Body Parts (1991)

Movie Title: Body Parts

Year Released: 1991

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 28min

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Director: Eric Red

Writer: Eric Red and Norman Snider (Based on the novel "Choice Cuts" by Thomas Narcejac and Pierre Boileau)

Starring: Jeff Fahey, Lindsay Duncan, Kim Delaney, Zakes Mokae, Brad Dourif, John Walsh, Paul Ben-Victor, Peter Murnik, Nathaniel Moreau, Sarah Campbell, Andy Humphrey, Lindsay Merrithew,

Review: Criminal psychologist Bill Chrushank (Jeff Fahey) loses his arm in a gruesome car accident, and through a daring medical procedure, a donor arm is successfully grafted onto his body. Soon after the operation, the new appendage seems to have a menacing mind of its own. Filled with fear, Bill is driven to discover the donor's identity and comes face to face with undeniable evil. It's a shocking tale of medical experimentation gone wrong that will have you up in arms... or other various Body Parts.

I remember renting a VHS copy of Body Parts from my local video store back in the day. It was a great surprise! It had plenty of shocks, scares, and grisly gore effects, that pleased this horror fan. Recently, I re-watched it, after not having seen it since the mid-90s, and was found that it held up well and really got under my skin.

The story of Body Parts really draws you in with your every-man Bill Chrushank, played brilliantly by the underrated Jeff Fahey. He loves his family, he's a dedicated criminal psychologist, but his wonderful world is wrecked with a freak accident that leaves him broken, scarred, and literally disjointed. You think you're going to get a psychological study of a man who's broken both physically and mentally, and you do, but then he's given a helping hand or arm as it were. This psychological thriller then takes on a bit of body horror, which makes me quiver just thinking about it, and gets the lead character, along with the audience to ask, like it says on the poster, "Where does evil live, the heart, the mind or the flesh?"

Soon after Chrushank is given the arm, we learn of two other recipients of limbs from the mystery donor. Horror staple Brad Dourif plays an artist that gets the other arm, and Peter Murnik's athletic Mark Draper is able to walk again with two transplanted legs. Their new extremities also seem to offer bizarre signs that something's not quite right. And once Chrushank uncovers who these parts came from the horror really ramps up to a series of jaw-dropping set pieces, gore effects, and truly frightening revelations that make this one of the most effecting and entertaining horror films of the 1990s.

Writer-Director Eric Red really gives us the goods here. The lean running time keeps things focused and frightening with every terrifying turn. The cast is wonderful. Actors Jeff Fahey, Brad Dourif, and Peter Murnik, are all wonderful, along with Kim Delaney, Zakes Mokae, and Paul Ben-Victor. But the real scene-stealer is Lindsay Duncan as Dr. Webb. And I'll leave it at that. Just watch and you'll agree.

The special effects are visceral and nauseating, but in a good way. Oh, and the "handcuffed car chase" has to been seen to be believed! It's crazy good. And once the true nature of these transplants are revealed you will be shocked to say the least!

I can't recommend Body Parts enough. It's fun, unnerving, and will have you wondering what macabre medical meddling is going on after the anesthesiologist puts you under.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Body Parts is very similar to a 1971 episode of Night Gallery titled "The Hand of Borgus Weems."


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