Body Bags 1993 Movie Scene John Carpenter as The Coroner in the morgue

Body Bags [1993]

Do you like horror anthologies? Or, better yet, horror comedy anthologies? You get three or four short stories of terror and before you know it, the entire movie is over. Sure, out of all of those stories perhaps one or two are great but the others are perfectly watchable. Body Bags is one of the more underrated horror comedy anthologies coming to us from the master himself, John Carpenter. He’s one of my favorite directors and here we will get the chance to see him in a different role. Yes, the old Prince of Darkness plays the host here, a zombie coroner who’ll tell us how the occupants of the three body bags in his morgue got there.

The opening scene sets the tone quite well for what’s about to follow. Unlike other similar movies, here, we have just two directors. Carpenter directed the first two stories while the third and final one is the work of Tobe Hooper. Yes, the same Tobe Hooper who was behind such classics as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t get the chance to see some of the other horror directors. First of all, Hooper appears as the second coroner in epilogue. Secondly, Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) appears in the first story, filling up his car at the gas station along with Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead) who plays the worker who was killed first.

Finally, none other than B movie legend Roger Corman plays Dr. Bregman in the final segment, The Eye. Too bad Clive Barker was too busy at the time of the production because Carpenter contacted him as well. I don’t want to tell you exactly what’s going to happen in these three stories. I think that’s half the fun, just diving into a movie you know it’s going to be good. Let’s just say that each of them represents a certain horror genre. The first one is a straight-up slasher and if you want to see it extrapolated into a full-feature movie do check out a 2018 movie Open 24 Hours. The second one is a horror comedy along with the sections with the narrator in the morgue.

And the final one is a psychological horror. However, I do have to admit that I just loved the second one simply titled Hair. Starring Stacy Keach, it’s about a man who’s trying to come to grips with his hair loss. As someone who went through a similar stage many years a ago, I totally sympathized with him. And for all of you struggling with hair loss right now, I can say that you simply have to accept the fact that things will be different. However, they won’t be drastically different. You simply won’t be able to get to a certain percentage of the population. Something that begs the question of whether you want to. When it comes to the remaining percentage, nothing will fundamentally change.

You can still be a sexually attractive, charismatic and whatever the fuck you want guy. Moving on, apart from Keach, we also have Robert Carradine, Alex Datcher, and Mr. Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill. And some of the older ones among you will surely recognize top model Twiggy who plays Mark’s wife. Body Bags was actually supposed to be a pilot for a new Showtime anthology series. After all, HBO had a highly successful series of their own for three years at that time, Tales from the Crypt. Sadly, the deal didn’t go through and all we got was this movie. Which isn’t too bad if you ask me.

Actually, Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight was my introduction to the franchise. I vaguely recall watching the original 1972 Tales from the Crypt movie and being totally unimpressed by it as a teen. You see, I was looking for something modern and edgy at that time. As the years passed, I began to appreciate more and more these classics. Speaking of which, if you’re looking for movies like Body Bags, do check out Creepshow, Tales from the Hood and Trick ‘r Treat. Finally, you can also check out Masters of Horror television show, it’s quite good.

Directors: John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Larry Sulkis

Writers: Billy Brown, Dan Angel

Cast: John Carpenter, Alex Datcher, Robert Carradine, Stacy Keach, Sheena Easton, Mark Hamill

Fun Facts: It took three hours for the make-up department to transform John Carpenter into a zombie coroner.


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