Conceived as the pilot episode to an anthology horror series, BODY BAGS is comprised of three short stories and the requisite "wrap around." Known as John Carpenter's Body Bags, it should also be noted that Tobe Hooper was involved as well. Both are featured in the a fore mentioned "wrap around" as workers in THE MORGUE. THE GAS STATION (a straight up serial killer tale), HAIR (about a hair transplant gone horribly wrong), and EYE (focusing on a baseball player who faces the prospects of losing his vision). Carpenter directs the first two while Hooper comes on board to take the reigns in EYE. Being as this was a made for TV film and not turned into the "hoped for" series, BODY BAGS floundered for a bit after it's production, but in the late 90's and early 2000's gained a sizable cult following. I don't believe it's ever been held up as a "definitive" horror anthology, but I have no issue at all putting the movie in the company of CREEPSHOW, CAT'S EYE, and the like as ushering in a new generation of anthology film.
Being that it had been nearly 15 years since I last sat down with this one, I was anxious to see how it held up. It is, of course, always nice to know that if you hate one segment you can quickly move on to another. Thankfully, nostalgia played a welcomed role in allowing BODY BAGS to be palatable this time around. None of it is spectacular by any means. However, THE MORGUE is enjoyable almost entirely for the opportunity it gives the viewer to gaze upon the two filmmakers hamming it up in front of the camera. Also a hoot: actors like Mark Hamill, Tom Arnold, Robert Carradine, and Deborah Harry. All of whom give awesomely 80's (even though we're in the 90's) scary movie performances. I remembered THE GAS STATION most as that was the segment that really got under my skin upon my last "walk through." Although none of the pieces in and of themselves hold up particularly well, they still relay the pure innocence of at least trying to tell creepy little tales. And as a back-to-back-to-back grouping they're more than welcomed as a trip down memory lane this time of year. [6/10]
John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper
Robert Carradine, Deborah Harry, Mark Hamill