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.
Action / Horror / Thriller
Action / Horror / Thriller
Divorcee Susan Jeremy goes to a local Los Angeles county hospital for a routine exam and finds herself stranded there while a maniac, dressed in a doctor's surgical mask and clothing, goes around killing all the staff are associated with her. Could it possibly be the psycho Harold, who killed a friend of Susan's on Valentine's Day 19 years earlier?
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June 27, 2015 at 06:17 AM