Body Melt (1993)
By: Lauren Monaghan on December 26, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. 79 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Philip Brophy
Starring: Gerard Kennedy, Andrew Daddo, Ian Smith, Lisa McCune
Screenplay: Philip Brophy, Rod Bishop
Music: Philip Brophy
Tagline: The first phase is hallucinogenic... the second phase is glandular... and the third phase is... BODY MELT Country: Australia
The aftermath of taking Vimuville vitamins is fun! The first phase is hallucinogenic. The second phase is glandular. And the third phase involves leaking mucous from your every bodily orifice and drowning in a pool of your own snot. Oh, and exploding penises. Can't forget those.

The future is grim for the residents of Pebbles Court, stars of the Aussie goo-tacular that is Body Melt. As the unwitting guinea pigs of drug company Vimuville, they have all been exposed to a concoction which, while designed to supercharge the body and mind, has the unfortunate side-effect of leading to total body meltdown, complete with head collapsibility and vomit, Exorcist-style.

It's not surprising that the movie is based on four short fictions by writer and director Philip Brophy, seeing how it jumps, often awkwardly, between the stories of four different groups of people. There's the Noble family, tricked into chowing down on drug laced food; the Rands, soon to be parents being reached through their unborn child; Paul Mathews, who thinks nothing of slurping down a few mailbox-delivered health drinks, and buddies Sal and Gino who… find themselves in a totally different plot involving a family of inbred, possibly cannibalistic, hicks. Just go with it. Also traipsing through the film are coppas Sam and Johnno, who are slowly unravelling the evil agenda of Vimuville, corpse by festering corpse.

Now, consider yourself warned: Body Melt can get a little loopy – from the batshit-insane hallucinations of Paul, which involve a rib-collecting temptress cum masseuse, to the adventures of Sal and Gino at the ass-end of nowhere (sure, you've just seen a couple of lumbering freaks bust open a kangaroo to scoff down it's adrenal gland – why not stick around to try and score with their dude-like monstrosity of a sister?). Fortunately, though, the craziness is all part of the movie's quirky appeal.

Aussie viewers will also get a kick out of seeing some familiar faces getting in touch with their inner B-grade selves. There's just something extra special about seeing Blue Heeler's darling Lisa McCune squirt out a pulsating placenta with a mind of its own, or watching Andrew Daddo pick a wedgie.

And then there's the effects. The bloody, mucousy, hilarious effects.

Though at times the movie suffers from its all-over-the-shop plot, it's the visuals of the film that really make it worth a watch. Oversized tongue gags! Gaping body cavities! The saddest looking autopsied corpse you've ever seen! They're all side-splitting and eye-popping. Literally.
Video
One of the first things you'll notice about Body Melt is its vibrancy – all the colours are rich and bright, which for some reason makes it feel classier than the average low-budget Australian flick. The film is newly presented in a 16x9 enhanced, 1.85:1 transfer, which it proudly boasts as its top-billed special feature. For the most part the picture is perfect, but there are a couple of occasions where minor artefacts do show up.
Audio
With all its squishiness, this film would have been awesome in 5.1 surround sound. Alas, it is presented in English Dolby Digital 2.0, but it still does work. And the crazy, pumping score works well too (it was also put together by writer/director man Philip Brophy).
Extra Features
Sadly, the extras on this disc are rather unimpressive. There's a behind the scenes featurette that is more randomly put together than the film itself: it's basically a mix of cast interviews, on-set footage and special effects talk, all interspersed heavily with scenes from the movie you just sat through. If you can sit through the piece, though, you'll be rewarded with the most rambling character explanation you're likely to come across – complete with tales of redemption, rainbows and dry humping Mother Earth.

The DVD also has a bunch of Umbrella trailers, a stills gallery and a fairly pointless PDF file featuring storyboards.
The Verdict
There's snot, there's bile, there's face-hugger style things dropping out of pregnant ladies – what's not to like? Body Melt is a fun movie if you're in the right mood.
Movie Score
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