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John’s Horror Corner: Body Melt (1993), this ultra-schlocky, ultra-bad, Australian horror comedy is basically an ultra-forgettable Aussie Troma film.

May 9, 2023

MY CALL: Images on social media will make this movie look amazing. But it’s really just forgettable, even if not regrettable. Still, some fun to be had for fans of ultra-cheesy B-movie fare. MORE MOVIES LIKE Body Melt: (1996). Things like Street Trash (1987) and Slime City (1988) spring to mind for obvious, melty, cheesy reasons.

An Australian vitamin company produces a variety of contaminated products that cause bizarre hallucinations, extreme glandular issues, and eventual flesh and organ melting. Basically Resident Evils Umbrella Corporation but with spastic melty people instead of viral rage zombies and mutant monstrosities.

This flick is pure schlock. We open with full frontal nudity, needle drug use, and some green glowing Re-Animator (1985) serum. Detergent-chugging antics remind me the corny likes of Class of Nuke’em High (1986), after which the victim is sort of finished off and killed by vine-like tentacles that emerge from his own throat wounds. Peppering additional Troma seasoning into the stew are the inbred semi-mutant redneck scenes.

Director Philip Brophy’s lone feature horror film is complete absurd lunacy equally lacking in budget and vision—not that there isn’t fun to be had here. The acting, writing and production all have the strong feel of a Troma movie; very rough, unprofessional, silly, and likely done in one clunky take per scene. The hallucinations induced by the contaminated products are as incoherent as the rest of the movie, which was apparently originally intended as an anthology movie (which I can actually see). The only real element that develops is the gore, with the deaths getting bigger and grosser. But between the gore gags, the exposition scenes are painfully incompetent and readily forgettable. Most of the memorable parts of the film are, not surprisingly, limited to the last 30 minutes—but the screen stills you see online are generally better than the scenes themselves.

The gory birth scene and the animated killer placenta harken the shenanigans of both Re-Animator (1985) and Dead Alive (1992). Another victim has a sloppily split-open face a la Night of the Creeps (1986), and others suffer cheaply yet goopily executed melting faces. All very gross. Even if only for the novelty of it, the giant tongue scene was probably my favorite visual.

Screen grabs viewed on social media will make this movie seem like an amazing must-see. Ultimately, this ultra schlocky, ultra bad schlockfest was really just ultra-forgettable, even if not regrettable. And that’s a shame since this was high on my watch list for a long while.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2023 6:52 am

    Have you checked out Incredible Melting Man (1977)?

    • John Leavengood permalink
      May 12, 2023 7:10 am

      Actually no. Both that and Body Melt had been in my queue for like a decade. But I intend to see it.

      • May 12, 2023 7:46 am

        For its time, not bad. Surprisingly gross. Suffered mightily by releasing against Star Wars in 1977.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      May 12, 2023 10:30 am

      I love melty movies like this. I mean, I think Body Melt is just a flavor of bad that I like less (Troma-ish). But Slime City was fun, even if super bad. Melting Man has always been edged out by newer releases or things I need to rewatch for podcast discussions. But it’ll get its day.

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