I shall be performing an autopsy on Life After Beth, X-raying its images and probing the body of work to see if it is lively or brain-dead. So read on only if you’ve already seen Life After Beth, or don’t plan to.
0:01:42 The customer (Dane DeHaan as Zach Orfman) and the employee of the supermarket act they’re already zombies. Check out the social satire.
[Note the smooth jazz playing on the store’s speakers – this will become important later]
0:02:04 At a wake for Zach’s dead girlfriend (Beth Slocum – Aubrey Plaza), Beth’s mother is Molly Shannon and her father is John C. Reilly (Geenie & Maury Slocum). FWIW, someone is Jewish because there are enough yamakas for an ultimate Frisbee tournament.
0:10:28 The cast is certainly impressive. That’s American comic Paul Reiser as Noah Orfman (Zach’s father) and Matthew Gray Gubler as Zach’s brother, Kyle. I first fell in crush with Matthew when I saw him in Excision, then confirmed my feelings when I followed him on Twitter. His love for indie cinema is as infectious as my crush on him, and crabs.
0:11:20 Lol! Kyle bursts in on Zach who’s lying on the bed, preparing to make love to the scarf of Beth’s that Geenie gave him.
0:13:12 At the Slocum house, Zach espies Beth walking around inside, which surprises him as she’s been dead for a week.
0:14:14 The scene where Kyle (a security guard for the suburb) comes to stop his frantic brother from annoying the neighbours is spot on. Matthew Gray Gubler is pure genius. I haven’t wasted my crush!
0:16:52 Zach breaks into the Slocum’s house and finds Beth alive and well. Or, not dead and well .
0:20:14 Apparently late one night, Beth simply rang the doorbell after digging her way out of her own grave. The parents don’t know how it happened. Presumably they know why they keep this a secret, though. WTF!?
Your hair is so warm.
Beth to Zach in her attic
Things zombies say.
0:23:11 Beth thinks school’s still in session and doesn’t remember wanting to see people other than Zach before she died from a snake bite. It’s the latter that will make it easier for Zach to ignore she’s a zombie. You’d think dying would be a good way out of a relationship.
0:26:42 Mrs. Slocum takes pictures constantly as she regretted not taking enough pictures before. It’s cute. Cuter than Beth, who’s looks are beginning to fade, along with her skin colour.
0:26:50 Zach notices the festering snake bite on Beth’s inner thigh that caused her death.
Zach: You don’t want to eat me, do you?
Beth: Zachs! Not right now! [Gestures to her parents inside the house] Remember?
Zach: I mean, like, really eat me.
Beth: Stop! Not with my parents around.
0:27:19 Beth’s short term memory is shorter than Peter Dinklage before pay day.
0:29:58 The postman arrives, and it’s someone Zach hasn’t seen since uni. He hands Zach a stack of envelopes that isn’t Zach’s mail. The postman replies, “OK, see you tomorrow,” and drives of sloppily in an adorable American postal motorcar. What a send up!
0:32:27 Zach insists on taking Beth for a walk so he can get a little zombie action. It’s not necrophilia if she’s still moving.
0:34:08 Half of Beth’s face was sunburned and will now stay that way forever. In the ‘Pro’ column to being a zombie? You don’t need a tanning salon membership.
0:38:12 Zach sneaks out to perform a love song for Beth, where he tries to tell her she’s a zombie.
I lost my heart
And I lost my way
And you were cold, cold, cold
I was so full of pain…
In response, she violently destroys everything in her reach. She also likes smooth jazz now. I think we both know which is worse.
Beth: I don’t feel so good. I feel really dizzy.
Zach: Really? Is that all?
Beth: I feel really cold.
Zach: Are you…. hungry?
Things you ask zombies.
Beth: Come here.
Zach: Ugh, sweetie… your breath.
Things you tell zombies. But, on a more philosophical level, do zombies breathe?
0:44:29 She rapes him and starts eating his face. Now’s a good time to eat him, and she wants to get piece.
0:45:46 The always funny Anna Kendrick in the diner where Zach complains about the smooth jazz. I’m thinking that, like the beginning of the film, this is a reference to the fact that most people on this planet are already zombies.
