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BODY PARTS (1991) Dir. Eric Red. Written by Eric Red and Norman Snider based on a Story by Patricia Herskovic and Joyce Taylor from a Novel by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. Starring: Jeff Fahey, Lindsay Duncan, Kim Delaney, and Brad Dourif.

A medical miracle has become a murderous nightmare.

Body Parts is the third of an unofficial 'written by Eric Red' trilogy of kickass horror movies made in the 80's and early 90's with The Hitcher and Near Dark being the other two. While Red wrote and directed other movies during this time and since, none compare to these three which are essentially note perfect genre goodness. Taking it at face value, Body Parts is another Horror movie about untrustworthy um . . . body parts; The Hands of Orlac, Mad Love, The Beast with 5 Fingers, The Crawling Hand, Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, And Now the Screaming Starts, The Hand, Evil Dead 2, Waxwork 2, Idle Hands, Bloody Knuckles- you get the picture and I argue it's the best of them. Taking its cues from the 1966 French novel Et Mon Tout est un Homme aka Choice Cuts by the Boileau-Narcejac duo behind Les Diaboliques, Vertigo and Les Yeux sans Visage, itself a riff on the Karl Freund/Peter Lorre film Mad Love which in turn was a riff on The Hands of Orlac, Body Parts is all about Bill (Fahey) getting in a really nasty car wreck on the Interstate, losing his arm, and taking part in an experimental arm transplant surgery. Problem is his hand starts beating his kid and trying to strangle his wife when he's not looking. No bueno. So Bill sets out to figure out what's up only to discover that, well, of course, he now has the arm of a serial killer because really you should just expect that kind of thing when 'experimental surgery' is floated as a solution to anything in a horror movie. But wait, he's not alone in his troubles; other transplant patients are having problems too. Well, except for Brad Dourif who is making a mint painting vivid murder scenes with his new hand and is really excited about it! Going back to the Dr. Frankenstein behind all this madness for some answers, Bill gets another nasty surprise that at once pushes an already absurd premise to its breaking point and makes me laugh with brain-dead glee everytime I see it. The best I can offer without spoilers it to say the third act does not disappoint. All that fun and there is still something genuinely unnerving about the film that I have to lay at the feet of Eric Red as a director. He was still early in his directing career at this point, but if he'd been allowed to continue at the studio level he was at with Body Parts, I think we might have had a few more underrated classics from the man. Unfortunately, Red's fortune was not so bold. The release got delayed and shortchanged by a studio scared of blowback due to the recent Dahmer revelations in the media and Red's career got sidelined to the TV world for a bit. When he did make a comeback to features it was at a considerably lesser level then Body Parts with the werewolf mess that is Bad Moon - still a fun movie, but nowhere near the same universe as Body Parts or his two classic scripts for The Hitcher and Near Dark. Bummer, because what he did give us was some of the best genre films of the era. Here's to hoping there's some more Eric Red goodness down the road. 

 

 

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