Top critical review
And you thought steroids were bad for you
on 14 June 2008
Given the right combinations of vitamins/cognitive enhancers, there's no telling what the human body is capable of. Of course, if the formulas of such super vitamins aren't exactly right, you could be in for one bloody mess - and Body Melt is Exhibit A all the way. Some critics see the film as some sort of satire of suburban life, but all I saw was a really weird movie with bad - albeit gross - special effects. It would certainly be possible to impart some kind of actual message into this type of storyline, but I don't think the writers and director of Body Melt set out to do anything like that. I don't even think the movie is all that gross, but that's partly due to the fact that the special effects are so unrealistic.
Let the opening of the film be a lesson to you. If you're planning on flooding the pharmaceutical market with a potentially dangerous, inadequately tested super vitamin and one of your scientists sees what is happening and sets out to reveal your dirty little secret, just chop his head off or something. Obviously, you have to kill the guy, so don't take any chances of him living long enough to drop a few clues pointing back at you. Our would-be hero doesn't actually succeed at warning anyone in Homesville that the free vitamin samples they are about to receive are dangerous, but his actions do point a finger of suspicion toward Vimuville when residents of Homesville start dying in exceedingly unnatural, disgustingly painful ways.
Obviously, given the title, you can expect to see some bodies melting in this film, but that's not even the half of it. You also have certain body parts basically exploding, nasal congestion of the most disgusting kind, projectile vomiting all over the place, and a pregnancy that goes very, very wrong. For me, though, most of the mess was far too amateurish in the special effects department to bother me in the slightest. The weirdest part of the whole movie, though, takes place at a "middle of nowhere" service station. It's not so much the fact that the resident "family" is hideously deformed and absolutely mental (and they are both - in spades); what I didn't get is why these two lost blokes that stop there actually have a gay old time with these characters. It's not surreal as much as it is just plain weird.
Most people who come to watch Body Melt will undoubtedly have been lured in by the gore factor. Many will indeed find the film rather disgusting, while a few (like myself) will undoubtedly find the special effects little more than yawn-inducing. Since there aren't really any surprises along the way, the story itself is not a particularly strong draw, either. All of this adds up to a movie that, in my opinion, just isn't very good.