As Australian as throwing another shrimp on the barbie (sorry), Body Melt is a low-budget, absurdly silly, satirical horror film directed by Philip Brophy, who also wrote it alongside Rod Bishop.
How Australian is this film? Well, one of its main stars is Ian Smith who many will recognise as the long standing character of Harold off Neighbours!
In the Melbourne suburb of Homesville, the residents of Pebbles Court are unknowing test subjects for a brand-new dietary supplement pill. Created by the Vimuville corporation and sent out for free, the desire for cleaner living and healthier lifestyles has the residents happily taking what they are sent.
Unfortunately, this pill has some nasty side-effects that differ per person. First comes hallucinations then comes rapid cellular decay then come nasty mutations. Melting flesh, tentacles emerging from bodies, exploding stomachs and sexual organs, and much more. It’s not a nice experience, nor is it a pretty one.
The Melbourne police force are struggling to find a connection between the random deaths but the local doctor knows more than he is letting on. Will any of the residents of Homesville survive their attempt to get healthy?
The story is up and down, switching between the events of the suburb and nearby health farm to two young teens ending up in the hands of some local inbred hicks. It’s the latter part that really slows the movie down and while it does eventually have some links to the main story, it’s not enough to make these segments worthwhile.
Although you’re unlikely to be watching a 1993 movie called Body Melt for the story. More likely, you’re hoping for some grim and grimy gore. Body Melt does deliver… eventually. At first, the lack of truly horrifying and gross-out visuals might be disappointing, but the film saves the best stuff for the last quarter.
Decent acting (plenty of these actors are trying), stupid snort-inducing comedy, a memorable soundtrack, a fun finale and solid resolution ensures Body Melt isn’t easy to forget.
Sure, it’s no Braindead but it is a strong reminder that Australia has been serving up decent comedy and satirical horror for some time.
Body Melt (1993)
The Final Score - 7/10