Aug 31, 2022

Parts of the Family (2003)


A bank robber takes shelter in an old mansion and takes the maid as hostage.  Unfortunately, there's been some demonic shit going down at this place, and the criminal would have been better off with the police.  There are two very different versions of this film, and to be honest I'm not sure which one I watched - the original or the "refurbished" version.

The movie begins with a striking scene of Elle Fitzroy (Cecilia Bergqvist) getting made up and dressed in this room covered in blood.

Elle hears the sirens outside. Such an engaging opening: why is this room covered in blood and why does this woman seem so calm and only casually interested in the sirens? Not to mention super hottie Cecilia Bergqvist naked also amps up the interest level.  Suffice it to say, we're off to a good start.

Elle steps outside

Bank robber Jason Goodis (Bob Dougherty) is on the run from the police.

He uses Elle as a human shield as the police cruisers roll up.

He takes Elle hostage, back into the dilapidated mansion.

The police have the estate surrounded; on the scene is Lloyd Kaufman as a detective.

Jason drags Elle upstairs and handcuffs her to the bed.

Jason shouts warnings to the police outside, showing them Elle with a grenade in her mouth.

Elle spits out the grenade and makes a run for it.

She makes it to the cellar.  There, we have a long flashback...

Elle remembers when Stephen Esubam (Norman Baert) painted her.

But their lovemaking is interrupted by an intruder

Stephen's father Leo Esubam (Leo Franquet)

Elle was a maid for the Esubams and had an affair with Leo, who is now murderously jealous that his son is getting it on with Elle.

Elle watches as Leo and Stephon fight to the death.

Elle grabs an axe in an attempt to kill Leo.

But she hacks Stephen in the back accidentally.

Undeterred, Elle grabs a pitchfork and goes after Leo.

That does the trick.  Both Leo and Stephen are dead.

Elle goes downstairs and runs into the rest of the Esubam family.

Laura Esubam (Johanna Lesage) and her daughter Lucy (Leen Vandereycken).

Elle sends a high heel shoe through Laura's eyeball.

She follows them into the cellar.

Lucy is murdered

Elle tells Lucy she just wanted to be "part of the family"

Okay, back to present day.  Elle has been hiding in the cellar and stepped on a nail.

Jason finds her.

Jason wonders what the hell went on in this basement - with the paintings and the murder weapons.

Elle is forced to stand at the window for an extended period of time.

You'll recall she had stepped on a nail, and so drops to the floor from the pain.

Jason finds a newspaper detailing the horrible tragedy that took place at this house.

Jason shoots a cop who was entering through the attic.  Elle runs to the attic and starts slurping up the dead police officer's blood and eating his guts.

Jason wonders what the fuck is going on.

Leo returns from the dead.  Elle explains that the blood of victims spilled in this house will resurrect those that died here.

Jason tries to shoot Leo, but he's a zombie now and bullets don't work.

Elle greets the police officers who have stormed the house.

But it's not just Leo back from the dead - it's the whole family and more!

Elle tries to reason with Zombie Lucy as she tears into one of the cops.

Lloyd Kaufman and the other detectives are attacked by zombies outside.

Zombie Leo knocks out Elle and drags her to the cellar.

Elle wakes up and goes full Ash on these zombies, wasting them in a variety of gory ways.

She takes out Zombie Jason.

Pours acid on Zombie Leo.

One after another, Elle destroys all the zombies.

She gets cleaned up and dressed.

Leaving the mansion, she runs into a stranger outside the gate.  We're to presume she invites the stranger in, and the process will continue. THE END

I suspect this was the original version - as the other version apparently features a ton of cameos.  I don't know if it was an improvement or not, but I quite liked this one. Cecilia Bergqvist is outstanding.  Yeah, the accent is a bit thick, but this was a very physical role and could honestly have been done without dialog entirely.   On the downside, the gore practical effects are less than so-so, it's not particularly scary or tense, and it does get slow in parts.  On the plus side, it's so creative and odd (and sleazy) that it should be entertaining for B-movie horror buffs who are tired of the same old thing.


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