Until now, the 1993 made-for-cable horror anthology Body Bags has only been available on an out-of-print DVD in an edited version—that was selling for like a gazillion dollars used! But at last, an uncut Blu-ray has been released. However, this isn’t the 1:33:1 aspect ratio shown on 90s tube televisions. The Blu-ray features a 1:85:1 aspect ratio…so if you are a stickler about the tops and bottoms of the image being cut off, you’ll have to stick with your censored full screen DVD.
John Carpenter directs two of the three segments of Body Bags and Tobe Hooper directs the final one. In the wraparound, John Carpenter plays “The Coroner,” a sort of Crypt Keeper character who introduces each tale. The stories are devilishly fun, scary, and icky, plus there’s a pop culture explosion; Body Bags is a bag full of cameos.
The first story is basically John Carpenter’s homage to himself. It’s slasher/stalker awesome! A chick gets a job as an attendant at an all night gas station. All she has to do is sit behind her safety glass in her booth and collect money…and be sure not to leave the booth without the keys, otherwise she’ll be locked out. Duhn duhn duhn! This is super suspenseful, with a conveyor belt of familiar faces: Robert Carradine, Wes Craven, Sam Raimi, David Naughton, and Molly Cheek from the It’s Gary Shandling’s Show. Aw crap—now that “This is the theme to Gary’s show” song is going to be stuck in my head.
The second story is a gross out horror comedy. Stacy Keach is going bald. He wants hair so bad he goes to some dude who advertises permanent hair replacement on television. But it turns out the thick locks Stacy grows are not exactly what they seem. Nightmare scenario! On the awesome side, it also features Debbie Harry and Sheena Easton. They should have done a duet as the theme song to the movie.
The final story is basically The Hand…with an eye. The recipient of that eye is fricking Mark Hamill, who’s married to Twiggy. And one of his doctors is Roger Corman! So anyway, Mark starts to see some creepy and gruesome stuff with his new eye, and we get to see some nice man butt during a sex scene, but I’m pretty sure it’s a stunt butt and not Mark’s.
Finally, Tobe Hooper and Tom Arnold round out the cameos on the wraparound story.
Body Bags is a classic that should have been part of the 80s legacy, alongside Creepshow. Figures it didn’t get a theatrical release in the 90s. It’s too good for the 90s.