Action / Horror / Thriller

IMDb Rating 5 10 1211


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June 27, 2015 at 06:17 AM



Barbi Benton as Susan Jeremy
Billy Jayne as Young Harry
Jon Van Ness as Jack
720p 1080p
697.44 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 29 min
P/S 1 / 3
1.23 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 29 min
P/S 2 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gavin6942 6 / 10

Fun Little Slasher

While receiving a routine check-up, a beautiful woman (Barbi Benton) is stalked by a maniac (Charles Lucia) out to avenge a childhood Valentine's Day humiliation.

I see another reviewer called this Kafkaesque, and I am glad I was not alone in thinking this seemed in many ways like "The Trial" or other such works. The lead character keeps getting passed from doctor to doctor with test after test, but no one ever bothers to tell her what is wrong (and the audience does not know either beyond some really bizarre x-rays).

Writer-director Boaz Davidson has an impressive list of credits under his belt, primarily as producer (he is most recently involved with the "Expendables" franchise). His writing and directing is a bit more spotty, and from the interview featured on the Scream Factory disc it seems his specialty was comedies. This shows in "X-Ray". While obviously a slasher film, it is more silly than the average one and for every suspenseful or tension-filled moment, there is a humorous bit not far behind.

I would not say this is one of the great slashers. Most people probably forgot it existed or never heard of it. But it is not the worst, and I am glad it has been brought back on DVD and Blu-Ray. A cheesy 1980s horror film beats the new stuff any day of the week.

Reviewed by Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) 7 / 10

Nonsensical entertainment.

Among the small sub-subgenre of horror movies that are the hospital slashers - also including "Halloween II" (1981) and "Visiting Hours" - is this kooky story of murder. One realizes early on just how absurd the whole thing is. Story author and director Boaz Davidson ("The Last American Virgin") adds enough offbeat and humorous touches to his presentation to make this something other than the typical slasher. Slasher fanatics may be disappointed that the body count isn't larger, but some of the murders are effectively gory and sadistic, and lead actress Barbi Benton, the Playboy icon and companion to Hugh Hefner for several years, shows off the goods in a pervy examination scene.

The story begins with a child named Susan who reacts with laughter to receiving a Valentine from admirer Harold. Well, good old Harold is more than a little unhinged, so even after impaling Susans' friend Dave on a coatrack, he's still mad as a hatter. And 19 years later when Susan (now played by the luscious Ms. Benton), a mother and divorcée, heads into a hospital to pick up her test results, he contrives a way to make her stay, by falsifying her results and making it look like she's terminally ill. Hospital staff start to get slaughtered (albeit intermittently) and Susan must deal with an infuriating bunch of doctors and nurses while also trying to stay alive.

Just to give you an idea of how Davidson approaches such material, there's the inclusion of three strange elderly female patients (one of them obviously played by a man in drag) who drive Susan up the wall. He creates some suspense and some atmosphere, but he never takes himself too seriously. The acting isn't inspired but it is serviceable. Benton is a fine screamer and puts up a good fight. Charles Lucia ("Society") is amiable as helpful intern Harry. Jon Van Ness ("The Hitcher") plays Susan's boyfriend Jack adequately. And John Warner Williams is effective at making his character Dr. Saxon the kind of character whom you just want to punch in the face. The opening back story features Elizabeth Hoy as the young Susan and Billy Jayne as Harold; these two had previously co-starred as killer kids in "Bloody Birthday".

Pacing is decent, the laughs are frequent, and topping it all off is a priceless, ridiculous music score by Arlon Ober that utilizes a lot of vocalizations.

All in all, this is pretty fun stuff for those who like their horror with a healthy sense of humour.

Seven out of 10.

