Review by Sean Boelman
Of all the films to have taken the title Spare Parts, Andrew Thomas Hunt’s is probably the most deserving of the moniker, a ramshackled B-movie strewn together from the genre’s past. That said, canny viewers will know exactly what they’re in for with this over-the-top flick, and Hunt delivers on those promises in a gruesome fashion.
The movie follows an all girl punk-band who is kidnapped by a sadistic cult who replaces their limbs with detachable weapons and forces them to battle to the death in an arena. It’s basically a mash-up of Green Room and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and while it’s undeniably dumb, there is an appeal to watching people with chainsaws for hands fight each other.
For a ninety minute action-horror movie, the film is paced pretty well. The script by David Murdoch and Svet Rouskov rushes through the set-up to get to the meat of the action, and then the rest of the movie takes a pretty satisfying structure of an action sequence followed by a few dialogue scenes to bridge the story to another action sequence.
Of course, you can’t really say that the action in the film is particularly original, because we’ve seen people dueling in an arena with mechanical modifications before. However, when it comes to what those modifications are, Murdoch and Rouskov have come up with some interesting ideas and Hunt does a good enough job of bringing them to the screen.
As a B-movie, the movie doesn’t have a very high level of production value, but it’s fitting for what the film is. It’s a goofy and exaggerated throwback to old-school exploitation movies, and as such, the less-than-stellar effects don’t feel out-of-place. Thankfully, Hunt never takes his film too seriously, so viewers can laugh at it and not feel uncomfortable.
However, this constant tongue-in-cheek approach comes at the expense of any depth in the movie. The motivations in the film barely make sense, from both the protagonists and the antagonists. More time could have been spent exploring the friendship between the band members and the world in which this cult exists.
The acting in the movie isn’t all that impressive either. Although it is nice that every performer seems to know the type of movie they are in, their delivery does no favors to making the emotional moments feel more authentic. But when it comes to the action sequences, their delivery of lines is effective.
Spare Parts may not be a good movie, but it does exactly what it set out to do in a way that is wholly entertaining. It’s surprising to find a movie that is this gleefully gory and goofy, allowing this to meet an often unfulfilled niche.
Spare Parts is now available on VOD.