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In bold 'Nina Forever,' an ex shows up at the oddest times

In bold 'Nina Forever,' an ex shows up at the oddest times
Cian Barry, left, Abigail Hardingham and Fiona O'Shaughnessy in "Nina Forever." (Epic Pictures)

A man's resentful dead girlfriend keeps popping up at the most inopportune moments in "Nina Forever," a deviously audacious sex-comedy-horror concoction from British brothers Ben and Chris Blaine.

Still grappling with the tragic motorcycle accident that claimed Nina (a fiery Fiona O'Shaughnessy), directionless Rob (Cian Barry) nevertheless makes an attempt to move on by starting a relationship with timid Holly (Abigail Hardingham), a younger woman training to be a paramedic.

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Maybe it was too soon, because every time Rob and Holly get busy, Nina, in all her mangled, bloody nakedness, joins in the fray, making wry comments about her understandably horrified replacement. Sample dialogue: "You're dead!" "Sure, but I've kept my standards."

What would initially appear to be a decidedly gorier flip on the 1976 Brazilian romp "Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands" proceeds to take anticipated turns as the Blaine brothers find fresh ways to play off of the genre's inherent, intertwined themes of sex and death.

Thanks to a trio of solid performances (especially the dryly bitter O'Shaughnessy, who suggests a young Helena Bonham Carter), this first feature, although a tad long, nevertheless emerges as a diabolically effective anti-date movie.

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'Nina Forever'

MPAA rating: R, for strong sexual content, nudity, bloody images and language

Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Playing: MGN Five Star Cinema, Glendale

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