Review by Gordon Justesen
Jeff Fahey, Paul Ben-Victor, Kim Delaney, Lindsay Duncan, Brad Dourif
Director: Eric Red
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround, French Dolby Stereo
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Length: 88 Minutes
Release Date: September 14, 2004
now have a murderer's blood in my blood."
Parts is one seriously twisted flick, and it needn't be anything else. Horror
films seemed to pop up all over the radar at the time of the movie's release,
which was back in 1991. Certain ones seem to have a certain plot scenario that
managed to make it stand out amongst the run of the mill slasher flicks that
plagued theaters back then. Such is the case with this movie.
How can I best
describe this film, you ask? Well, try to think of the most demented plotline,
mix it up with an outrageous contemporary mad scientist flick. Now, add a lot of
sensational gore, and presto--you've got the crazed recipe for a movie like Body
Parts. I guess those credentials would place the movie alongside something
It may sound as if
I'm about to damn the movie for all of its worth. To be honest, I absolutely
cheer it for going the excessive route and for not holding anything back for a
second. The plot centers on Bill Crushank (Jeff Fahey), a criminal psychologist
who already feels like he's been to the edge one too many times. He happens to
have some truly nutty patients, such as an imprisoned killer named Kolberg (Paul
But those trips to
the edge are about to pale in comparison to the trip he is about to take. On the
way to work one morning, Bill is critically injured in a horrific freeway
pileup; a sequence that is likely to get a reaction by how real is was shot and
choreographed. The doctors inform his wife (Kim Delaney) that her husband has
lost complete use of his right arm. The good news (WAIT, THERE'S GOOD NEWS?) is
that through a newly conceived, but highly secret medical procedure, Bill can
have a whole new human arm attached to his body. Talk about an innovative form
of organ donation.
hesitating, the green light is issued for the procedure. It produces astonishing
results, so much to the point that Bill becomes something of a hot news item
once released from the hospital. While the new arm manages to freak his children
out a bit, Bill can't believe the strong results of what has just been done to
But then, something
bizarre starts to take place. Bill begins having some questionable mood swings,
along with some terrifying hallucinations/nightmares of people being killed. He
comes to discover through finger print analysis that his new arm used to belong
to that of a mass murderer. That can't be good.
Both outraged and
highly suspicious, Bill starts looking to see if by chance the same donor has
donated additional body parts. He manages to locate two men who've had such
surgical procedures; a demented painter named Remo (Brad Dourif) and an average
Joe named Mark (Peter Murnik). Bill hopes that their connection will lead them
somewhere, and boy does it ever.
What lies ahead at
this point is a series of intense sequences, elevating the gore factor to a
fairly high level, as the donor resurfaces to claim what's his. Why has he come
back? How can he maneuver? It's never explained, and it doesn't need to be
because this is never to be taken seriously for a second. Let's just say that
the act of dismembering is very frequent in the movie's final half. A sequence
where Bill's arm is handcuffed by a man in another car results in a most
original, and terrifying, action scene involving speeding cars. One thing's for
certain, this movie has the perfect title.
In short, Body
Parts is extremely well executed trash-cinema. It's a movie that was made
for a specific kind of audience and no one else. And given that it's an early
90s piece, I'm pleased to report that the movie still holds up thirteen years
down the road.
I was very amazed
by the level of detail that went into the look of this disc. In that regard, I
find it to be one of Paramount's most surprising releases in quite some time.
The anamorphic picture resonates in a strong amount of clarity, which is amazing
considering that the movie does have a level of age to it. Many crucial scenes
take place at night, and Paramount met the challenge ahead with striking
results. Colors are a huge plus, too. This qualifies for one of the all around
best surprises of the year!
The same can be
said for the superb audio performance. The supplied 5.1 mix is much stronger
than I anticipated, even for that of a horror thriller, because of the age, once
again. But Paramount surprises in this department, as well. Everything has been
given the ultimate touch, from dialogue delivery to sequences of action/terror,
and especially the thunderous music score courtesy of Dutch composer Loekk
Dikker. Yes, the dismembering scenes sound snappingly-good.