Body Bags - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Body Bags Reviews

Page 1 of 6
Super Reviewer
October 5, 2015
This was meant to be Showtime Network's equivalent of the Tales from the Crypts serials. The EG Comics influence is melded with John Carpenter's Spartan gallows humor immediately with the rockabilly keyboard score. Carpenter is the emcee of three ghastly tales and he is clearly effervescent in the ringleader role of the morgue attendant. He guzzles formaldehyde and makes sardonic remarks directly to the audience about the "arriving departed" like a Rat Pack lounge singer. It's a shame the show wasn't greenlit for more seasons. He desecrates corpses with a nihilistic lightness of touch and he moves like Danny Kaye. The first segment is The Gas Station, a Hitchcockian story about a new employee at a gas station. Carpenter plagues the viewers with the fear of claustrophobic isolation where the customers could be unhinged and there is no backup for miles. Mostly though, it is a sluggish litany of in-jokes to Haddonfield, a David Naughton (from 'An American Werewolf in London') appearance and a voyeuristic cameo by Wes Craven which is amusingly leering nevertheless. It basically recycles the vexing customers of 'Clerks' with a highly transparent paranoia twist. The next segment, Hair, is more openly facetious in tone. Stacy Keach is a vain gentleman with rapidly thinning follicles and he is obsessively looking for alternatives to his issue. It's a debatably superior step above the previous yarn and Keach is vulnerably tongue-in-cheek with his quiet desperation of hair restoration via therapy tapes and dye treatment. It is ebullient when he rejoices happily in front of the mirror with his new Stallion hairstyle and it's an astute social commentary on the impotence of bald men. The final vignette is Eye, which is the most taut of the three. Mark Hamill is full-tilt hammy and this could've been his audition for the Clown Prince. None of these stories are particularly innovative but the actors are unanimously stupendous. Overall, this failed pilot is a ghoulishly mischievous standalone feature but it doesn't ascend to the top tier of anthology films.
Super Reviewer
October 6, 2007
The first cameo-rich part of this anthology isn't half bad, the others are passable, but not great. The super off pairing of Mark Hamil and TWIGGY almost works and Carpenter's turn as the Crypt Keeper-ish host is pretty silly too boot.
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2010
Not particularly amazing stories on their own, but together they make for a really cool tv movie. The whole style is just so incredibly 90s, what with the crazy music and odd design. John Carpenter's segments were the best, but Tobe Hooper's was pretty interesting as well (Mark Hamill with mustache). I kind've wish the movie was just about the hilarious zombie mortician who totally stole the show, which was incidentally played by John Carpenter himself.
cancercapricorn2002
Super Reviewer
May 15, 2008
Movie-buffs (and perhaps horror fanatics in particular) are strange and unpredictable beings, aren't they? Most of the time we're extremely skeptical and criticize ambitious new projects, yet sometimes we're easily pleased and highly enthusiast about something that is completely derivative, mundane and unoriginal. "Body Bags" is the perfect example to illustrate that: it's a horror omnibus existing of three incredibly prototypic segments and a repetitive type of wraparound story, yet I personally enjoyed it immensely. This is a good old-fashioned "sit back, relax and switch off all brain functions" type of anthology with a nice diversity in suspense, comedy, splatter and absurdity. Yet, the undeniable strongpoint of "Body Bags" is the all-star horror cast and crew, with legendary actors and even directors of the genre appearing in fun supportive roles and insignificant cameos. No less than John Carpenter directs two out of three stories and even stars as the host in the wraparound story. Clearly inspired by "Tales from the Crypt", Carpenter plays the witty and morbid morgue employee exactly like the infamous Crypt Keeper; though with still a little more flesh around the bones (though not too much). The first story was the most effective one! Regardless of how clichéd, repetitive and predictable "The Gas Station" is, it's a genuine horror entertainment. With the landmark "Halloween", Carpenter obviously proved he's the undeniable master of stalk-and-slash movies, and "The Gas Station" ideally fits the pattern. During her first night working in a remote gas station, Anne receives a visit from the maniacal killer who's been terrorizing the area since weeks. It's a highly segment with cool red herrings, dumb decisions, some good gore and a neatly uncanny atmosphere. The remaining two stories are slightly less overpowering, mainly because they revolve on sillier topics. "Hair" introduces an aging playboy who cannot accept his hairline becoming