At first glance, Body Melt is far better than other entries to our terrible film dungeon. The acting, script, direction, music and just about everything else are all immeasurably better than those in, for example, The Room or Birdemic. But the longer Body Melt goes on, the worse it gets. It’s horrendously gory throughout and even after it’s finished you may struggle to say exactly what happened, but the basic story seems to be about a new drug which aims to create super-humans by taking the mind to new intraphenomenological dimensions.
The drug is being tested on a group of neighbours in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, and its side effects terrorise everyone concerned “ not least anyone who foolishly chooses to watch the film. For reasons which are not explained, the drug affects each person differently, so you never know what horror awaits when the characters start foaming at the mouth.
The plot “ if the Body Melt‘s series of unfortunate incidents can be called a plot “ lurches randomly from one gory horror show to another. A particular highlight is the moment when the baddie who has been testing the drugs on unwitting victims starts taking it herself (we are given no explanation of this decision).
There are also other moments which catapult Body Melt to the level of other magnificently terrible films. One to look out for is the bizarre incident when one of the characters dies in a horrific accident which has nothing to do with the plot “ just really bad luck for a kid whose dad happens to be melting into a puddle at the same moment.
Perhaps the best bad moment of all comes when a male character turns on a porn film and settles down to pleasure himself “ only to find his manhood has been possessed by the exploding squid monsters which are killing everyone else. Very nasty, so you may wish to avert your eyes if you haven’t gouged them out by this point.
Having said all that, Body Melt does not fall into the standard bad film trap of being unbearably boring. It’s hard to be bored when people are exploding and being eaten by their own faces every six seconds, and if you can handle the gore you might even find it funny.
Watch out for an appearance from Neighbours legend Harold Bishop “ and give yourself a gold star if you don’t look away in horror at least once.