Reviewed by Dagon 8 / 10

The Perfect Stupid Slasher Movie

As we've explored various times now in this review series, Slasher films jump at the chance to rehash similar environments in the attempt of besting their predecessors – or just simply the first to be in line for such an idea (let's think back in the late 70's and early 80's when the idea was still relatively fresh). It's a promising attribute to learn of a title that doesn't revisit the same old campground/college campus during spring or fall break/some unknown high school with a cast of rejects that get on your last nerve. Hospital Massacre, directed by "one-entry-in-the-vault-of-horror" Boaz Davidson, displays to the audience a different environment to catch our attention. The conclusion is predictable from start to finish and the ending wouldn't even a surprise a grade-schooler but with the original working title of "Be My Valentine, or Else…" let's see what this 1982 entry has to offer.

The story takes place in 1961 - young Susan and her brother are playing with a toy train set. A neighborhood boy by the name of Harold leaves a Valentine's Day card on the doorstep for Susan and scurries off into the bushes. Peering into the window, he notices Susan laughing mockingly at the card, tossing it to the floor. Volatile from rejection, Harold breaks into the home and murders Susan's brother while she remains occupied in the kitchen. Her discovery upon returning is a ghastly one – her sibling is strung up viciously by the jaw, impaled on a hat hanger. Flash forward 19 years - Susan, now a divorced parent, schedules a routine examination at a Los Angeles county hospital. Susan arrives at her appointment only to discover that Dr. Jacobs, her physician, isn't there. A certified M.D. is appointed to carry out the examination on Susan and finds discrepancies concerning her anatomy – but what are they? Meanwhile, in the bowels of the complex, a murderous fiend disposes of Dr. Jacob's body. Donning a surgical mask and wielding lethal operating room instruments, the mad man has a particular victim in his sights - Susan. Will she survive this dreadful nightmare?

As my review header indicates, this is your typical "heartbreak leads to murder" recipe; a film of standard fare with a hint of mystery. Luckily Hospital Massacre rushes right into the thick of it, wasting absolutely no time on yawn-inducing sub-plots and After School Special dopiness. If the massacring of dim-witted college frat boys and their incessant buffoonery is what you're after, look elsewhere! The majority of the story takes place within the hospital but that's another matter altogether.

Most of the staff working at the establishment are made to look sketchy; throwing several diversions into the mix for confusion's sake. This methodical system of side-tracking the audience is far too strained in this film because it's obvious who the culprit will be. The ending is spelled out right from the beginning…a minimal amount of intelligence is required in order to pick up on this. Viewers, and even myself, may be fooled into believing that there's more to the story than what's touted, relenting themselves to the red herrings in a desperate plea for a plot twist. There are no twists in Hospital Massacre. You may be left thinking, "Surely things can't play out this predictably." Oh, but they do.

The actress who portrayed the female lead, Barbi Benton, had a widely publicized relationship with Hugh Hefner from 1969 to 1976. This would be, and still remains, her most prominent career move in terms of celebrity status. Benton never plateaued beyond occasional TV appearances and Hospital Massacre was one of the few movies that she starred in. Others may not care too much for Barbi as an actress; her filmography and current occupation (it was reported in 2002 that she's now an Interior Decorator) could easily support their claim. On the contrary, I found her acting ability well beyond average for the role given to her. Her delivery was believable in a Slasher film - what more could you ask for?

Other titles exist in the Slasher vault's repertoire that utilize a hospital setting. Certainly Hospital Massacre is not the first to dive into this region. A smattering of gore and an overly enthusiastic soundtrack play well with the environment – but throwing red herrings for the sake of doing so is like gift wrapping an item for someone else and upon them opening it, reacting in awe and amazement when the prize is retrieved. Shall the audience ignore all of these devices and the silly contraptions therein? The point I was trying to make earlier suggests that we should, indeed, go along for the ride. Hospital Massacre is a well done Slasher movie but not a film worthy to exist among my collection. For a routine flick of this caliber I'd say it's worth a look due to how rare it is. I had the pleasure of watching a VHS transfer of the film; complete with bad tracking and all!

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