After a decade of TV work and a not-bad kids flick, Joe Dante -- like his '03 Looney Tunes -- is back in action. But instead of harking to the creature-feature matinees that once inspired him, his zombie-girlfriend embarrassment Burying the Ex digs back into less promising territory: early seasons of Two and a Half Men, liberated from censorial broadcast standards, with hapless horndog bro-dopes just wanting to be guys while annoying women harsh them: "She's going to shit a Prius," we're told, of Evelyn (Ashley Greene), the easily angered vegan girlfriend of nice-guy horror geek Max (Anton Yelchin). The movie's first twenty minutes are all about what a hellbeast she is: One afternoon, she remodels their entire apartment without consulting Max, carelessly tossing his prized international horror-flick posters into a drawer. This revelation is scored to the Psycho-style freakout of a string section.
Eventually, that awful girlfriend dies in an accident. But she comes back as a lusty zombie, just when Max has begun to move on, and the screenplay has gifted him its most impossible invention: Alexandra Daddario as the cineaste proprietress of an ice cream shop. The zombie ex, meanwhile, is clingy even in undeath, making Max's hookup with Girlfriend 2.0 impossible. Neither female character makes much sense, with or without a pulse: One is simply the movie's idea of a "good" girlfriend -- impossibly beautiful; devoted only to the same interests he is -- while the other is nothing but a monster, even before she starts to devour the living. She doesn't seem much changed after clawing out of her own grave, and her dead-girl makeup wouldn't win her third place in a Des Moines zombie costume contest.