If you think that two young women traveling alone and running out of fuel late at night combined with a creepy station attendant at an old, isolated rural gas station sounds like a fine recipe for a horror film, you would be absolutely right. Writer/director Venita Ozols-Graham uses that set-up in her new short Used Body Parts (2016) and delivers a macabre effort filled with sudden shocks and grisly imagery.
Jenny (Brigitte Graham) and Scarlet (Jordan Elizabeth) find themselves in the aforementioned predicament. Genre film and television veteran and character actor extraordinaire Tim DeZarn plays the attendant, Gas Man. He takes Jenny’s credit card and goes inside the station, then returns to tell her that the card has been declined and that the company told him to hold her card until she talks with a representative on his phone. She does so and the girls’ descent into horror begins.
Fright-flick aficionados will notice a vibe from seventies grindhouse and eighties slasher fare at work here, along with a bit of the good ol’ urban legend atmosphere — and atmosphere is something with which Used Body Parts is loaded. Luis Diaz’s set decoration is outstanding and brings this eerie filling station to life. Although the story takes place mostly in the dark, an array of bright, primary colors and some neon lighting is in play.
The small cast is superb. Brigitte Graham and Jordan Elizabeth play believable young women and their facial expressions and reactions to situations are spot on. Genre film and television veteran and character actor extraordinaire Tim DeZarn (listed in the credits as Tim DeZam) as Gas Man makes for an imposing, brutal villain. Michael Villar rounds out the cast as Sonny quite effectively.
Venita Ozols-Graham directs Used Body Parts with a keen eye for shots and expert pacing, assisted on the latter by editor David Strohmaier. The visual effects and makeup effects team did a first-rate job on providing some ghastly effects. Alexander Arntzen‘s score is refreshingly subdued and sets the mood well.
Used Body Parts: (4 / 5)