PLOT: Residents of a small community in Australia are the unknowing test subjects for a new experimental drug that causes rapid body decomposition.
I’m getting the feeling that I’m not going to like many horror films from Australia and New Zealand. After watching Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste last year and now Philip Brophy’s Body Melt, there’s just something about the style that just doesn’t gel with me. Maybe there’s a sense of humor that just feels lost in translation for me with these movies as, I suppose, both films are really more dark comedies rather than straight horror movies. It’s a gross-out film above all else and I just find that a bit obnoxious.
There’s very little plot for this one. The movie revolves around the residents of Pebbles Court, who happen to be the subjects of an experimental drug trial, administered by a company called Vimuville, while the subjects are none the wiser. One of the people working on the drug attempts to warn the subjects of the trial’s existence and the side effects they will be subjected to, but he gets injected with the drug and succumbs to the body degenerative side effects before he has a chance to warn them. Then, the rest of the movie… just sort of happens after that. Each group of people succumb to varying degrees of body horror degeneration. I’ll say that the practical effects are the best part of this movie, as they are very well done, but this is just a thin showcase for that work. It’s part of the reason why the movie made for an interesting trailer, but when it came down to the actual feature-length, there wasn’t much there.
Lots of gore in this one and the practical effects are pretty excellent. We see a bunch of people just dissolve into grossness, crazy things fly out of a pregnant woman’s uterus, and some guy’s erection exploding, more or less.
GORE RATING: 5 out of 5
Not really much to be scared about with this one. It’s a dark comedy and it’s really just focused on grossing you out. I guess that can be scary if you’re afraid of body stuff, but not much more than that.
SCARE RATING: 1.5 out of 5
Early nudity featuring the woman that’s going around administering the trial, and actual male frontal nudity. There’s some sex scenes towards the end, too, but it’s not particularly sexy. I guess it’s hard to keep that going when people are melting or exploding.
Sex/Nudity Rating: 4 out of 5
I just didn’t love it, to be honest. I thought some of the practical effects were really well done, but I was kind of hoping for something a little more Cronenberg-like; this is more Peter Jackson’s splatter phase, which I suppose has its fans, but I’m not one of them. There was a whole subplot about a couple idiots hanging out with redneck Aussie stereotypes, and I honestly can’t recall where that plot thread went. It was the closest thing to an actual storyline, but I’m like 75% sure it went nowhere.