body melt | philip brophy | rod bishop | gerard kennedy | andrew daddo | ian smith | comedy | sci-fi | sci fi | australia | regina gaigalas | vincent gil | neil foley | anthea davis | matthew newton | lesley baker | amy grove-rogers | based on | short story | adrian wright
Film: Body Melt
Director: Philip Brophy
Writer: Philip Brophy and Rod Bishop
Starring: Gerard Kennedy, Andrew Daddo and Ian Smith
This was a film that I never actually heard about, but when there was a new version of this release, it seemed to gain traction with people talking about it. I was intrigued from the title to see it. The synopsis is residents of peaceful Pebbles Court, Homesville, are being used unknowingly as test experiments for a new ‘Body Drug’ that causes some horrible side effects.
We see a couple that just had sex. The guy tells Shaan (Regina Gaigalas) that they need to stop what they’re doing, because it is illegal. He says something about testing on humans. She tells him to not worry about it. He then leaves, going back to his computer to figure out who is currently being tested on. We then hear her say to someone over the phone not to worry about him, that she gave him a dose that will kill him by morning. We then see the effects of whatever she gave him, he starts to melt. He does make it to the place he was going, but dies immediately.
The place he was going to was Pebbles Court, Homesville. This from what I gather is near Melbourne, Australia. Living in this housing development are four groups of people. We have the Nobles, with the father Thompson (Adrian Wright) who is quite health conscious. His wife Angelica (Jillian Murray), their son Brandon (Ben Geurens) and daughter Elloise (Amanda Douge) also live there. Next to them is a married couple who are expecting, Brian (Brett Climo) and Cheryl Rand (Lisa McCune). The next place is either the house of Sal Ciccone (Nicholas Politis) or Gino Argento (Maurie Annese) who are bother younger guys while the family is away. Then there is Paul Matthews (William McInnes). He is divorced and this is the person the man was coming to see. The company the dead man worked for was Vimuville and they sent some vitamin powder to Paul.
The accident draws the police and they start to look into what is going on here. The two cops are Det. Sam Phillips (Gerard Kennedy) and Johnno (Andrew Daddo). They investigation takes them to Vimuville’s new health camp, but they see no reason to linger there. They trace it there due to a pill bottle found on the dead man.
Paul starts to hallucinate and doesn’t really feel himself. He starts to see Kate (Suzi Dougherty), at first deformed and then normal, but her normal way is quite worse. The two young guys are supposed to go to Vimuville, but they get lost and end up with some aborigines. The old man in charge is Pud (Vincent Gil) and with him is his deformed family. The problem is that they might have a connection with Vimuville as well.
Cheryl is seeing doctor Dr. Carrera (Ian Smith) who seems to be harboring a secret and his treatments might not be going along with his the code of ethics that he should be as well. What is going on with Vimuville and their new product?
Now I wanted to be a bit cryptic and not to really spoil anything, because I’m going to be honest, this film is wild. At first I was so confused as to what was going on. It really does jump into it and doesn’t waste any time. I will actually touch on the pacing here, because it is great. I never got bored and if anything, I thought the film could have pumped the breaks to explain some things. To be honest though, I’m almost glad that it didn’t now, because it does all make sense in the end. It is interesting that this is a combination of short stories by co-writer/director Philip Brophy, because that’s exactly how it feels. I do love how this film plays out, which will bring me to an issue this film is exploring.
There is a coroner in this film, Willie (Bill Young). When he is doing an autopsy he tells us that the 1980’s was doing drugs and in the 90’s, it was going bigger. I do vaguely remember that there was a health kick of vitamins and I think that’s what this film is parodying in a sense. We didn’t really know what we were putting into our bodies and we still don’t know if it was good or bad for us. I like that this film is exploring that with a company that is doing illegal testing to circumvent the system. It is scary that with the United States current president removing regulations, things like this could happen here.
I will warn you to not come to this film expecting great acting. This film is part comedy and definitely over the top. It does feel a lot like an early Peter Jackson film to be honest, which makes sense as Brophy worked on Dead Alive. I really dug that aspect of it. I did like Kennedy who plays the main detective. He really is no nonsense while his partner, Daddo, is a bit more comedic relief. Smith is an interesting character and I also like Gaigalas. She would make a perfect capitalist worrying about making money and not about the repercussions. The actors in the outback are gross and I liked it. The people those living in the housing development are all different enough. I don’t have anything bad to say, but no one really stood out overall.
Something that I do have to give credit to would be the effects of the film. They went practical and they went after it. Not everything looked real, but with some of the things that are happening in this film, that would be nearly impossible. Despite that problem though, this film is gross and I loved it. I’m not really into splatter or things like that, but with the comedy it just has some charm to it. I also think it is shot very well.
An issue I did have with the film would have to be with the soundtrack. I didn’t think that the techno music really didn’t work at times. There were some moments that I was down for it, especially in one of the hallucinations. There also were times where it needed to be tense and it was a bit too upbeat. I do understand that the group is the same ones who made the film, which explains it; it just didn’t work for me.
Now with that said, this film isn’t great, but I had a blast with it. It really is a wild film and there are some outrageous things that happen. What is scary though is the actual basis of this film could legit happen, especially with some things we are seeing in the US with pushing back regulations. Basing it in reality like that is solid. It doesn’t waste any time getting into anything and I thought how it plays out is solid. It really brings all of the threads together which I needed. The acting isn’t great, but fits for what was needed. The effects were practical, which I also love. They all don’t necessarily look great, but they definitely were fine by me. The soundtrack doesn’t always work, but it does have its moments for sure. Overall I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone, but if you are looking for a fun horror film that’s gross to watch with friends or check this out for the real world implications of ‘pharmaceutical products’, check this out.
My Rating: 7 out of 10