(1973 / UK)
''The Operation is a Success ... When the Patient Dies''
When a movie starts with its villain of the piece sat in the back of his stately car, replete with its own driver and a subservient dwarf, who gives the order to chase down two bloodied and frightened young people desperately fleeing for their lives, you know that your in for a pre politically correct experience. When that villain is a ghoulishly cast Michael Gough as a Dr. Frankenstein like surgeon, revelling in every scene at his unreservedness in such a maniacal role, that experience is guaranteed to be heightened.
Any movie starting with a scene showing a diabolical double decapitation by means of a devilishly deviant design of lethal retractable blade, attached to the roof side of a speeding car and initiated into lateral position at the press of a button, is deserving in its place of memorable opening moments. Up there with those great Hammer Horror sequences where Van Helsing chases down Count Dracula, recounting the closure of the previous movie and spawning the start of a new chapter. A bloody action packed introduction then to the deliciously dark humoured delights that unfold in … Horror Hospital !.
The wryly dark vein of smile inducing humour flows throughout proceedings, in an anarchic, unrestrained irreverence to British societies nonchalance during the early Seventies. Everything is over the top, including the seemingly quite often adlibbed acting, and infectious for it in making the movie far more palatable than had it been done overtly serious.
Horror Hospital is highly deserving of your ‘patience’, and well worth checking into. Just be sure to get prescribed the full incisive cut of the film before undertaking such movie medication !.
Movie Rating: 6/10
Review by Paul Cooke / Source UK PAL Region 2 DVD
Horror Hospital (1973)
Director Antony Balch
With Michael Gough, Robin Askwith & Vanessa Shaw