Thursday, August 11, 2011

Body Parts (1991)

Eric Red is a pretty well known and largely respected name in the world of horror. As a writer, his credits include "Near Dark", "The Hitcher" and "Blue Steel", while as a writer and a director, his credits include "Bad Moon", "Cohen and Tate", "Undertow", "100 Feet" and this movie, 1991's "Body Parts."

After Losing his arm in a car accident, criminal psychologist Bill Chrushank (Jeff Fahey) finds himself with a new arm thanks to Dr. Agatha Webb (Lindsay Duncan.) The problem: it belonged to a serial killer, and he soon starts seeing violent images and begins to behave in a more violent nature. Now, with the help of Mark Draper (Peter Murnik) and artist Remo Lacey (Brad Dourif), who also got parts from the killer, Bill must put a stop to this.

From the premise alone, you'd be forgiven for thinking "Body Parts" sounds pretty stupid. That's because...well, it is very stupid. However, it's also more fun than it has any right to be, thanks to the fact that it becomes pretty clear that Red realizes how goofy this is, and adds an undercurrent of black humor to the proceedings, much of it provided by Dourif's creepy Remo. It's also capably directed and acted for the most part, with the supporting cast all doing fine work, especially Douriff and Duncan, who does a great job as the icy, evil Doctor with darker motives for what she's doing. Oh, and there's even some decent (but not exactly mindblowing) gore, a fine score by Loek Dikker (*snicker*), and a satisfying conclusion.

The problems it runs into largely deal with some pretty bad dialogue and a not particularly great lead performance. As Bill, Fahey feels a bit one note, though there are moments where his character seems to come at least a little alive. It doesn't help that some of what comes out of his mouth is just embarrassing. Maybe Red meant for it to come off as campy, but lines like "THIS ARM IS KILLING ME DOC!" are impossible to hear without titters of laughter.

Still, "Body Parts" makes for a decent little Netflix rental, and offers enough moments of inspiratin and ghastly humor to keep you interest. A nice little sleeper.

Rating: 6.5/10

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