Body Melt (1993)
WRITERS: Philip Brophy and Rod Bishop
DIRECTOR: Philip Brophy
STARRING: Gerard Kennedy as Sam Philips
Andrew Daddo as Johnno
Ian Smith as Dr. Carrera
Regina Gaigalas as Shaan
Vince Gil as Pud
Neil Foley as Bab
Anthea Davis as Slab
Matt Newton as Bronto
Adrian Wright as Thompson Noble
Jillian Murphy as Angelica Noble
Ben Geurens as Brandon Noble
Amanda Douge as Elouise Noble
Brett Climo as Brian Rand
Lisa McCune as Cheryl Rand
Nick Polites as Sal Ciccone
Maurie Annese as Gino Argento
William McInnes as Paul Matthews
Suzi Dougherty as Kate
QUICK CUT: A new resort and spa has opened up in Australia, and nearby Homesville will never be the same again!
Look, there’s a lot of characters here, some of them odder than the rest, and some even odder than that. I’m going to let the characters speak for themselves in the bulk of the review. Rather than trying to pick a few characters to get into here, or trying to break each of them all down, that seems best.
TRISK ANALYSIS: Welcome back, Triskelions! I hope you are all staying warm in this November, as the temperature drops for many of us here in the north. In celebration of wanting to stay warm, I decided to check out this little Aussie bit of body horror, Body Melt! Actually, I lie, because I literally just thought of melting while typing this up.
ANYways, fair warnings ahoy! First of all, this movie is *weird*, so expect a lot of bizarreness ahead. But that's fairly standard around these parts. Also, this movie has a LOT going on, since it's kinda an anthology telling four stories that are woven tightly together, so this might get long. I'll do my best to remain as concise as possible, without losing what little clarity I can find. Let's do this!
The movie opens up simply enough with a basic tv advert for Vimuville, a spa/resort type location that seems TOTALLY safe and legit, I'm sure.
From there, we watch the woman from the ad, Shaan, having nakey fun times with a reporter named Ryan. Once he passes out, she injects him with some glowing green liquid, and the fun begins in earnest...
While Ryan sneaks off to hack into Shaan's computer and getting information on Homesville, she calls her overlord or something, and explains that they're doing illegal experiments with their supplements on people there.
Ryan doubles up the exposition, as the computer introduces the four families the movie will focus on; the Noble family sans Donna, expectant parents Cheryl and Brian Rand, Sal and Gino a pair of sperm donating teens, and Paul Matthews who is taking vitamin supplements
As Ryan rushes off to see what he can find out in Homesville, we actually meet much of the residents face to face for a change.
Our ace reporter takes a break at a gas 'n' gulp along the way, and he's starting to not look too good. He stumbles into the store, grabs some detergent, and drinks up. I...have no idea what's going on. Is he getting strange cravings from whatever Shaan injected him with? Or does he think this will somehow fight whatever he's going through? Why? Eh, let's just enjoy the ride.
Ryan speeds his way to Homesville, squirting detergent all over himself along the way, and his neck starts to rip open. The cops don't take too kindly to the wreckless driving and give chase. When they flash you like that, they ain't friends.
He comes barreling into the Pebbles Court cul de sac, and crashes into a realtor van. The force of the impact launches Ryan through the windshield. As if that wasn't bad enough, his intestines burst out of his neck to strangle him. Yeeeah, this is gonna be a trip.
The commotion brings out all the cast, and even some detectives arrive to take a few statements, and get some names, while trying to get a sense of what's going on.
One of the cops makes a bad joke about how they can probably get Ryan on not wearing his seatbelt. Bad Joke Detective is istantly my new fave.
The cops find Ryan's recorder, with some stuff he said about the drug's affects on him, but it's still pretty vague. Still, that coupled with some scribblings on his arms they find later, will lead them to deduce there is more going on here.
Gino and Sal take off to donate their sperm and make some quick cash, and meanwhile, Paul heads to the airport where he meets a woman who is seriously beaten up.
And uh, somewhere between scenes, the kids got their windshield busted, and have to stop in the middle of nowhere to get it fixed. Thanks for skipping that little plot point.
