Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Scream Factorized: BODY BAGS Blu-ray ""

Monday, October 14, 2013

Scream Factorized: BODY BAGS Blu-ray

I was already a pretty big John Carpenter fan in 1993 when this movie came out, but it was at a time when I cable was not an option for me so I missed it during its run on Showtime. How I subsequently missed seeing it for all the interim years is quite shameful really. It's just one of those anomalies that somehow slipped by me. I know it hasn't been easy to see recently as the Artisan dvd has been out of print for some time, but thankfully Scream Factory has brought it back again in style with this lovely Blu-ray loaded with extras.
BODY BAGS is a fun little horror anthology consisting of three stories: "The Gas Station", "Hair" and "Eye". There are also some slightly awkward 'Crypt Keeper' style wraparound segments starring John Carpenter himself as a macabre coroner/morgue employee. 
The three stories in BODY BAGS are:
"The Gas Station" -- Directed by John Carpenter. This is a pretty simple yet effective story of a young woman working at an all-night gas station whilst a serial killer is on the loose. This story has a nice little parade of guest stars - Robert Carradine, Wes Craven, David Naughton, Buck Flower, Peter Jason. There's even a nice joke with a picture of Sam Raimi.
"Hair" -- Directed by John Carpenter. Stacy Keach is a man with thinning hair and a young girlfriend(who I thought was supposed to be his daughter at first). His girlfriend looked familiar at first, and it took me a minute to realize it was Sheena Easton(really fighting her accent). David Warner runs a hair growth company called Roswell. He and his nurse Debbie Harry have a solution for Keach's problem. They restore his locks(and then some) with a very special 'protein application' process. As can always be expected with a story like this, there is of course a downside that Keach did not see coming. Watch for a fun Greg Nicotero one-shot joke.
"Eye" -- Directed by Tobe Hooper. Mark Hamill is a baseball player on his way home to his wife on a rainy night. In a cruel turn of events(much like those that lead to the death of Albert Brooks' character in DEFENDING YOUR LIFE) he loses his right eye. Hamill's doctor(Roger Corman) introduces him to another physician(John Agar) with a special experimental eye transplant technique. As with all experimental surgeries in horror films, this one has its twisted side effects.

As I mentioned before, this Scream Factory disc has some cool special features. There are commentary tracks for each of the three segments. "The Gas Station" has a commentary track with John Carpenter and actor Robert Carradine. As with pretty much every Carpenter commentary track, this one is fun and informative. Carradine, is certainly not as lively as say Kurt Russell, but it's a good track nonetheless. "Hair" has another Carpenter commentary, this one with actor Stacy Keach. Keach is a bit livelier and less nervous than Carradine and it makes for a more enjoyable track. As with all Carpenter commentaries where his is joined by another person, this is not only a conversation about the segment, but also a back and forth conversation between the two men who are catching up and talking about their lives as well. The final commentary track, on "Eye" has producer Sandy King and Justin Beahm(of Fangoria). This track covers more of the background behind the making of the film as a whole as well as the production of "Eye" as well. This is a much more organized moderated track and has lots of nice information brought out in it.
The other extra this disc is endowed with is a nice 20-minute featurette, "Unzipping Body Bags" with John Carpenter, Producer Sandy King and Robert Carradine and Stacy Keach as well. It's a perfect making-of type thing and it compliments the other commentaries well.

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