It has been well estab­lished by now that the folks at Scream Factory are big boost­ers of John Carpenter: they’ve done dyna­mite reis­sues of They Live, The Fog and Prince Of Darkness, not to men­tion the Carpenter-pro­duced Halloween II and III. They’ve also shown a fond­ness for Tobe Hooper’s work via strong edi­tions of The Funhouse and Lifeforce. Thus, it seemed des­tined that they would have to take a crack at the lone Carpenter/Hooper teamup, Body Bags and they’ve made good on that des­tiny, deliv­er­ing a qual­i­ty blu-ray/DVD com­bo with some fresh extras on the side.

Things get off to a nice start with a fresh anamor­phic trans­fer of the film. The details are sharp and the col­ors look rich, par­tic­u­lar­ly the black lev­els in the “Gas Station” sto­ry. 2.0 and 5.1 loss­less stereo tracks are pro­vid­ed: the 5.1 was lis­tened to for this review and it’s a sub­tle remix that con­cen­trates on spread­ing out the music a lit­tle more oom­ph and slight­ly more depth to the over­all sound­scape.

There are also a few fresh sup­ple­ments for fans. There is a com­men­tary track that has an anthol­o­gy-style feel: the first sto­ry fea­tures Carpenter and Robert Carradine, the sec­ond sto­ry fea­tures Carpenter with Stacy Keach and the last seg­ment offers pro­duc­er Sandy King with mod­er­a­tor Justin Beahm, plus Carpenter com­ment­ing solo on the wrap­around footage.

The first two seg­ments are laid back, work­ing more as gab ses­sions between Carpenter and his stars: they offer a few mem­o­ries of the pro­duc­tion but Carpenter allows the talk to drift in dif­fer­ent direc­tions, even ask­ing Carradine what it was like to work with John Wayne on The Cowboys! The third seg­ment is the most inter­est­ing, with Beahm ask­ing some com­plex ques­tions about both Carpenter and Hooper and King answer­ing them in a forth­com­ing way. The results might be a lit­tle too casu­al for some lis­ten­ers, par­tic­u­lar­ly dur­ing its first two-thirds, but hard­core fans will still want to give it a lis­ten.

There is also a new fea­turet­te enti­tled “Unzipping Body Bags” and it’s quite good. Beahm helmed this piece, which inter­views Carpenter, King, Carradine and Keach. In twen­ty min­utes, it tells the full sto­ry of how the film came togeth­er, how and why the dif­fer­ent guest stars were cho­sen and why the film nev­er led to a t.v. series. Carpenter is as amus­ing­ly irrev­er­ent as ever — he even starts the piece by admit­ting he most­ly dis­likes hor­ror antholo­gies — and be sure to stick around for the end cred­its to see him pull a lit­tle gag on his inter­view­ers. A short, wit­ty trail­er rounds the bonus fea­tures out.

All in all, Scream Factory has assem­bled a qual­i­ty reis­sue for a title that no one prob­a­bly expect­ed to get the spe­cial edi­tion treat­ments. Carpenter fans will want to add it to the grow­ing pile of Scream Factory blu-rays for this direc­tor.

To read Schlockmania’s film review of Body Bags, click here.