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HUMOR, HORROR, HO-HUM

Megan Fox shows teeth but little talent as a man-eating zombie girl.

No matter how beautiful Megan Fox is, surely someday the actor will have to tackle a movie role in which she actually has to, you know, act. Right?

Sadly, Jennifer's Body isn't it. But the movie isn't necessarily harmed by Fox's increasingly evident lack of talent. Even with the writing pedigree of Oscar-toting Diablo Cody, the movie feels like a limp homage to dark comedy classics of the screenwriter's youth.

Hefty chunks of Heathers and TheEvil Dead franchise mix with sprinkles of Cody's signature Juno-style dialogue: "Hell is a teenage girl," "Sandbox love never dies."

Somewhere there's a story. Jennifer (Fox) is a wickedly popular high school vixen who uses her body instead of her brain to get through life in the dirt-water burg of Devil's Kettle. Things go awry when an indie band comes to town and kidnaps Jennifer, turning her into a boy-eating zombie in the process.

Her BFF "Needy" (Amanda Seyfried of Mamma Mia! and Mean Girls) is left to sort out the mystery before the town's young males become pate. If it sounds like typical horror movie fare, don't be fooled. Jennifer's Body is more like a predictable '80s teen sex comedy - with the occasional killing spree.

But it's that sex aspect that will probably pack theaters for a few weeks. Sorry guys, but Fox bares little to the camera. Rather, it's clever camera framing and plenty of innuendo that keeps things hot. A prolonged (and almost uncomfortably closeup) girl-on-girl kiss between Fox and Seyfried is bound to become the stuff of YouTube legend.

Meanwhile, the supporting characters are left to keep things honest. Johnny Simmons (as Needy's boyfriend, Chip) and Kyle Gallner (as a punk rocker/would-be suitor to Jennifer) both provide some much-needed charm to the story, even though their fates appear sealed.

Ultimately, Jennifer's Body feels as decomposed as the corpses littering Devil's Kettle. And when it's over, fans of Cody and Fox will feel just like Jennifer: a little dead inside.

Steve Spears can be reached atstuckinthe80s@tampabay.com.

Review

Jennifer's Body

Grade: C+

Director: Karyn Kusama

Cast:Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, Adam Brody

Screenplay: Diablo Cody

Rating: R

Running time: 102 min.

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