Bodies Bodies Bodies: Burying the Lede

[The following essay contains MAJOR SPOILERS; YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!]


[Seriously, I LITERALLY GIVE AWAY THE ENDING IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH; THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING!]



Bodies Bodies Bodies is a slasher flick that lacks an actual killer.


The first “victim,” as we discover in the film’s closing moments, wasn’t truly murdered; he accidentally slit his own throat while—in a drunken stupor, naturally—attempting to open a bottle of champagne with a decorative sword. The rest of the violence—an escalating series of false assumptions, misguided accusations, and bitter betrayals that culminates in lives lost and relationships irreparably shattered—was merely the result of a ridiculous misunderstanding.



That premise would be a brilliant narrative hook—the perfect elevator pitch—were it not also inherently self-spoiling. Any worthwhile discussion about the movie's central thesis—its venomously satirical deconstruction of privilege, performative activism, and the innate narcissism of the social media generation—will inevitably revolve entirely around the Big Twist... which, consequently, makes it difficult to sell to potential viewers. Indeed, the final punchline lands so spectacularly that it manages to diminish the quality of the surrounding material, rather than elevating the overall plot (which is otherwise comparatively unimaginative and formulaic). Ultimately, the ending is the only real trick that the story has to offer; everything else feels insubstantial, existing only to pad out the running time.


Thus, Bodies Bodies Bodies’ postmodernism is both its greatest strength and its most significant weakness. It's simply too clever for its own good; its emphasis on theme at the expense of structure renders it essentially impossible to properly advertise.


In other words: don’t produce a black comedy unless you can safely let the intended audience in on the joke.

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