The puckish glee with which monster-mad director Joe Dante once fused horror and comedy in the "Gremlins" movies and "Piranha" is thoroughly missing in the brainless zom-rom-com "Burying the Ex."
Anton Yelchin (Chekov in the new "Star Trek" films) plays Max, a fright-flick fan who's miserable in his job at a horror nostalgia shop and at home, where writer Alan Trezza has saddled him with that bad-screenplay favorite: the sex-crazed babe (Ashley Greene). He has nothing in common with Evelyn, who's a controlling nightmare. (Cue the shivers from the bros.) A strident environmentalist, Evelyn folded up Max's valuable foreign horror movie posters to redecorate their pad as an eco-friendly enclave! Come on. Who'd do that, outside of misogynistic movies like this?
But then a bus hits her, and there's a devil genie figurine, and that promise they'd be together forever, and her rising from the grave (hellish as ever), and oops, Max has already fallen for the cute, like-minded, edge-less girl (Alexandra Daddario) with the horror-themed dessert shop I Scream. (No kidding.)
Little more than a gory framework for making get-rid-of-the-broad jokes — even the Christopher Lee clip on a TV screen is from an old Hammer production, a Dracula movie in which he's whipping girls — "Burying the Ex" is a genre-mashing low for Dante.
"Burying the Ex."
MPAA rating: R for sexual content, partial nudity, horror violence, language.
Running time: 1 hour, 29 minutes.
Playing: AMC Citywalk Stadium 19.