Horror Hospital (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Michael Gough, Robin Askwith, Vanessa Shaw, Ellen Pollock
Directed by Anthony Balch
Distributed by Dark Sky Films
Ah, the Seventies. Other than the extreme political unrest that occurred, it was a swingin' good time all around the world. It was a decade of inhibition, and rarely is there a finer example of such than in the movies that came out during that time. We're talking boundary pushers, man. Horror Hospital is your prime example of just how kooky things got, and now Dark Sky Films has released this little slice of insanity in all of its rare uncut and uncensored glory.
Rock stars live tumultuous lives, man. Sometimes they just need to get away. Such is the case for Jason (Askwith) as the inner city lunacy and the business itself are proving too much for him. Exhausted, he heads out on vacation to spend the weekend at a rural retreat. Along the way he meets a sexy bird by the name of Judy (Shaw), who's headed to the same place to spend some time with her aunt (Pollock) who works there. Upon arrival the couple don't engage in any of the rest and relaxation they were hoping for as all hell has broken loose. You see, the head doctor in charge (Gough) is turning all of his visitors into mindless zombies with the help of said aunt and a not-so-evil dwarf henchman who underneath it all just wants to escape himself.
Breasts are bared, heads are hacked, wickedness ensues, dwarfs are assaulted, and all the while you'll be grinning from ear-to-ear as despite its age, Horror Hospital still manages to pack as much punch now as it did upon its release. Seriously, it's kind of impossible to not have a good time with this flick, and if you don't, you may want to head on over to a real hospital to check your pulse. They just don't make them like this anymore. In fact, I think they'd be too frightened to even try.
In terms of the DVD special features, they are sadly on the lean side of the fence, but we're willing to give it a pass because the presentation of the film itself is nothing short of stunning. It's never been more complete and has certainly never looked better either.
What few extras there are consist of an interesting and informative, yet very much on the dry side, commentary with producer Richard Gordon and moderator Tom Weaver. Anecdotes are shared, tricks are revealed, and it's good for maybe one listen through, but we don't think you'll be coming back to it again anytime soon. Tack on a still gallery, and we are done.
It's great to have Horror Hospital back in form. The flick plays like a time capsule of a time when love was free, gore flowed like a river, and filmmakers weren't afraid to go too far. Don't get me wrong; by today's standards the events in this flick are sort of tame, but holy shit, are they also lots of fun!
4 out of 5
2 out of 5