Enjoy this Monday with Mildred Feature 241 Review & First Time SPOILERS!
Welcome to our very first SPOILERS category post!
Bodies, Bodies, Bodies
First of all, I cannot BELIEVE I got CFR to watch a slasher movie. She must really trust me or something. There’s a good reason I knew she would like it, but I couldn’t tell her without massively spoiling the film. Heck of a catch 22, that.
So this is a warning for the rest of my part of the 2-4-1 review: I have to talk about spoilers, like why things happen the way they do, and who the killer is. I beg you, watch this movie, it’s really, really good. But do not watch it knowing how it ends. I haven’t had a chance yet to re-view it to see if it holds up if you know how it ends.
LIKE, HUGE, HUGE SPOILERS
ALL THE WAY THROUGH
The audience is quickly set up comfortably with all the slasher movie tropes, like a group of carefree young people who live life without worry about the consequences of their “indiscretions”, like having sex before marriage. In Bodies Bodies Bodies, it’s young super rich people who drink and get high because it’s fifty years past the first slasher movies and everyone has gotten too blasé about sex these days. Most young people today have zero problems with drugs, as kids back then had zero problems with sex. Both generations were supposed to be concerned, and both do not, and early slashers punished that lack of concern with deaths that were generally sexual in nature. There is stabbing with pointy hard things, and loss of male body parts, and slashing that causes a lot of blood. For women, blood and sex are intimately connected. In Bodies Bodies Bodies you might notice, if you’re smarter than me, that the people who die have head wounds. A woman at the bottom of the bloody steps has a caved in head. A man has his head nearly cut off. Another man has his head bashed in by one of the partiers in front of the other partiers. More on that in a moment.
The young people set up at a hurricane party in a remote estate do drugs and live a dissolute life of the very rich. They’re also stupid. Are they stupid because they’re stoned? Maybe. But once the adrenaline kicks in and I would assume burn off the pharmacy racing through their blood, they’re still stupid. They all die of head wounds because they’re not dying of sexuality punishment, but stupidity punishment. One of the main characters even confides in another that he wants to be thought of as, “someone who fucks”. Not that he actually is. That is the antithesis of the original slasher movie ideal, and once I figured that one out I laughed a second time.
Another brilliant bit of plotting I totally missed until the very, very end of the movie. Half the people who die in the movie are killed right in front of the others. They’re actually killed by one of the others. The first guy gets his head bashed in by the odd girl out when he begins raving and menacing the girls with his masculinity and a huge knife. He’s too stupid to notice they’re not lying to him. Another person has her brains blown out while four people are in a scrum on the floor FIGHTING OVER A LOADED GUN. I mean, that’s about as dumb as you can get.
The other half of the deaths occur off camera. Like the titular game, bodies are found dead or dying. A big part of the original slashers was the loving attention to originality and detail when killing the transgressors, so why do we not see that in this beautifully crafted film? At the very end of the movie we find out we never saw any of those kills is because there is no killer. When that was revealed, the audience I was with howled with laughter and we finally understood why the director of the cinema was so smug when she said she knew we would love it. That is absolutely genius writing. It completely turns the slasher on its head, so to speak, and why I knew CFR would love this movie. No one was actually punished for anything they had done, except for being an idiot in one way or another.
Characters spent a ton of time trying to figure out who the killer is, hiding in the dark, accusing each other and dying of stupidity. But there never was a killer so the only deaths we saw were of the self-defense variety. I laughed all the way home. This is one of the most cleverly written and conceived movies I’ve seen.
Something else I have to mention is another sad and tired movie trope that not only goes unused, but is also stood on its head. There is no Kill Your Queers here. The young queer women who begin the movie with a slasher tempting snogfest are the ones who live. That made me very happy. There are a lot of reasons the filmmakers might have had to do it, and I’m hoping it was their recognition of the hundred years of unfairness.
ALSO! Bee did NOT have an accent, until suddenly she did. IIRC
When it looks like she has been pegged as the murderer, just before she’s forced outside, she’s begging Sophie to protect her, Which She Does Not Do. She begins to sound European, and then she sneaks back in and the audience is totally lulled into thinking she’s the killer.
I really hope you watch this movie then come back and read this spoilery review. This movie made me happy because it took an old and tired genre and made a shiny new thing out of it without mocking the old ways.
