Film Review: “Body Bags” (1993)

Poster for Body Bags

Poster for “Body Bags”, 1993

Last night, I managed (we live in a remote part of Arkansas) to hook up Roku to our bedroom TV and finally get a decent stream of TV into said bedroom. Now my wife, on summer vacation from teaching, has spent much of last night and today watching Shudder (I more than she having had a bout of insomnia). I expect this to continue for some time. She is a big horror fan, the more modern the better. However, she does enjoy some blasts from the past. She caught a glimpse of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” from 1974, starring Jack Palance, and instantly proclaimed it a classic.  This was immediately before succumbing to Mr. Snooze and Mr. Snore after imbibing our version of a Sea Breeze cocktail (1:1 Malibu Coconut Rum and Ocean Spray Cranberry juice, shaken and on the rocks). Shudder, by the way, is a fun, little Amazon Prime horror channel.

The first thing we watched together though was John Carpenter’s “Body Bags” from 1993. This is a cheesy film, but so cheesy that it is quite enjoyable. Wikipedia accurately describes it as “… a 1993 American horror comedy anthology television film originally made for television, featuring three unconnected stories, with bookend segments featuring John Carpenter, Tom Arnold and Tobe Hooper as deranged morgue attendees.” As Wikipedia also notes, it is most notable for its celebrity cameo appearances. 

The three stories are fun for television horror of the early 90’s. My first thought on watching about the first five minutes was that John Carpenter must have gotten together with some of his horror director pals and done this on a drunken goof. The stories are not worthy of any directors

Mark Hamill in Body Bags

Mark Hamill in “Body Bags” (1993)

involved. They are rather silly and amateurish in terms of plot, etc. The first, “The Gas Station” involves a pretty girl pursued by a serial killer on her first night shift at a local gas station. The second story, “Hair”, has Stacy Keach as a vain executive type undergoing a radical hair growth technique and then discovering its horrifying consequences. The third story, “Eye”, has Mark Hamill as a baseball player who loses an eye in an automobile accident and then has it replaced (unknowingly, of course) with the eye of a serial killer. You can pretty much figure out where that one is headed from that brief description.

Now, on to the interesting part: the celebrity cameos. Note that I said in the above paragraph that this film is not worthy of any of the directors involved. That’s because this film has cameos from most of the most famous horror directors of that era: Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, Roger Corman, and Wes Craven. If you are curious about what these guys are like in real life, this is your chance to find out. I won’t go into long, meticulous detail about each of their roles. It will be more fun for you to just watch the film and watch them pop out here and there, then watch the credits to see if you’re right.

There are also a few other non-horror celebrities making an appearance: Stacy Keach, Sheena Easton (for you younger set, she was very popular and very hot in every sense of the word in the early 90’s), and Charles Napier. One horror star that crops up is David Naughton of “An American Werewolf in London” fame.

Anyway, I won’t bore you with much else. I have some writing to do and a light supper to eat, so I must be signing off.

Bottom line: watch this movie just for fun. Don’t take it seriously. It was obviously made to be camp and silly. Just enjoy it for the silliness and the trivia value.

 

“Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night…” is Available on Amazon Kindle

The new cover for Nocturne as of November 15, 2019.

Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover is a collection of my poetry written from the mid-80’s to mid-90s, a turbulent, fluid time in my life in many ways, but especially romantically. I have taken many of the poems written during those years and compiled them into a dark narrative capturing the emotional turmoil of a narrator who descends from romantic love for a woman into a lonely world of alcohol and night clubs, where his only love is the night that envelopes him psychologically, emotionally, and physically.  It is about 110 print pages in length and lavishly illustrated with photos I found in the public domain (no, those are not photos of me or of my former paramours).

You can read samples of it and my other works at my Amazon author’s page:  Amazon.com/author/philslattery.

I have tried to make this a wonderful experience for the reader, exploring the bliss of love to the depths of despair and then to resignation to one’s fate in an existential crisis.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or other social media!

While there, you might want to check out my other work on relationships: The Scent and Other Stories.  In this collection of short stories, I explore the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range from regretting losing a lover to forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s deathbed confession in present-day New Mexico to debating pursuing a hateful man’s wife to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas.

Two reviews have warm praise for Nocturne…:

J. Muckley calls it “Beautiful, Sad, Authentic and Vulnerable Look at Love and Loss” and gives it five stars, saying:

Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover by Phil Slattery is a deep and raw “picture” of experiencing love and lovers of varying type, capturing the moments of ecstasy and pain in a most beautiful way.

Slattery speaks with one voice as his words and pictures depict the full range of human love and loss that both tempts the soul to engage and urges the heart to resist. His opening quote by Augustine of Hippo captures this work perfectly: “I was not yet in love, yet I loved to love…I sought what I might love, in love with loving.”  –Augustine of Hippo

The poems are mostly untitled and written in free verse form. The reader meanders through the past relationships as they ebb and flow through varying stages. The introduction poem tells of the types of poem you will soon encounter:
nights of love
full of life and laughter
as empty as an empty
bottle

The poem closes:
Bring me to that ultimate pleasure
in your all-consuming eyes.
Let us become one
and share the horrors of this
world

All in all, Nocturne, is a beautiful but sad read that speaks to the reality of love and holds nothing back. It engages the mind and the heart longing for lasting, meaningful love that always seems just outside of its reach.

P.S. Winn calls it “Great Poems with Pictures”, gives it four stars, and says:

I like this author’s poems which have a great feel to them. The book is about love but a lot more is included inside the pages. I like the photos the author included to enhance the poetry. A few of the poems held descriptive words about nature and I enjoyed the way the picture author paints in the readers mind is also displayed in the photographs that correspond with the words.

Check back frequently for updates.

 

A public service reminder from Phil Slattery

Help prevent the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19.