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BODY MELT

Australia, 1993 (MIFF 1994)

Director: Philip Brophy

When Philip Brophy describes his first feature as "the suburbs on weird drugs", he's not just milking a cute turn of phrase - it's the plot in five words! When an ambitious doctor tests his new body enhancement drugs on the unsuspecting residents of a soulless outer-Melbourne suburban estate, all hell breaks loose, oozes out and melts down. All the first victim can relay is "the first phase is hallucinogenic...the second phase is glandular...the third is..."

Inspired as much by "aerobics classes, new housing estates, health farms and newlyweds" as by the films of Sam Raimi, Larry Cohen and David Cronenberg, Brophy has his cast play it straight and restrains the gore to just the vital scenes, which are executed with great finesse (and gallons of slime) by special effects whiz Bob McCarron.

It's clear that his real area of interest is a development on the 1988 MIFF award winning short Salt, Saliva, Sperm And Sweat. Where that film was fascinated with the body and its functions, Body Melt is more interested in its mal-functions, especially those that result from our efforts to improve our bods, something Brophy sees as a totally bizarre, modem phenomenon.

Too easily perceived as a horror or splatter pic, Brophy's first feature is really a mutated take on the police procedural with horror overtones and a trash culture junkie's sense of humour. From mad scientists to inbred backwater yokels and bumbling, always behind the pace cops, Brophy and producer/co-writer Rod Bishop's tongue-in-cheek script mines the staples of B-movie lore to new, comic and deliciously Australian effect. Like Ramsay Street gone awry, Body Melt brings the world of horror into our own suburban backyards for the first time. Watch out.

See also...

Locations

A portrait of Melbourne as a typical city with its shrines of consumption and entertainment. The shrines are (in no particular order), drive-ins, sex shops, fast food restaurants and neon signs. The ... More »

The Celluloid Self

"A look at the relationships between character, person. figure, star, persona and personality." Philip Brophy ... Remade from 1982 Super 8 original. ... More »

Club Video

A dual monitor Installation designed to steal the show. ... More »

Depictions

Depictions are the evidence of acts of depiction. From cartoons of J.R. to B.B.C. weather maps of Ireland, to pages from Zora comics to 'Wildstyle' Letraset - what is centred on in this tape is the ... More »

SALT, SALIVA, SPERM & SWEAT

What motivates society to embrace a cinema dominated by elements of sex, violence, horror and terror? Using a day in the life of an ordinary office worker as its central story, Salt, Saliva, Sperm ... More »

No Dance

'An experimental documentary on dancing and its part in subcultures from punk to electro." Philip Brophy ... Remade from 1982 Super 8. ... More »

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