You would think due to my borderline obsession with John Carpenter's 1978 indie sensation, 'Halloween', that I would be very familiar with the director's catalogue of work. However, this is something I shamefully cannot say I have a broad knowledge of. I could probably count on one hand the number of Carpenter films I have actually seen. This is something that I'm going to rectify this over the course of the next year or so, but before I do, I figured I would revisit a favorite of mine, starting with non other than his 1993 anthology 'Body Bags'.
This made for TV directorial collaboration between the two horror heavy weights, John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper, is something I have grown up watching regularly. The first two of the three segments are directed by Carpenter (Unleaded and Hair) and the final segment is directed by Hooper (Baseball Man). Carpenter also finds himself in the acting role as mortician, introducing the three segments of the anthology. Although clearly taking inspiration for his character from Michael Keaton's 'Beetlejuice', I really liked how entertaining he was in this role. You can see how much enjoyment he is getting from portraying this character.
I found there to be a definitely noticeable difference in quality when transitioning from Carpenter's first two segments, into Hooper's final segment. That's not to say that Hooper is a bad director, it's just that he is not quite as clean as Carpenter, and some of the chosen camera angles do not feel as natural as Carpenter's. I don't particularly dislike any of the three segments featured in the anthology, but 'Unleaded' is by far the superior entry in terms of quality. The intertwining story arc featuring Carpenter as the mortician was equally just as entertaining, with a nice twist conclusion I did not see coming the first time I watched this. This is a very entertaining watch, full of variety. I watch this anthology regularly and will continue to do so for many years to come. If you haven't seen 'Body Bags', I strongly recommend you do.
Read Marc's full review (including each segment individually) here!