Body Bags (film)

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Body Bags
Body Bags FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Carpenter
Tobe Hooper
Produced by Dan Angel
John Carpenter
Sandy King
Written by Billy Brown
Dan Angel
Starring Stacy Keach
David Warner
Sheena Easton
Debbie Harry
Mark Hamill
Twiggy
Robert Carradine
Music by John Carpenter
Jim Lang
Cinematography Gary Kibbe
Edited by Edward A. Warschilka
Production
company
Release dates 8 August 1993 (original airdate)
Running time 91 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Body Bags is a 1993 American horror sci-fi anthology film, featuring three unconnected stories, with bookend segments featuring John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper as deranged morgue attendees.[1] It was directed by Carpenter, Tobe Hooper and Larry Sulkis.[1] It originally aired on 8 August 1993. It is notable for its numerous celebrity cameo appearances.

The first story, "The Gas Station", features Robert Carradine as a serial killer, with cameos by Sam Raimi and Wes Craven. "Hair" follows Stacy Keach as he receives a botched hair transplant that infests him with an alien parasite, and "Eye" is another transplant story, this time featuring Mark Hamill as a baseball player who loses an eye in a car accident and receives a transplant, only to be overtaken with the personality of the eye's previous owner: a murderous misogynist.

Plot[edit]

Prologue

A creepy-looking coroner introduces three different horror tales involving his current work which are cadavers in "body bags".

"The Gas Station"[edit]

Anne is a young college student who arrives for her first job at working the night shift at an all-night filling station near Haddonfield, Illinois, a film buff reference, as Carpenter is known to do many times in each film, to his two Halloween films. The attending worker, Bill, leaves her and tells her that a serial killer has broken out of mental hospital and cautions Anne to be careful and not leave the booth at the station which is to be kept locked at all times. After Bill leaves, Anne is alone and the tension mounts as she deals with various late-night customers seeking to buy gas for a quick fill-up, unsure of who may possibly be the escaped maniac. Eventually, when Anne suspects that the escaped killer is lurking around the gas station, she tries to call the police, only to find the phone line dead. Soon after, she finds a dead body in one of the lockers, which is a station attendant who has a nametag saying 'Bill'. Anne realizes that 'Bill', the attending worker, is in fact the escaped killer who has killed the real Bill and has taken his name and uniform, and is killing numerous passersby. 'Bill' appears and attempts to kill Anne with a machete first by breaking into the locked booth and chasing her around the deserted garage. Just when he is about to kill her, one customer returns after forgetting his credit card. Together, they stop the killer by throwing him under a car on a garage rack in which Anne pushes the lift button making the car come crashing down, cutting the deranged killer in two.

"Hair"[edit]

Richard Kobritz is a middle-aged businessman who is very self-conscious about losing his thinning hair. His obsession about going bald and his means to keep his pride and self-esteem intact has caused a rift between him and his long-suffering girlfriend Megan. When Richard answers a television ad about a 'miracle' hair transplant operation, he pays a visit to the office and meets the shady Dr. Lock who, for a very large fee, agrees to give Richard a scalp treatment to make him grow his hair back. The next day, Richard wakes up and removes the bandage around his head left after the surgical procedure and is overjoyed that he has a stallion-style full set of hair. But over the next few days, Richard becomes increasingly sick and fatigued, and soon he finds himself growing hair on parts of his body (the palms of his hands, etc.) that do not grow hair at all. After trying to cut some off, he finds that his hair 'bleeds', and after examining it under a magnifying glass, sees that they are alive. Richard goes back to Dr. Lock for an explanation, but finds himself a prisoner as Dr. Lock explains that he and his entire staff are aliens from another planet who seek out narcissist humans and plant their seeds of hair to grow and takeover their bodies for consumption as part of their plan to spread their alien essence to the planet. Richard was just their latest victim among many.

"Eye"[edit]

Brent Matthews is a baseball player whose life and career takes a turn for the worse when he gets into a serious car accident in which his right eye is gouged out. Unwilling to admit that his career is over, he jumps at the chance when a doctor tells him about an experimental surgical procedure to replace his eye with one from a recently deceased person which can restore his sight. After the surgery, Brent can see through his new eye, and is overjoyed at this miracle. But, soon after, Brent begins to see things out of his new eye that others cannot see, and it puts him and his wife Cathy in danger as Brent begins having nightmares of killing women and having sex with them. Brent seeks out the doctor who tells him that the donor of his new eye was a recently executed serial killer and necrophile who killed several young women, and then had sex with their dead bodies. Brent becomes convinced that the spirit of the dead killer is slowly taking over his body through his eye and enabling him to resume killing women. Afterwards, he flees back to his house where he tells the skeptic Cathy about what is going on with him. Just then the spirit of the killer emerges and attempts to kill Cathy as well. Cathy fights back, subduing him long enough for Brent to re-emerge. Realizing that it will only be a matter of time before the killer reemerges again, Brent cuts out his donated eye, severing his link with the killer, but he dies afterwards from bleeding to death.

Epilogue The Coroner is finishing telling his three tales to the viewers when he hears a noise outside the morgue and crawls back inside a body bag revealing that he himself is a living cadaver this entire time, as two other morgue workers begin to go to work on this 'John Doe' corpse that was just delivered to them.

Cast[edit]

Background[edit]

Originally, Showtime Networks planned to create Body Bags as a television series, similar to HBO's Tales from the Crypt.[citation needed] However, shortly after filming began on the project, the network did not feel it was in their best interest to pursue the series.[citation needed] The three completed stories were assembled around John Carpenter's narration segment, and Body Bags became a horror anthology.[citation needed]

The film will make its Blu-ray debut as part of Shout Factory!'s Scream Factory line up in Late Fall 2013.

Critical reception[edit]

Body Bags was generally well received by critics; it currently holds a 78% approval rating on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 9 reviews with an average score of 5.7/10.[2]

However, Time Out called the film "an attempt by a pair of one-time horror auteurs to emulate the successful Tales from the Crypt formula, only now it's nowhere near as happening."[3]

See also[edit]

  • Nightmares - a 1983 anthology film with television roots.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Maçek III, J.C. (12 November 2013). "'Body Bags' Gives Us John Carpenter at His Funniest". PopMatters. 
  2. ^ "Body Bags". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Body Bags Review. Movie Reviews - Film - Time Out London". Time Out. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 

External links[edit]