Farm to Slab: Revisiting BODY FARM

Review by Bob Greene

After a couple of years in distribution, one might imagine that Body Farm, like many indie horror films, will join some genre streaming site and stay there. This film however, is now preparing for a sequel. It was enough to pique a new look at the first film.

Body Farm is a compilation of various sub-genres in one taught thriller. Tarantino-inspired “torture films” are evident in the basic plot-line of an institution that documents death and its effects on the human body. Quickly, we see that the bodies don’t necessarily start out dead. The action of the film is propelled by a reporter’s footage and security camera documentation solidifying that something is rotten – and its not just the bodies. And good old noir is evident in the liberal use of close-ups, dark almost nondescript locations, and a twist ending.

Brandon Keenan’s script was believable and clever – a great combination to get us involved and keep us hooked. Keenan and Nick LaMantia pull double duty as directors and protagonists turning in strong presences as two determined souls attempting to find a member of their team who “mysteriously” disappeared while investigating the facility. Steven Croner, completes this triumvirate as cinematographer. The vision of these three provided for us a dark drama with horrific overtones, cleverly shot (highest praise for independent limited budget films) and engrossing.

Keenan and LaMantia also lead a top-notch ensemble of actors including Genevieve Weiss, Brett Hollabaugh, Dave Petti, David Ogrodowski, Tom Mirth, John W. Iwanonkiw providing fine acting with per-requisite horror film energy and eeriness as crusading reporters, inmates with deep stories, crooked cops, and other accomplices within a story rooted in reality.

John Gallagher and Lamantia produced the film.

Talk of a sequel is welcome as Body Farm asks more questions than it answered. The twist opens the door to a new series of events and even characters just as Zombie’s House of a 1000 Corpses led us to The Devil’s Rejects and 3 from Hell. And just like them, Body Farm – in topic and design – is more horrific than horror and too real to be anything but scary.

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