This place instantly sets off every last alarm bell, but they don't have much choice. Pud calls out his misfit kids, and the weirdness just gets weirder. He sets to work getting the car fixed, and the kids entertain Gino and Sal. And to get them some grub, comes out Pud's tall daughter, Slab.
Meanwhile, Paul returns home and the hallucinatory beaten woman is already there, and he acts like he took her in as an act of kindness, and lets her freshen up.
She later comes in, looking much better, and starts seducing him...and he wakes up, like it was all a dream. Is it really necessary to dream of a hallucination?
Back in the middle of nowhere, the kids rush out into the field, as one of Pud's kids hollers and calls a kangaroo out to them. Which he then proceeds to hurl a rock at like it's Mjolnir, killing it. But wait there's more! The Pudlings then cut the 'roo open and eat its adrenal gland.
Gino hops in a truck with the boys as they drive around a stump in circles, so normal fun times in the country. I could tell you boring, boring stories. Meanwhile, Sal goes over to Slab and hits on her. This kid will bang ANYone, won't he?
While that's going on, one of the Pudlings leads Gino into their home, going right past the actual door, and pushing through a secret panel in the wall. Never trust backwoods mutated hillbillies with a secret entrance into their house.
Sal's sexy fun times go horribly wrong though, when Slab rams a stick where sticks should not go, and then bites out his throat. That was random and wildly weird.
With one of the boys dead, Pud sends the family out to find Gino, because witnesses bad. He makes a run for it to the circling truck, discovering that's really all it can do, as the steering wheel is broken. While we never learn of his fate, it's pretty safe to assume he won't be making his sperm donation appointment.
Meanwhile, Detective Seniority and Detective Badjoke arrive at Vimuville to ask some questions. They meet Shaan and she denies any and all knowledge of Ryan.
They have a chat with the medical examiner over Ryan's corpse, and we cut back to Paul and his mail order hallucination.
Kate pulls out a rolled up kit that we see contains a bunch of ribs, and as she seduces Paul, she talks about how she is trying to collect 13 male ribs, going all Lilith revenge on men, slowly coaxing out another rib from Paul, like she's trying to squeeze the last bit of toothpaste from the tube.
And that pretty much wraps up Paul's story, leaving us with just two families left. So let's spend time with the Rands and expectant mom Cheryl!
Cheryl is having strange dreams, which her doctor shrugs off as just being in a new house, or maybe the kid, because 'up until their birth, babies are the ultimate parasite.' Sage advice, doc!
Feeling slightly reassured, Doctor Carrera makes a call...to Shaan. He wants to lower he dosage of their foul cocktail, as it's starting to have unforeseen effects. Shaan wants to keep going because SCIENCE!
A day or so later, because time seems to be all out of whack in this movie, Cheryl is home alone, when she drops her placenta.
She calls the doctor to have him come over, after he gets a call from Pud, his former partner who experimented on himself and went a little mad and experimented on others. Okay, nice bit of tying things together.
But when Cheryl gets off the phone, the placenta has scurried away. This will not be the strangest sentence I write for this movie.
Doc calls Brian to come home, and they can see what's going on, but in the meantime, Cheryl's baby wants out, and tries to do a lower thoracic chestburst.
Brian arrives home just as Cheryl is about to cut out the baby. And that's when the attack placenta goes for daddy and tries to crawl down his throat.
Cheryl bursts open, and when the cops arrive, they arrest Brian thinking he sliced open his wife and murdered his child.
Doc Carrera has also arrived, and gets questioned. But he has zero answers to provide. Well, he does, but he lies about all of them.
Once the cops drive off, the doctor pays a visit to Paul to see how that experiment is going and uh...
The doctor injects the melting Paul with something, and we cut to the Noble family arriving at Vimuville for their family getaway and ignoble ends.
Papa Noble starts to get a case of the sniffles, and after sneezing out a big glob of snot, it starts to crawl away. What does it think it is, an attack placenta?? I also have a half formed joke about how his nose is running.
The Noble's son heads off to do some skateboarding, and he messes up, faceplanting and smooshing into a puddle. Possibly the lamest death of the movie, as he just falls and goes to goo.
Meanwhile, the cops decide to find Paul, and are astonished at what bits and pieces they find, including a vial of drugs with the doctor's name on it, as well as an ear that Paul ripped off when we weren't watching.
