Body Bags

“Zip yourself in tight” for Body Bags from John Carpenter and Tobe Cooper’s 187 Corp. Body Bags is a sort of a who’s-who of horror full of cameos including Wes Craven, David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London), and Robert Carradine (Louis from Revenge of the Nerds).

This made for TV horror anthology has three segments. The first two directed by our Master of Ceremonies John Carpenter, and the third by Texas Chainsaw Tobe Hooper.
There’s a wrap around sequence with John Carpenter as a joke-making mortician who introduces each of the three segments. He tells bad jokes about necrophilia and breast implants Crypt Keeper style. Tom Arnold and Tobe Hooper have cameos as two morgue attendants.

I love anthologies. Maybe it’s the minimal commitment with the big payoff, or maybe I just have no attention span.

The first of the three segments is about Rae-Dawn-Chong look-a-like Anne (Alex Datcher) working the graveyard shift at a gas station. She’s in one of those glass cashier’s booths and is exposed to some strange customers throughout the night. The first is a creepy pasty-faced Wes Craven who stops at the station for a pack of smokes and tries to lure our young lass out of her plexi-glass booth for some bourbon back at his car. Then Pete (David Naughton) pulls up to refuel and flirt with our girl behind the glass. He forgets his credit card, doesn’t turn into a werewolf, and Griffin Dunne isn’t anywhere in this movie. When our heroine finds a murdered transient in a car in the gas station garage, she calls the number the day attendant gave her at the start of her shift and she hears the phone in the gas station office ringing. The day attendant Bill (Robert Carradine) answers and lets Anne know he’s coming for her. She runs into the booth and locks it, but here comes a crazed Bill with a sledgehammer and machete. Using the hammer he makes Swiss cheese out of the glass booth in a surprisingly intense scene. Bill chases Anne around a while until Pete shows back up for his credit card and saves the day. Turns out that Bill is a wanted murderer and not the day attendant. He iced the real day attendant (Sam Raimi who we only see in an “employee of the month” picture) and then set his sights on the new nightshift girl. This segment is well paced and suspenseful and has Louis from “Revenge of the Nerds” as the killer……nice. Carpenter should have had Carradine do that fucking laugh he did in Revenge of the Nerds as he attacked.

The second, and by far the best (and weirdest), segment is “Hair”. It stars Stacey Keach (Mike Hammer, Sgt. Stadanko, the list goes on) as Richard Coberts, a middle-aged guy who’s losing his hair. He starts obsessing about it much to the dismay of his hot girlfriend Megan (Sheena Easton, yeah the 80’s singer). Things get worse for Richard as Megan struts out on him and he’s exposed to people with long beautiful hair walking their longhaired dogs in slow motion. One night Dick sees an infomercial for the Roswell Hair Growth Laboratory and decides to pay a visit. Richard has a consultation with Dr. Lock (David Warner, uh, the bad guy from Tron) and his “sexy” nurse (played very unconvincingly by Debbie Harry). Debbie Harry is NOT hot, not even in “Videodrome”. If you disagree, get your fucking eyes checked immediately. Doc Lock gives Richard a solution to rub on his head. The next morning Richard has grown a long, flowing, Fabioesque mane of hair. He’s psyched, Sheenah Easton is turned on, and all is well until Richard starts coughing and getting sick. The next day Richard discovers his hair has grown six inches. He heads to the salon and when he gets his hair cut we can see it slithering away on the floor like snakes. Back at home he investigates the tickle in his throat to find a little hair-snake wiggling around in the back of his mouth. Richard’s condition worsens and he lays down for a nap. When he wakes up he has hair-snakes growing out of his face. He storms into Dr. Lock’s office demanding to know what is happening. The doctor explains that the hair-snakes are aliens and they are feeding on Richard’s brain. Well, what do expect when you go to the “Roswell Hair Growth Laboratory”? This one ends with Richard in a comatose state while Debbie Harry harvests the baby alien hair-snakes from his scalp while humming Amazing Grace or something. Really funny and really weird at the same time, I love it. Keach is hilarious.

The third segment is “The Eye” directed by Tobe Hooper.
Mark “I’m Luke Skywalker bitch!” Hamill is Brent Matthews, a minor league baseball player about to break into the big leagues until he loses his eye in a car wreck. A doctor offers to perform an experimental eye transplant and hook Luke up with a new eye. Well, it’s an evil eye from a serial killer and it makes him see some scary shit, forces him to do bad shit, and makes him almost kill his wife. A pretty familiar premise, but Hooper does it well. Not much more to this one except some pretty nasty ocular trauma.

Body Bags never takes itself too seriously which makes for a fun watch. As anthologies go it’s no “Creepshow”, but it might be on par with “Creepshow 3.”

**This review is of an ex-rental VHS copy of Body Bags I got online for $1.99. This movie is not available, nor should it be viewed in any other format. It even has a trailer for “Infested” starring a young Seth Green. I haven’t seen that movie, but it looks tits.

**Body Bags Trivia: Body Bags was made as the pilot episode for an anthology to air on Showtime, but they yanked it……fuck. Showtime would make up for this a decade later with “Masters of Horror”.

Not dead but decomposing nicely,

DeadMike

Advertisements

~ by exploitnation on April 18, 2008.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: