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If you loved the stomach-churning madness of STREET TRASH (1987) then you are sure to adore the insane goo and gore of BODY MELT (1993) - one of the greatest Ozploitation classics of all time! Even messier and more manic than STREET TRASH, this upchuck-classic spins a story about some Melbourne residents who are singled out as human guinea pigs for a concoction that mutates bodies and turns flesh into liquid nastiness! Spun with a sick, sick, sick sense of humour - BODY MELT is in the same vein as early Peter Jackson (BAD TASTE/ BRAINDEAD) and even features an oft-kilter performance from everyone's favourite soap star Ian Smith (yes, Harold from NEIGHBOURS). And thanks to 88 Films this shocking and unpredictable splat-stick gem is ready for reappraisal in gloriously gruesome HD!
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The disc is rammed with special features. Some are from the time of the production and some are newly sourced interviews with some of the cast, all are excellent.
The transfer is great and you can see all the disgusting gore in all its glory
If you watched Neighbours in the early nineties, you may enjoy playing `Spot the Neighbours star' as a handful crop up. It's certainly fun to see Ian Smith (better known to us as Harold Bishop) in a slightly more nasty role than a tubby loveable doddery bloke next door.
There's a reasonable amount of gore in Body Melt. The special effects are cheap, but utilised well and are quite inventive - expect varieties of bodily deformities.
However, these effects are not as constant as they might be, leading to large chunks of film with little going for it. Most of the actors are not that great and the characters they play are pretty unlikeable. You may be hard put to it to decide on who the `hero' is, as there's a fair few characters, none of which get enough screen time to really expand their personalities.
Plus the story - what little there is - is a bit all over the place. It's a nice idea, but could have been scripted a bit better and with the use of more professional actors.
It's not the worst film of its kind, but it's certainly not the best either. The nice gore and odd bits of humour are probably enough to make you think you didn't completely waste an hour and a half of your life. Braindead is definitely better though.
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.