Shaan checks out the Nobles' urinalaysis, and calls the doctor. But since he's driving off to the middle of Nowhere, he's not in at the moment. But the cops are there and overhear the message Shaan leaves on the answering machine. The noose draws tighter!
Meanwhile, one of the Vimuville meatheads steals some of the new experimental drugs for him and a pal, and I'm sure that will go well!
One of the meatheads watches some porn, and has a premature erection that explodes into a bloody mess. That...is not a good way to go. But to be fair, this movie has zero good ways to go.
Carrera pays a visit to Pud, and we get some expudsition about their past doings, and he gives the doc a vial; the missing ingredient that would make the drugs more stable.
Back at the resort, the other meathead takes his pills, has sex with one of his coworkers, and gets so into it he strangles her, and gets totally ripped. And by that, I mean his back tears open as his body expands and tears apart.
Shaan is also popping pills like a madwoman, with no idea how dangerous they are. Which is shocking, considering the previous hour of movie. You would think she'd have some sort of clue.
Daddy Noble meanwhile slips in all his discharges, cracks his head on the bathroom sink, and dies in a puddle of his own green.
Momma Noble rushes off to get help, and sends her daughter to get Shaan but her face collapses in on itself. The two women jump in the car, drive off, and find a normal doctor. Who is most surprised when mommy Noble chokes on her own suddenly ginormous tongue.
Carrera returns to the office, and finds the puddle of Shaan, and the cops arrive to arrest him shortly afterwards. As well they should.
The doctor is raving about the poor quality of the human body, and how he thinks it can be made better with the right fuel...but when the cops are clearly there to arrest him, he commits suicide.
We're not quite done though, as the cops return to the precinct, and hey, remember Brian? Yeah, he's on the loose and barfing up slime all over the place.
This is really just one last gross out scene, as the cops try and get one of their own out of the office Brian is stuck in, before his face expands and explodes like a bad puffer fish.
And we end with one last tease of the stop and gulp shop, bringing things full circle, and seeing that there are Vimuville pills on the shelves, thanks to Shaan rushing them out before the cops closed in, so there's gonna be fun times ahead...
Video: This looks amazingly good. Vinegar Syndrome does it again.
Audio: And it sounds really good too, as expected.
Sound Bite: “Their urine looks really good!”
Body Count: A very nice dozen or so bodies that are almost all wonderfully gooey.
1 - 10:30 minutes, after Ryan gets dosed with whatever this stuff is, crashes his car, and his intestines try to strangle him.
2 - Sal gets sticked up the ass and then eaten, I guess?
3 - Safe to assume Gino dies too.
4 - Paul gets a rib removed and dies.
5 - Man chokes on placenta...yeah, that happened.
6 - Mother explodes in a burst of steaming baby.
7 - Skateboard kid smashes his face on the half pipe.
8 - Buff dude has an explosive cock
9 - Girl gets strangled by the other buff guy
10 - And then he rips himself apart.
11 - Snotty guy slips in his discharges and cracks his head open
12 - Shaan melts into a puddle of person
13 - Woman chokes on her own tongue
14 - Doc Carreras commits suicide.
15 - Guy at police station explodes into a pile of green
Best Corpse: I am really partial to Shaan’s gooey body, and Paul’s drippy face.
Blood Type - B+: Lots of blood and goo give this movie high marks.
Sex Appeal: Kicks off pretty quickly with Shaan being nude, and smatterings of various levels of nakedness.
Drink Up! Every time things get weird.
Movie Review: Wow. This is BIZARRE. And some of that is surely cultural differences between myself and Australia. But it’s a good kind of weird. There’s something the movie has to say about commercialism and pharmacology, and it works on that level, while also being just plain strange. It maybe gets a little too camp, but that’s fine. And the movie almost plays as an anthology, and I wish it was MORE of one. If the stories were more on their own, with less interplay during the movie, I feel this would be more coherent and feel less bloated, but it’s still interesting and fun. Three out of five adrenal glands.
Entertainment Value: This is super fun, if you can get into the plain weirdness of the movie, and the body horror. I can get into those things, and had a blast. The gory stuff is really fun and gooey, and I definitely had fun. Four out of five attack placentas.