Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Body Melt

Body Melt (1993)

Dir: Phillip Brophy

IMDB Rating: 4.5

Body Melt is yet another Splat Stick Gorror Comedy from Down Under  in the vein of films like Bad Taste and Dead Alive. This one however has not established nearly as much of a cult following as the others on that short list. On one hand I can see why but on another It is hard for me to fathom why this one hasn't at least stirred up something a bit larger on this end of the globe. Much like the previously mentioned films this one goes for the over the top approach when it comes to both the gore effects and the Characters in the smaller roles, as we meet some truly interesting people on our journey through the suburbs of this little trip to Ozploitationland. So how does this one stack up against the aforementioned cult classics? Well let's see.

The film opens with a small health business entrepreneur named Shaun as she injects one of her assistance with a new weight loss vitamin concoction she has been working on at her development lab and Health Resort Vimuville. Ryan the man it was tested on quickly suspects some seriously underhanded things going on in the company and after he checks the companies computer for insider info, He notices that several packets of this still untested new miracle drug have been sent out to the residents of a small suburb community of Pebble Court in order to get some free testing and remain under the radar. Fearing the after effects Ryan quickly heads to this little neighborhood to stop the folks from recieving it for fear they will do some serious damage to themselves. Shortly after Ryan sets out on his mission he begins to feel seriously ill and as the side effects of this new drug persist ,Ryan begins Hallucinating and his body tempature rises rapidly. As Ryan races to Pebble Court he is trailed by some local authorities for speeding and a high speed chase leads them right into the court where Ryan meets his demise after a car wreck and his body begins to eat itself for a lack of better terms.

The police puzzled with what exactly happened to Ryan , call in Det. Sam Phillips who takes the body in for testing and the investigation begins. Meanwhile we get to meet the folks of the small community. First is Paul, A single father who tries the new Vitamin before a big business meeting and the effects kick in while he is on a flight to his office. Paul begins Hallucinating and see's a badly beaten woman who states that she needs a place to stay and asks him for help. Then there is Gino and Sal a couple of young Italian guys who receive an invitation to the Vimuville health spa, Unfortunately or not however they do not make it to the Spa as their car breaks down in the backwoods where they come across a very strange family of inbred's, who promise to fix their car but they get a bit more then they bargain for. While Paul's condition begins to worsen upon returning home , Det.Phillips goes to the Vimuville center for questioning after finding the strange chemical in his body as well as a empty pack of the g-59 vitamin.

After Shaun distracts the Detectives, we meet the rest of the Pebble Court bunch where a young couple Bryan and his wife Cheryl are expecting child and the quirky Noble Family who are preparing for their trip to the Health resort. Cheryl begins feeling ill and it is shown that she has been secretly injected throughout her pregnancy with the drug in small doses by her Doctor who is in on the project. Det. Phillips gets word that a strange enzyme was found in Ryan's body so the attention once again turns towards Shaun and her company. As we see Cheryl suffering from the effects of the drugs we are treated to one of the films highlights with a rather strange birth scene. Elsewhere the Noble family arrive at the Health spa and the husband Thomas is beginning to show signs of the drug affecting him as some strange snot like substance begins leaking from his nose at random, however the rest of his family don't show any signs of the drug as of yet. The family is treated to meals and workouts while their young son takes a spill while sneaking off to skateboard and his fall causes some interesting injuries. At this point The Detectives are beginning to come down pretty hard on the vitamin company and The doctor in cahoots with Shaun seeks out the strange inbred man from earlier as he apparently was once a co worker and scientist with the company  that used to test on himself . He reveals why the drug is having adverse affects and he is the sole owner of the only cure. As the bodies are pilling up more and more signs point to the G-59 drug but before the detectives can break the case things really begin to fall apart from the inside as back at the spa we see that the drugs have not only offed some of the lovely Noble family it is starting to take control of some of  the employees at the Spa as they have grown addictions to the drug in small doses and their urges have caused them to overdose including Shaun.

The crooked Doctor arrives at the Vimuville resort as he is looking to kill Shaun in order to keep her mouth shut , but he quickly finds he is too late just as the Detectives arrive to arrest him for the murders. Meanwhile the two surviving members of the Noble family escape the compound and head to a doctor looking for answers when the mother is stricken with the drug and she is taken out in unique fashion as well. With everyone dead and the production of the drug stopped it appears that the spread is contained and problem is solved, Just as Cheryl's husband Bryan begins to disintegrate while in custody at the station. After the last remaining contaminant is dead , The detectives close the case.... Unfortunately as the film closes we of course see that the product has made it's ways mysteriously to the racks of a local convenient store.

So after all the goo and slime is cleaned up how does this film stack up to the forerunners of the Aussie Splatstick genre? Honestly pretty well. This film is allot of fun and the gore for the most part is pretty innovative. If you enjoy films like "The Stuff" , "Street Trash" and "Slime City" then this one should be up your alley. It is very reminiscent of each of those films however with a splash of the off the wall Aussie humor of films like early Peter Jackson's. I find it hard to believe that the director of this flick never really made anything else noteworthy as this film showed some serious promise. Now I would not classify this one as a Cult Classic like many of the films I have compared it to , I do recommend people give this one a chance as there is allot of fun to be had while watching it. For me the highlight of the film was the strange Aboriginal inbred family and I would have loved to have seen a prequel or a spin off focusing on them as it would make for a very funny spoof style flick poking fun at films like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Hills Have Eyes" as well as years later the "Wrong Turn" series of films. If you like your horror to go for the gross out in a light hearted way and you enjoy a few chuckles with your blood and guts, Then give this one a shot it is well worth the time. Another victory for the long lost and short lived Splatstick Gorror Comedy Genre of films. It's too bad they don't make films like this anymore because they always seem to be allot of fun.

Fun Factor:6
Overall: 6 out of 10

1 comment:

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