thinner. He desperately starts seeking for a hair-growing method that works and finds the incredibly treatment of the slightly odd Dr. Lock. Needless to say Richard's new hairdo begins to lead its own life with terrible consequences. "Hair" is obviously the most blackly comical chapter of the three. This story isn't gory or tense, but it's a very likable satire about vanity. Finally, "Eye" centers on a successful and happily married athlete who loses his eye in a tragic car accident. He spontaneously volunteers for a brand new and risky eye-transplant procedure and slowly begins to carry on with his life. Shortly after, he begins to suffer from horrific visions and learns the eye's previous owner was a sadistic serial killer. "Eye" starts off a little slow and dull, but gradually turns into an exciting and gruesome little shock-story. With a bit of imagination, you could even interpret this segment as some sort of predecessor for the more famous Asian ghost story "The Eye". Admittedly none of the stories are extraordinary brilliant or innovating, but they're definitely traditional and enthusiastically made.This is worth a look if you can find it. Be warned the out of print dvd is cut and the vhs version is uncut but still missing some footage. Hopefully the true uncut version will appear one day
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2008
Belongs on the scifi channel, where I first saw it as a kid. Though I understand the desire to appear in your own movies, I don't think John Carpenter does a good job as the storyteller, better off behind the camera, and Tobe Hooper out acts him with a mere three lines. None of the three stories stand out. The first is best directed in terms of pacing and visuals, but the second has the strongest storyline. The third one shows us Mark Hamill at his acting worst, and ends in anti-climatic and predictable manner. All these stories suffer from the usual hiccups of horror scripts - too many illogical details placed within it just to attach one scare to another. Not a classic like so many horror fans claim. Basically a bunch of horror directors got together to do a cameo fest under the guise of a "Tales from the Darkside" type scary stories compilation. Not as good as another crapulation from the same era, Creepshow.
iLeo
Super Reviewer
½ January 31, 2008
Great!
March 20, 2015
WELL, when I was little the "Hair" segment really fucked me up, but now that I'm old, it's absolutely my favorite segment. And still disgusting :<
½ January 16, 2015
This was a film that I sat down to watch (courtesy of the recent Scream Factory Blu-ray) and was shocked to find that it was a first time viewing, as this just felt like something I would've watched way back in the VHS days.

It's a decent little time-waster of an anthology film, and I'm happy to have finally given it a day in court.

Rental!
½ August 30, 2014
Body Bags is not very scary but it is a very entertaining (with some gore) film. The stories are interesting and there's even some comedy thrown in...but it works!!! Good movie from the 90s, it surprised me :)
½ March 25, 2014
As with all anthology films, there is going to be a hit or miss quality to it, and "Body Bags" from John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper is no exception. Originally intended as a pilot for a series on Showtime, meant as their answer to "Tales from the Crypt", but the network decided against pursuing the series and thus an anthology film was born. John Carpenter directs the first two segments, and the third is directed by Tobe Hooper. The stories are unconnected beyond Carpenter appearing as "The Coroner", a loon working in a morgue who acts a little too much like the Crypt Keeper to feel original. "The Gas Station" is average slasher stuff, "The Hair" is not too exciting but is just weird enough to remain memorable, and "The Eye" is possibly the best of the three stories. None of these stories are too much fun or scary, but it has moments.
½ August 25, 2007
Carpenter does Hitchcock, which is as grisly and absurd and bugged-out as you would hope. Only Hooper kinda falters, though Hammil's acting saves it.
½ April 15, 2008
An amazing pairing of two legends of Horror (Carpenter and Hooper) go the route of Tales from the Darkside, Tales From the Crypt, Tales From the Hood by creating a hugely superior horror anthology (though nowhere near the awesomeness of Creepshow or Cat's Eye) with a who's who of cult and genre icons. The three stories are terrific; one about a serial killer stalking a woman at a car shop; the second about some hair transplants gone very wrong, and the third about a baseball player (a nude Mark Hamill) getting a bad eye replacement. Pretty wacky movie that delivers only a few scares, but a lot of fun, in a VERY dated, cheesy sort-of way. I enjoyed it.
June 4, 2008
Not a great entry in the Carpenter or Hooper ouevres. None of the tales are that great, and really the most enjoyable aspect of the film are the cameo appearances.