You can see Mildred’s review here: Monday With Mildred: “Bodies, Bodies, Bodies”.
Bodies, Bodies, Bodies
Yes. She did it. Mildred TRIUMPHED. She got me to watch a slasher. But was it really? I will argue it was an excellently made movie that showed just how rotten and stupid slasher movies really are. Squee!
After Mildred told me about the awesomeness of Bodies, Bodies, Bodies I had to watch it. Plus she tole me my hubby would love it. So I purchased the movie via Prime (I’m all about supporting women directors so I was happy to pay) and turned it on.
Wow. Just wow.
First off, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is a brilliant movie. Perfectly technically executed. One thing that Mildred alerted me to was how the movie was lit via cellphones – and yet there was enough light!!!! (Looking at you, Game of Thrones.) In fact, Mildred mentioned that cellphones were finally used correctly in a movie. So true. These young people were always on their phones (like me) and they used their phones wisely. I never wanted to yell at them “Why don’t you use your phone?”
Also the women in this move were beautiful but all in a different way. Also they were not all waif thin. They looked to be of normal body weight and for me it made them extra beautiful.
Oh and the snogfest at the beginning? That was between top privileged young woman Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) who was WOW and her new girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova). The main focus of this movie is on these two women both when they are together and apart. This kept the movie really interesting for me for several reasons. First, no queer baiting or killing queers in this movie. This is the younger generation that just doesn’t blink an eye at a queer friend. In fact, some of the friends in this tight knit group used to date. That for me was extra good. Also good to see that not all of the privileged were white.
Back to uber privilege for a moment: LOTS of drug use. Good grief there was a time I was afraid they would kill themselves by combining uppers and downers. Of course they are privileged so they can afford health care and great lawyers. Hence, lots of drugs. The drugs made them extra idiotic which lent itself to believable stupidity on the part of the characters. In horror movies characters tend to be so dumb I don’t care of they get hurt. Here in this movie, they were dumb because well young and dumb but also messed up on drugs so lots of impaired thinking was happening.
Now here’s what I really liked about the movie: The Reveal and Ending.
Usually in slashers it is the Big Bad killing women so young males can laugh while women are being reduced to objects. Now you know why I hate slashers. Not. This. Movie. It is about young adults who are uber privileged. They are definitely the 1% or getting very close to it. They have enough privilege to experience a hurricane in a mansion. Apparently they’ve done this before because they are all prepared for it when the movie starts. Except the newbie girl friend, Bee, Mildred refers to her as odd girl out. She is a regular working-class young woman who is totally unprepared for the rich environment she is dropped in. You would think her girlfriend, the woman who brought her to this party, would protect her and help her navigate this world of tight knit friends. Nope. Our odd girl out is really left out and vulnerable. She, for me, was the human heart of the movie. She is also the one to bring about the Reveal and Ending. Both poke holes at the slasher genre.
Reveal: Who is the true guilty party?
The movie sets you up to believe that Bee is the killer. After all she did kill Greg (Lee Pace) who did scare the women so it is not surprising he was killed. So when we get Sophie and Bee as the last two standing, I was wondering who was guilty. The Bee, using the cellphone from the first victim, uncovers how the first murder happened. Drugged and drunk character David (Pete Davidson!) cuts his own throat while swinging around a sword!!!! He recorded himself too! When the audience sees this OMG! No murderer, no killer, no supernatural vengeful entity on a rampage. Instead, rampant impaired stupidity. Which means that the reactions of the characters after they find David that sets off this whole movie, happened FOR THE WRONG REASON! And probably could have been avoided if they weren’t all impaired and self-important.
End: So Max, a character we have only heard about, comes upon Sophie and Bee as they realize the insanity of the night was totally unnecessary, and asks what happened. Bee looks at him and says “I have reception.”
Oh. That. Is. Perfect.
Because in our communication, cellphone loving age (I love mind) a constant struggle is being sure you have a signal. Our characters did spend the night looking for signals and reception on their phones. The morning comes, the hurricane is gone, the true killer is impaired stupidity and all Bee can say is “I have reception.” Beautiful.
This movie is genius for so many reasons. I’ve watched it several times already and will probably have Mildred over to watch it with me again.
This movie deserves all the awards. Now go watch it.