Jay at Assholes Watching Movies recently reviewed The Island, a film that I didn’t see. In fact the only thing I know about this film is that when it was released, people started remarking on how similar it was to a 1979 film called Parts: The Clonus Horror. So much so that the makers of Parts sued Paramount for plagiarism, finally reaching an out of court settlement which is believed to involve a seven figure sum.
I do happen to have a copy of Parts: The Clonus Horror so, the other night, I decided to pull out the DVD and see how well the film stands up.
After a couple of opening scenes (one of which I will come back to), the film proper starts in an idyllic location populated by beautiful young people who spend their time engaging in a variety of sporting activities until they are deemed fit enough to travel to “America”. It’s fair to say that most of these individuals are none too bright and it’s when two individuals or normal intelligence, Richard (Timothy Donnelly) and Lena (Paulette Breen) accidentally meet that things start to go off the rails.
With the word “Parts” in the title and an opening scene that sees the camera panning through a roomful of bagged bodies, it’s fair to say that this is not a film that intends to spring any surprises on the audience. This film is very much a conspiracy thriller and, on these terms, it works reasonably well.
There are a couple of narrative conveniences along the way, but on the whole the plot does a solid job of building towards — and delivering — the horribly inevitable conclusion. This is helped no end that Timothy Donnelly puts in such a likeable as an innocent, confused and completely out of his depth.
While not the greatest film ever made, Parts: The Clonus Horror is a solid thriller and one that attempts — reasonably successfully — to examine some of the potential issues around cloning and the ways in which we can dehumanise people to achieve the most trivial of benefits.