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Nurse 3D (2014)

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Nurse (2014)Starring Paz de la Huerta, Katrina Bowden, Judd Nelson, Corbin Bleu, Martin Donovan, Boris Kodjoe, Niecy Nash

Directed by Doug Aarniokoski


Nurse 3D is proof that there’s a role for everyone. I often wondered if this were true of star Paz de la Huerta during her time on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” There, her exaggerated performance was often jarring alongside more naturalistic actors like Steve Buscemi. As such, I had little faith that Nurse would be anything more than a laughable late-night entry into the “____ from hell” subgenre. And it is. It’s also a delightfully sleazy exploitation picture that doesn’t skimp on mean-spiritedness.

Psychotic nurse Abby (de la Huerta) takes new hire Danni (Katrina Bowden) under her wing during Danni’s first week of employment and instantly develops an obsession with her. The two go out for drinks one evening where Danni is drugged and forced into a threesome with Abby and a stranger. That’s only the start of her problems, however, as Abby interferes with every aspect of her life: She helps widen a rift with her boyfriend, encourages bad behavior at the job, and even takes it upon herself to slaughter her lecherous stepfather.

There’s nothing original here, and shame on you for looking to Nurse 3D with those expectations. This is a bona fide exploitation piece, and director Douglas Aarniokoski knows it. It’s a movie where a renowned surgeon (Judd Nelson) solicits sex from nearly every member of the nursing staff, where his shameless public conquests go ignored by the hospital’s HR woman. Aarniokoski chooses to accent these elements, creating a movie that revels in all the flesh its two leads are willing to show. It doesn’t go five minutes without a gratuitous ass shot. And it culminates in one of the most absurd splatter killing sprees in recent memory. In short, Nurse 3D may not be a trailblazer, no, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

It wouldn’t have been that way without Paz de la Huerta in the lead. In the hands of another actor, Nurse 3D might have disappeared alongside any number of films with the same DNA. De la Huerta is so odd that watching her becomes the movie’s greatest joy. Even the simplest line delivery is a baffling choice in her hands, and she’s so wacked off her rocker that we can’t ever buy that she had gone unchecked for this long. It’s just fun to watch her dominate the rest of the cast in her scenes, and right when it looks as though the movie is about to run out of steam, Aarniokoski kicks things into high gear for a bloodbath that’s as hilarious as it is bloody.

If I had a complaint, it’s that Nurse 3D does begin to coast on fumes somewhere in the second act. The earliest kills are relatively tame and de la Huerta is taken out of the action for longer stretches than recommended. But it rebounds nicely, and while the climactic splatter spree is a heck of a lot of fun, it’s also buoyed by chintzy CGI that will undoubtedly displease some older school fans looking for this to be a bona fide throwback. It also lets Niecy Nash off the hook without suffering a gruesome fate, which is the movie’s biggest sin.

If you’ve seen either the trailer or the colorful ad campaign (hard to miss if you’re a Dread Central reader), then you already know if Nurse 3D is in your wheelhouse. I had a great time with the goofiness and welcomed the experience. A lot of folks are likely to balk at its existence and move on, but trash filmmaking is incredibly difficult to pull off. There’s too often a wink at the camera or a nudge that tells us that everyone is in on the joke. Nurse 3D knows what it is, but it’s never compelled to let us know that it knows.

3 out of 5

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American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review

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Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

Directed by Colin Bemis


Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

  • Strawberry Flavored Plastic
3.5

Summary

Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)

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We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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Totem Review – It’s Not Always A Bad Thing To Look Up From The Bottom Level, If You Like That View

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Starring Kerris Dorsey, James Tupper, Ahna O’Reilly

Directed by Marcel Sarmiento


Following the untimely death of a family’s matriarchal figure, a young woman finds out that managing to hold all of the pieces in place becomes increasingly more difficult when otherworldly infiltrators make their presence felt. We’re going to have to work our way up this Totem, as

17 year old Kellie is the leading lady of the home following the passing of her mother Lexy, and with a needy father and tiny tot of a baby sister, she still keeps things in working order, regardless of the rather large hole that’s been left in the dynamic due to the death. Kellie’s dad after a while decides to ask his lady-friend to move in with the family, so that everyone can move onto a more peaceful existence…yeah, because those types of instances always seem to work seamlessly. As fate would have it, Kellie’s sense of pride is now taking a beating with the new woman in the mix, and her little sister’s new “visitor” is even more disturbed by this intruder – only question is, exactly who is this supernatural pal of sorts? Is it the spirit of their dead mother standing by to keep watch over the family, or is it something that’s found its way to this group, and has much more evil intentions at hand?

What works here is the context of something innately malicious that has found its way into the home – there are only a couple moments that come off as unsettling, but the notion of having to weave through more than half the film acting as a sullen-teen drama is rather painful. The presentation of the “broken family” is one that’s been done to death, and with better results overall, and that’s not to say that the movie is a complete loss, it just takes far too much weeding through at times stale performances and even more stagnant pacing to get to a moderately decent late-stage conclusion to the film. Under the direction of Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), I’d truly hoped for something a bit more along the lines of a disturbing project such as that one, but the only thing disturbing was the time I’d invested in checking this one out. My best advice is to tune into the Lifetime channel if you want a sulky teen-melodrama with a tinge of horror, or you could simply jump into this one and work your way up…but it’s a LONG way to the top.

  • Film
2.0

Summary

Sulky, moody, and ridden with teen-angst buried in the middle of a supernatural mystery – SOUNDS like a decent premise, doesn’t it?

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