As an Australian reviewer it is gratifying seeing reviewers from other countries express their appreciation for Philip Brophy's little 1993 gore-fest. Brophy is something of a Renaissance Man, wearing many hats from composer and musician to film critic, curator and academic (for those interested in Brophy's scholarly work you might want to check out his website: http://www.philipbrophy.com/index.html).
BODY MELT cleverly pokes fun at a variety of popular contemporary Australian television dramas (most notably NEIGHBOURS, the long-running prime-time Aussie soap opera well-known to British viewers and set in the neighbourly cul-de-sac of Ramsay Street) and 1970s Aussie police procedurals. Even most of his cast come from Australian television series, such as BLUE HEALERS regulars Lisa McCune and William McInnes and Brett Climo (who starred in A COUNTRY PRACTISE and THE FLYING DOCTORS) and Gerard Kennedy, the face of Crawford Productions 1970s cop show, DIVISION 4. Perhaps best of all is the casting of NEIGHBOURS veteran Ian Smith, who plays Harold Bishop in that long-running TV Soap. Casting Smith as eccentric Dr. Carrera, Brophy provides the actor with a rare opportunity to play against type and Smith inhabits the role with relish.
I was at the wonderful old Valhalla Cinema in Northcote (now the far less interesting Westgarth Cinema) back in 1993 on the night that Brophy premiered BODY MELT to an appreciative Melbourne audience who belly-laughed at the over-the-top comedy and lurid special effects. His depictions of bodies self-destructing and liquefying in various icky and imaginative ways recalled, for me, Brophy's 1988 experimental film, SALT SALIVA SPERM AND SWEAT, in which he explores corporeality and the idea of bodily fluids as a form of social exchange. At the screening, Brophy explained that he incorporated ideas he'd had for shorter films into BODY MELT as side-stories, admitting that while they do not contribute towards a cohesive narrative, they nevertheless fit within the broader thematic concerns of the film. Indeed, I would argue that these moments of suburban Gothic psychedelia and outback redneck cannibalism add to the outlandish comedy and disorienting effect of the film.
It's nice to see people from other countries getting into this film, which deserves a higher rating than 4.3, even if some of the humour is culturally parochial. Thanks to those who took the time to watch and appreciate this overlooked little gem.
Comedy / Horror / Sci-Fi
Comedy / Horror / Sci-Fi
Residents of peaceful Pebbles Court, Homesville, are being used unknowingly as test experiments for a new 'Body Drug' that causes rapid body decomposition (melting skin etc.) and painful death.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 27, 2021 at 03:01 AM