuff to do which monopolizes all their time and attention. Hey, this is Tennessee, where no one has heard of science, so Beetle's other interest--bugs--must be purely gastronomical.
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