Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just Skip the Hospital & Hit the Morgue

No intro today. Just nurses. That are sick. And Thai. And in a lot of trouble.

Quick Plot: This won't be easy. Somewhere in Thailand, the worst run hospital in Asia hosts an underground corpse trading business, where a handsome and horny young doctor enlists the aid of seven sexy nurses to help sell some bodies. Within the very first scene of the film, we learn that Dr. Taa has been cheating on his marriage-obsessed fiancée Tawan with her little sister. She's mad as hell and won't take it anymore, especially after her sister nurses body slam her onto the operating table as the next item of dead sale.

What follows is a sort of grownup 20something form of Hausu, as Tawan's evil angry spirit hunts her murderesses one night in the, as horror movie tradition dictates, complete empty hospital. Tossed in is a truly shocking twist that doesn't *quite* make sense, but is sure fun to see. Especially since it’s followed by an even campier one.

OH! And weird and bizarre death scenes. LOTS of them. See, all the beautiful nurses are terribly flawed human beings, and most--much like Hausu--have that one character trait (be it bulimia or materialism) that makes them both easy to remember and fun to kill. And yes, such quirks can lead to great death scenes that involve, well, bulimia and materialism.

Sick Nurses is a strange film and all the better for it. It never asks us to invest anything in its shallow characters, a move that could easily turn off some filmgoers who like to, you know, LIKE the people they watch onscreen. Our default heroine is a woman who stole her older sister’s fiancée. Her fellow victims are easy on the eyes but empty in the brain. You know the type: the kind of girl who will squirt shampoo in her hand and not notice that instead of Pantene, she’s now massaging her scalp with a handful of killer hair.

Yes, killer hair. This movie has killer hair. And yes, you should be quite pleased about that.

As Tawan plays with her pretty victims, we get treated to odd, almost Silent Hill-ish transformations of freakery. The chatty lesbian becomes something of Cellphone Face, the clothing obsessed twit, Fancy Pocketbook Head. It’s good stuff.

I was more than surprised by how much I enjoyed Sick Nurses. It’s visually inventive, taking a typical J-horroresque ghostess and giving her plenty of spins. Most importantly, the movie seems to have quite a bit of fun with itself. From the twisty weirdness of the plot to the cheeky death scenes, the viewer gets the feeling that Piraphan Laoyont and Thodsapol Siriwiwat enjoyed the process of making the film. Now THAT’s a refreshing dose of medicine.

High Notes
Initially, I was slightly annoyed by the film’s insistence on rushing past its basic character development and plot to get straight to the killing. You do lose that emotional connection that was never built with its stars, but ultimately, it makes Sick Nurses surprisingly spry. We’re never REALLY going to like any of these people, so the odd setup (plot! Kill kill kill side plot kill kill kill REVELATION kill) actually works weirdly well.

Low Notes
It’s a Doll’s House rule: any film that shows feline abuse must be marked. While the kitten tosser does indeed suffer a gruesome fate, it’s still infuriating

Lessons Learned
In Thailand, it is traditional to not remove any clothing when taking a shower

Virgos shouldn’t work in hospitals 

Pregnancy tests in movies are 5x faster than real life ones

The Most Unsettling Image Ever
Ew ew ew I say! As the bulimic brushes her teeth, she stuffs a Homer Simpson style pink donut into her throat, then brushes over it. I don’t consider myself squeamish, but this sight prompted me to wash out my eyes.

Fans of the bizarre will probably really dig Sick Nurses. It starts quickly and continuously delivers plenty of strange horror and amusing black comedy. The film WAS streaming on Instant Watch, but seems to have expired for the time being. I can't speak to the DVD quality, but it's certainly a film worth keeping on your radar for a breezy yet disturbing watch. 

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