Body Parts (1991)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Slasher Film  |   Release Date - Aug 2, 1991 (USA)  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Donald Guarisco

This odd horror film doesn't always make sense but it is never dull and manages to be quite entertaining in its own EC Comics-type way. Writer/director Eric Red cut his horror auteur teeth writing the script for The Hitcher and takes a similar approach here, painting the plot and characters in broad strokes so he can really put his power behind the realization of the shock sequences. The script doesn't follow through on some of its most interesting ideas (like the concept that evil can reside in a body part) but the plot moves along at a taut pace. It also works in plenty of gripping setpieces along the way: the handcuff-linked car chase is an obvious choice, but the opening car-wreck scene and an operation scene shot in point-of-view style through a distorted lens are also standout moments. Red also achieves a tremendously creepy atmosphere, a mood aided considerably by Loek Dikker's spine-tingling musical score and Theo Van De Sande's moody cinematography. Finally, the film is blessed with an excellent cast of character actors that wisely play the material straight: Jeff Fahey is sympathetic and edgy by turns as the confused hero, Brad Dourif adds some color as one of his fellow transplant recipients and Lindsay Duncan wisely underplays her doctor role to intensify its creepiness. All in all, Body Parts is more of an exercise in style than an all-around classic but it is fully capable of creeping a viewer out on its own level.