½ October 14, 2007
Body Bags starts in a morgue where the attendant (John Carpenter) enjoys his job, he particularly likes the stiffs that come in in black body bags for they contain the murder, accident & suicide victims. Each one seems to have they're own morbid tale of how they ended up on the coroners autopsy table. Jump to Haddonfield where our first story titled 'The Gas Station' is set. A serial killer is on the loose & new gas station employee Anne (Alex Datcher) is preparing for a long lonely night-shift. Anne becomes increasingly paranoid about everyone who turns up believing any of them may be a serial killer. The next body belongs to a someone who committed suicide in a story called 'Hair'. Richard Coberts (Stacy Keach) is losing his hair & it's ruining his life, confidence & self esteem. Wanting to impress his girlfriend Megan (Sheena Easton) he contacts Dr. lock (David Warner) who promises a miracle hair regrowth treatment, unfortunately the procedure has some unexpected & very much unwanted side-effects. The final segment is entitled 'Eye' & features pro baseball player Brent Matthews (Mark Hamil) who appears to have an almost perfect life, that is until he is involved in a car accident in which he loses his right eye. However Dr. Lang (John Agar) has spent the past 10 years of his life perfecting an eye transplant & Brent becomes the first beneficiary of the treatment, unfortunately the operation is not without it's problems. Technically Body Bags is pretty solid considering it's a TV produced film, nothing spectacular but at the same time it's generally well made.
½ January 21, 2016
Wholesome Carpenter pays his friends to play with him.
January 10, 2016
Open up this body bag and you'll find some truly eerie, sometimes funny, but always frightening scares. This made for TV movie that was supposed to be the jumping off platform for a horror anthology series that never happened has a lot to see-mainly a parade of horror's all time greatest directors making cameo appearances, as well as great actors and pop stars rounding out the cast. Some people dismiss this immediately as a "Tales from the Crypt" ripoff. To which I say, so? I don't care where I get my scares from. Besides, all of these great directors (John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, with cameos by Sam Raimi and Wes Craven) contributed to this. Now let's open up the bags! Bag #1: The Gas Station. A lonely woman working the graveyard shift (pun intended) at an all night pump and go in the middle of nowhere wonders which one of her many quirky (and at times unsettling) customers is the recently escaped mental patient whose been hacking his way around the desolate landscape-and if she's next. Bag #2: Hair! No relation to the musical. One of my all time favorite actors, Stacy Keach, plays a man obsessed with his disappearing hair who finds an all-too perfect solution. (heh heh heh). The first two bags were directed by Carpenter (who also plays our ghastly host). Now bag #3 is Tobe Hooper stepping up to bat and knocking one out of the park with "Eye," about a baseball player who loses an eye and, in an effort to save his career, undergoes an experimental eye transplant. He regains his sight, but begins to see things no person should be forced to see. Thanks to Scream Factory for digging this up (wink wink) so now this lost horror classic can be rediscovered and enjoyed by aficionados of scare and scare alike.
Super Reviewer
October 5, 2015
This was meant to be Showtime Network's equivalent of the Tales from the Crypts serials. The EG Comics influence is melded with John Carpenter's Spartan gallows humor immediately with the rockabilly keyboard score. Carpenter is the emcee of three ghastly tales and he is clearly effervescent in the ringleader role of the morgue attendant. He guzzles formaldehyde and makes sardonic remarks directly to the audience about the "arriving departed" like a Rat Pack lounge singer. It's a shame the show wasn't greenlit for more seasons. He desecrates corpses with a nihilistic lightness of touch and he moves like Danny Kaye. The first segment is The Gas Station, a Hitchcockian story about a new employee at a gas station. Carpenter plagues the viewers with the fear of claustrophobic isolation where the customers could be unhinged and there is no backup for miles. Mostly though, it is a sluggish litany of in-jokes to Haddonfield, a David Naughton (from 'An American Werewolf in London') appearance and a voyeuristic cameo by Wes Craven which is amusingly leering nevertheless. It basically recycles the vexing customers of 'Clerks' with a highly transparent paranoia twist. The next segment, Hair, is more openly facetious in tone. Stacy Keach is a vain gentleman with rapidly thinning follicles and he is obsessively looking for alternatives to his issue. It's a debatably superior step above the previous yarn and Keach is vulnerably tongue-in-cheek with his quiet desperation of hair restoration via therapy tapes and dye treatment. It is ebullient when he rejoices happily in front of the mirror with his new Stallion hairstyle and it's an astute social commentary on the impotence of bald men. The final vignette is Eye, which is the most taut of the three. Mark Hamill is full-tilt hammy and this could've been his audition for the Clown Prince. None of these stories are particularly innovative but the actors are unanimously stupendous. Overall, this failed pilot is a ghoulishly mischievous standalone feature but it doesn't ascend to the top tier of anthology films.
½ June 29, 2015
Good horror anthology especially made from horror legends John Carpenter (Halloween and The Thing) and Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist). There needs to be horror films like these nowadays.
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