Ode to VHS: Hospital Massacre

There are so many cliches in this film, I don’t even know where to begin. It’s also one of those films that I find hard to write about because there isn’t much to say. My love for VHS couldn’t keep me from tracking this down and sharing it with fans alike. It may be overflowed with cliches, bad lighting, and incredibly droll dialogue but it’s unintentionally hilarious and you get to see Barbi Benton naked. It has a decent amount of blood shed as well. The film fails to deliver any logic in it’s ridiculous plot line and we are given erroneous red herrings. As for the cliches; deranged killer out for revenge… CHECK! Nightmarish and unsettling music….. CHECK! Consistent heavy breathing from the killer…. CHECK! Creepy characters made to look like suspects…. CHECK!  Head in a box….. CHECK! Happy Valentine’s Day!

In 1961, Susan Jeremy and her brother are playing when a Valentine is left at the door by a psychopathic kid with a crush. Susan’s brother laughs at the Valentine, crumbles it, and throws the paper on the floor. The poor little psycho is heart broken and kills Susan’s brother while she is in the kitchen cutting up some cake with a surprisingly HUGE knife. This is another little tidbit filmmakers throw into horror films to add unreasonable and failing attempts to give us chills. Years later, Susan is all grown up and it’s time for her to pick up her X-Ray results from the doctor. Her doctor is murdered, her results are switched, and countless employees at the hospital are murdered in order to keep Susan restrained. I told you the plot was ridiculous. It even has some amazing quotes, “YOU STUPID NURSE!” Barbi Benton plays the role of Susan Jeremy. Barbi is one of Hugh Hefner’s favorite Playboy models. She began dating Hef in 1968 when she was 18 years old. Hef was 42. Go Hef! She made several appearances on The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and Hee Haw. The best part of this movie is her awkward and highly illegal physical exam that seems to last for several minutes. Her acting isn’t really all that bad. Compared to the other actors in this typical slasher, she deserves an Oscar.

I have so many questions that will probably go unanswered so I will use my imagination. For instance, why the hell was the killer breathing so hard? He appears normal in scenes where Barbi is talking to him unaware that he is the killer. He acts like a stand up guy. Then we see him enraged, throwing things around, and hitting the walls while breathing like a patient having a panic attack. Is this suppose to make him scarier or make him seem more psychotic? I also questions why this guy is a doctor in this building. Lets forget about the fact that he JUST SO HAPPENS to be working at the same hospital Barbi is a patient at. He murdered her little brother years ago. Even though she didn’t see him murder her brother, she sees him laughing outside the window and he was the one who sent the Valentine. I guess he was never charged with this murder? Or else he wouldn’t be working in a hospital. Where are there so many empty floors with the lights off? What’s up with the drunk, mental patient roaming around freely? Why didn’t he just kill her when he had the chance? He was alone with her before. What’s the deal with the creepy old ladies that appear out of nowhere in a dark hallway looking for another doctor? Does this hospital have a mental ward? It certainly must. What kind of exam is this? It’s humiliating and wrong! Last time I checked, you don’t have to undress completely for simple physical exams. It looked like the doctor enjoyed this exam a little too much. I would sue. Why is this woman so scared of a man with a sheet? Made me think about The Exorcist III. It is a little unnerving but comical at the same time. Why were there three men wearing gas masks? It made me think of My Bloody Valentine.

To my surprise, young Barbi and young (forgot the killer’s name) crazy doctor are roles performed by Susan Hoy and Billy Jacoby in Bloody Birthday, one of my favorite slasher films from the 80s and one of my favorite out of the killer kids bunch. I still say Billy Jacoby is wearing a member’s only jacket in Bloody Birthday. Little creep.

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