Hospital Massacre AKA X-Ray (Horror, Thriller, 1981) (15) D: Boaz Davidson W: Marc Behm (screenplay), Boaz Davidson (story) C: Barbi Benton, Charles Lucia, Jon Van Ness, Jimmy Stathis.
Synopsis : While receiving a routine check-up, a beautiful woman is stalked by a maniac out to avenge a childhood Valentine’s Day humiliation.
TAGLINE : There’s no recovery at … Hospital Massacre
One of the lesser known 80s slashers come in the guise of a bloody epic set in a dodgy hospital, from Boaz Davidson whose typical style up until that point was best described as “tough drama’s” this was an impressive side step into the horror genre and as a stand alone piece it certainly is a homage to his versatility.
The early scenes of this stabtastic film play out in the style of a classic Italian Horror, innocent children and playing alone on Valentine’s day which turns into a terror treat when Harrold’s valentine’s gift is trashed and he takes his violent revenge out on the brother of the young Susan later acted by Barbi Benton, it’s like a homage Profondo Rosso (1975) who’s opening scenes depict a slightly different homespun murder. Fast forward 19 years (not 20 years??) and the now stunning Susan, has the simple task of picking up some results at the local hospital when her night turns into a marathon of madness. Hints are constantly dropped as to who the killer might be and everyone has potential but every clue is soon forgotten after the frequent intense naked Barbi scenes that were very popular with the crew! Oh the 80’s were great, the only way you’d know you were watching a horror movie is when the boobs were released.
Filled with resourceful kills, lots of ex playboy girl nakedness and a ton of plot holes. Hospital Massacre isn’t the best scripted movie, but it’s still a great slasher flick. In broad strokes the main aspect of a slasher is to get as many diverse kills in as possible, who cares why anyone is in a hospital and who cares why Harrold, despite being the only person seen at the time of death of a young boy isn’t in prison and is potentially stalking his old flame!? The marvel and attraction are the countless murders and depths of perverseness and insanity and this film has a few techniques that would impress Dr Giggles (1989).
Everything is utilised as a deadly weapon as the carnage starts and we’re enlightened to creative uses of hypodermics, saws and all sorts of metallic goodies. Barbie Benton, who really is an ex playboy girl, is subject to several intimate encounters on various tables while her ex husband Tom (Jimmy Stathis) goes AWOL while supposedly looking after their daughter and her boyfriend has to almost break into the hospital to attempt to rescue her. It literally all kicks off adding more intrigue into the whodunit and also giving the killer more victims to choose from and that means more slasher fun.
Rating – 6/10
V: If your looking for something amazing and deep then keep on looking but if you’re a fan of 80s/90s slashers then this will certainly delight. I do like that the drama between kills is kept to a minimal and doesn’t try to delves into the mind of the killer, while the opportunity to tie the events to Valentine’s day are missed it makes up for that by bizarre kills throughout. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the kills were quite ingenious.
R: Doctor Giggles (1998), Maniac Cop 3 (1993), Visiting Hours (1982), Schizoid (1980) Profondo Rosso (1975).
TIL : Hospitals are almost void of people when your killing a doctor in the corridor!
BS : Introducing the movie with children killing each other was a brilliant idea, sticking the kid to a coat stand was ingenious.
DGI : Chug a beer for every death, it should be a pleasant night 😀
L: 80s Slasher Films, Slasher Films, Hospital Films
PD : Post Discussion