“A show’s not a show without a little bit of blood, am I right?”
New horror film Spare Parts imagines a world where an all-girl punk band, Ms. 45, gets kidnapped and finds themselves suddenly and bloodily transformed into fighting machines, thrown into a death pit and forced to fight for their lives. There doesn’t seem to be much thought here besides putting hot women in sexy leather outfits and having them hack away at one another in the goriest way possible, but Spare Parts is at least entertaining, if hollow.
The four kidnapped bandmates are Amy (Michelle Argyris), her sister Emma (Emily Alatalo) and their friends and couple Cassy (Kiriana Stanton) and Jill (Chelsea Muirhead). Seemingly instantaneously, the four girls have been drugged and operated on, their forearms replaced with deadly weapons the better to battle with. Ruling over this dystopian fighting ring is The Emperor (Julian Richings), a man that claims they’ve been doing this for generations and that the dirt must have its blood price.
Obviously, suspension of disbelief is essential when it comes to Spare Parts and its plot. The girls undergo operations in dingy, dirty rooms and have amputations that seem to heal instantaneously. The Emperor is light on details when it comes to how their community came to be and how they stay clear of law enforcement when they have such a long history of abduction. A watertight plot is clearly not their priority. Instead, Spare Parts just wants to have some bloody fun. It’s all an excuse to see these girls dress up in leather and metal and heavy makeup and wield crazy, Grindhouse-style weapons into people’s heads and torsos.
The film does not shy away from gore, showing details of their amputations and, of course, plenty of blood splatter and bone in the actual battles. The issue is that none of it feels very fresh or innovative. These sort of girl-power dystopia films felt like they were at the height of their popularity in 2015 when you had The Hunger Games series, the Divergent series and Mad Max: Fury Road all in theaters. This film may not be based on a series of young adult novels, but it very much feels in the same vein with some added blood and some Robert Rodriguez inspiration. It’s also about five years too late.
Spare Parts sells itself as a girl-power horror flick but the lackluster plot and familiar dystopian themes feel like recycled material we’ve seen plenty of times before. While it’s still an entertaining watch, it fails to become something worthy of recommendation.
*This film is available via VOD and home video platforms.