Directed by Eric Red
Produced by Frank Mancuso, Jr.
Written by Eric Red & Norman Snider
Director of Photograpy Theo van de Sande & Gerald M. Williams
Music by Loek Dikker
Cast: Jeff Fahey, Brad Dourif, Kim Delaney & Lindsay Duncan
1991/88 mins/Color/5.1 Dolby Digital
2.35:1 anamorphic/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Paramount Home Entertainment DVD
In life, timing can be everything, and that is true for the film industry as well. Many films have come along at just the right time and struck a chord with the audience, thus leading to success. But, timing can kill a film as well. In early August, 1991, a low-budget horror-film named BODY PARTS was set to open in America's cinemas, as we often see horror movies in August (just look at this year's releases). However, just before the film was to be released, it was discovered that a man named Jeffrey Dahmer had been killing and mutilating young men in Milwaukee. The crimes shocked the nation and no one wanted anything to do with a movie called BODY PARTS. Thus many missed a competent, well-made thriller.
Jeff Fahey stars in BODY PARTS as Bill Chrushank, a mild-mannered psychologist who works in the prison system, attempting to reform inmates. While driving to work one day, Bill is involved in an auto-accident and loses his right arm. His wife, Karen (Kim Delaney) gives permission for Dr. Agatha Webb (Lindsay Duncan) to perform an experimental procedure and transplant a new arm onto Bill. Although Bill has to undergo painful physical therapy, the surgery is a success and he's soon back at home. But, Bill soon begins to have strange, violent visions and finds that he can't control his arm at times. Through his connections in the police department, Bill learns that his arm once belonged to a violent killer. He approaches Dr. Webb, but she assures Bill that everything is fine. Bill tracks down Dr. Webb's two other "guinea pigs", Mark (Peter Murnik) and Remo (Brad Dourif), and finds that they too are experiencing odd sensations. Although it goes against everything that he believes, Bill begins to suspect that the evil of the arm's previous owner has now seeped into his system.
BODY PARTS comes from writer/director Eric Red, whose other writing credits include THE HITCHER and NEAR DARK, and he also adapted and directed the vastly underrated BAD MOON. Red is a filmmaker who apparently likes to take standard, even clichéd stories and turn them on their ears. That's exactly what he's done with BODY PARTS. The first hour of the film falls in line with the classic "transplant" films HANDS OF ORLAC and MAD LOVE, as Bill becomes convinced that his new limb has taken on a life of its own. But, the last 30 minutes of the movie take the story in an entirely new direction and what has been a psychological thriller suddenly becomes an action-filled gore film. (If one can ignore that gigantic plot-hole which accompanies this final act.)
It's this third act which makes BODY PARTS truly worth seeing. The first 2/3 of the film are interesting, but somewhat slow as Red takes the viewer down one path. The finale more than makes up for those slow parts, as it involves some nice gory murders and a car chase scene that must be seen to be believed. Speaking of cars, the scene in which Bill loses his arm is very well-done and may have been one the most convincing car-wreck scene I'd witnessed before ADAPTATION. Fahey is good in the lead role, although he does go over the top at times with his "get this arm off of me!" speeches. Brad Dourif is fantastic as Remo, the manic painter and most of his lines sound as if he made them up on the spot. As the first hour gets downright boring at times, BODY PARTS is far from perfect, but itās an imaginative thriller and it makes one hope that Eric Red will one day make movies again.
BODY PARTS pulls its way onto DVD courtesy of Paramount Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The transfer on the BODY PARTS DVD looks surprisingly good. The image is sharp and clear, showing basically no overt grain. The image is very well-balanced and artifacting is kept to a minimum. The colors look very good and Red's widescreen photography is nicely-framed here. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which supplies clear dialogue and very nice usage of surround sound and subwoofer effects. Both the car wreck and car-chase scenes sound fantastic and only add to the nice visuals. There are no extra features on this DVD.
There's no points allowed since there is no extra on this disc.
This Film Features:
Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2004. ©