Monday, April 18, 2011
John Carpenter's Body Bags
John Carpenter should need no introduction among horror fans but it is sad to see that this great anthology does in some situations. Body Bags is one of those flicks that is far from average that still has never had a quality dvd release and for this reason many horror fans have a hard time getting their hands on it. The film doesn't take itself too seriously but still stands the test of time with the three attention grabbing stories that are displayed.
Carpenter plays the role of the coroner that is handling all of the body bags. Like most anthologies he ties all these horrible tales to one another. Cracking jokes throughout it is hard not to compare his performance to that of The Cryptkeeper from Tales From the Crypt. The first story is called "The Gas Station". A job working graveyard shift at a 24 hour gas station could easily cause some paranoia. It isn't long before her paranoia begins to seem justified. By the end of the shift blood has been spilled and the young women will be lucky to get out alive. This segment is the most intense of the three and doesn't have any problems keeping you on the edge of your seat.
The second story is "Hair", the story follows a balding man who simply can't deal with his recent hair loss. He feels as though everyone sees him as less of a man as his scalp begins to show. He begins to lose all hope until he sees an add for a brand new hair growth formula that apparently works wonders. After receiving the treatment his hair begins to grow wildly and he finds himself with too much hair for his own good. This segment is an excellent cheesy break from the serious tone that the first one had. Overall this one has some superb acting and some very funny moments.
The final segment is titled "Eye" (clever names, eh?). A professional baseball player is having some issues with his eye after a vicious car accident and is in desperate need of a transplant. Without his eye all his dreams of making it big with his baseball career would be crushed. He gets his new eye and is expected to make a speedy recovery but unfortunately he runs into a problem. His new eye used to be owned by a serial killer and as time goes on his random fits of rage begin to get worse. This section is probably the least appealing of the bunch but it is by no means bad. It just seems like the concept would work better if it was it's own full-length feature.
Overall Body Bags is one of the better anthology horror films out there. It features a cast of faces film fans will recognize and is high on the "fun factor". Those who enjoyed Creepshow, Cat's Eye, Screamtime, Tales From the Darkside, and From a Whisper to a Scream should get a kick out of this. While it isn't Carpenter or Hooper's best work it is worth a watch.
*Note: the dvd release of this film is heavily cut.