0:46:34 Anna plays Erica Wexler, a childhood friend that’s just moved back to town, and their parents are attempting to fix up the duo. Erica and Zach seem to be hitting it off and, unlike with Beth, they’re doing it without sticks.
Zach: You have, like, really great skin.
Zach: Yeah, it’s like… it’s really great.
Erica: Oh my god, thank you.
Zach: Can I touch it?
Erica: Yeah, okay. You’re so interesting.
[Zach touches her cheek]
Zach: Wow, it’s like fog!
Erica: Thank you!
Zach: And I can breathe through my nose around you!
This is how you write a zombie film.
0:47:46 Uh-oh, it’s obvious from the way he’s behaving that the short order cook is a zombie. His brain is fried.
0:51:08 After Zach accidentally runs Beth over in the car park, Erica comes out to meet them before Beth scares Erica away in a jealous rage. Like a menstrual cycle, Beth comes back 28 days later.
0:51:55 Zach takes Beth to her grave and explains the situation.
Beth: How can I be dead? My mom and dad would’ve told me if I was dead.
Zach: They didn’t want to hurt your feelings.
0:54:37 Zach runs home from the cemetery (Beth stole his car) to find Kyle shooting at their resurrected grandfather who has blue genes.
0:59:06 Maury comes by to collect Zach, to take him and tell Beth that she isn’t dead. That they’ll be together forever. Which is a long time if you’re a zombie.
Zach: Beth, we need to talk.
Beth: Shut up, I’m on the phone.
Zach: With who?
Zach: Andy? Who the fuck is that?
Beth: Somebody that actually cares about me.
Also the man married to April Ludgate, the character Aubrey Plaza plays on the American sitcom Parks & Recreation.
1:04:32 Al K Hall nudity alert: A naked zombie asking for a car wash.
1:07:24 Zach comes home to see his family are barbecuing. And still smoking.
1:08:17 The zombies have taken over and the town is destroyed. Zombies are revolting.
1:10:16 Zach goes to the Slocum residence to find Beth chained to a refrigerator and Geenie feeding her raw meat… and the food is finger eating good, judging from Geenie’s hands.
1:12:22 Kyle is still alive, patrolling the neighbourhood, dragging a dead zombie with him. At least he knows to shoot zombies in the head. If I’m ever in a zombie apocalypse, I want to be there with Matthew Gray Gubler.
1:12:48 BTW, we learn that the burnt bodies at Zach’s house weren’t his parents, who are still safe and hiding out. Like unused ketchup packs from McDonald’s, Kyle saved them.
1:18:08 Zach takes Beth on a hike and says his heartfelt goodbyes and tells her he’ll love her forever just before he shoots her in the head. You can measure forever with an egg timer in this film.
1:2 Zach meets his parents and Kyle at a neighbours where Erica is traumatized after seeing her grandmother die.
Anna: I stuck a tent pole through my Nana’s head.
Zach’s mum: She’s a bit traumatized, but she’ll be OK. Doesn’t she look good?
1:21:11 The forces of law and order have retaken the town. The power comes back on and a bloody journalist announces the end of the crisis. The zombie outbreak has been remedied.
1:22:43 After leaving a chess knight on Maury’s grave, Zach asks Erica out to dinner. She timidly accepts. Strange, as Zach didn’t like it when Beth wanted a bite.
- WTF!?’s: Only 1 drop dead one
- When to Follow: You come home from work on a Tuesday night and want to watch something fun and quirky, something engaging and fresh — this is the perfect film for you.
- Where’s This Found: While this zombie film doesn’t cover any new ground, even as regards indie-horror, it covers the same old ground efficiently and with elan. What Beth lacks in scares, it makes up for in tight performances from a solid cast. Out of a possible 10, I have 8 F’s to give.
- What To Feedback: In each of these polls, one of the captions is mine, the other is the official tagline. Which one do you prefer?
Left Over WTF (Way Too Funny) Photos
Prints suitable for reposting!
WTF!? did they say?
What to Follow Up
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