The Deepest Cuts is a weekly invitation into some of the sleaziest, goriest, most under-explored corners of horror and cult film online. Every title will be streamable and totally NSFW. Whether it’s a 1960s grindhouse masterpiece, something schlocky from the 90s, or hardcore horror from around the world, these films are guaranteed to shock, disturb, tickle, or generally blow your mind.
“The first phase is hallucinogenic… The second phase is glandular… The third phase is… ”
Body Melt is a delightful mix of fantastic gore, after-school-special aesthetics, dance music, and social critique of the bourgeois love of health and fitness crazes that could only come from 1990s Australia.
Body Melt opens with an infomercial, likely watched by one of the residents of a sunny court in a suburban subdivision called “Homesville.” The local residents are the test subjects prior to the nationwide launch of a new line of dietary supplements; they receive samples of the pills or invitations to “Vimuville,” where they will be treated to a one-of-a-kind health and leisure vacation.
On their way to the compound, a couple of teenagers pull over to repair the missing windshield on their car; little do they know, the creepy mechanic was once a scientist for Vimuville, whose boil-ridden face and inbred, monstrous progeny are the evidence of a little self-dosing. Meanwhile, the subjects back home are beginning to really feel the effects of the little green pills: as the medical examiner describes it, they are dying of “hyper natural causes,” with melting faces, an exploding uterus, bulging eyes, and so on.
Body Melt includes all the hallmarks of an Australian schlock-fest from the 80s or 90s, following on the heels of the ozploitation explosion of the 70s. The bizarre interlude at the former scientist’s hovel might seem out of place to the casual viewer, but to the Aussie horror movie connoisseur, it’s to be expected – the outback often serves as the oh-so-fertile ground for raunchy and vaguely-offensive humor. Is there a connection between the vitamins and the scientist’s apparent proclivity for incest? Does Vimuville have anything to do with his daughter, Slab, bludgeoning one of the teenager’s genitals and chewing on his neck? Or what about the old woman “Mack,” parked in a rotting armchair in the hidden back-living-room, watching hardcore porn? Who cares, when it gives you such priceless, nasty nuggets of tasteless humor?
Vimuville stands for “VIsceral MUscular VItalization of Latent Libidinal Energy” and promises accelerated fitness, improved mental ability, increased stamina, and more – but what it actually delivers, it turns out, is every variation of “body melting” you can imagine. Only the first and second victims are treated to all three stages of the medicine’s effects, but those sorts of details are truly insignificant in comparison to the very detailed, very gruesome and deliciously disgusting practical effects used to illustrate Vimuville’s rather permanent byproducts. Wax figurines, green goos in hues from neon to shitty peuce to emerald, a placenta with a mind of its own that attacks a man in a fashion that’s highly reminiscent of Alien’s face-huggers – it’s grue and gore galore.
The look of the film is definitely low-budget, with the over-saturated colors and over-the-top performances of an after-school special-meets-soap opera daytime television combo. The repetitive (and amazing) electronic music that plays over every death scene just enhances the incredible 1990s feel. Comparisons to early Peter Jackson (Bad Taste, Braindead) are inevitable, but Body Melt is a masterpiece of nonsense and Australian horror that stands boldly on its own, liquefying feet.
You can find Body Melt streaming free on dailymotion.
For more insight into the best (and worst) of cult horror classics, check past editions of The Deepest Cuts here.