Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sick Nurses (2007)

The "Asian Ghost" genre is pretty well known thanks to films like "Ringu", "Ju-On" and "The Eye" giving the world specters with long black hair and bad intentions their day in the spotlight. However, like many sub-genre's in horror, it eventually got old, with movie after movie giving audiences little in the way of surprises, and with that lost interest. So, what kind of movie could take this concept and add a few new things to it? Well, how about the Thai film "Sick Nurses", which adds gore and a sadistic sense of humor to the equation.

Meet Dr. Taa (Wichan Jarujinda), who has seven nubile nurses working for him-as well as a black market organ ring. Well, one of the girls isn't too keen on this, so the other nurses kill her. Seven days later, she's back as a ghost, and she's pissed off.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, the thing that sets this apart from other "Asian Ghost" movies is the gory violence and sadistic humor on display. In some ways, this feels kind of like a grotesque, blackly comic goof on the sub-genre, with plenty of soap opera melodrama and off-kilter twists managing to keep our interest. This is also more of a slasher movie with Italian horror like undertones, as each death is creative and at times humorous in their own sick way. Highlights in the carnage include death via suffocation from very long hair, a scene that brings to mind the old J.G. Thirlwell pseudonym "You've Got Foetus on Your Breath", and a conclusion that shamelessly lifts from Takashi Miike's "Gozu."

That out of the way, the movie does run into two problems. One is the acting, as everybody (except for Chidjan Rujiphun as Nook) is pretty bad all around, with no real reason to care if anyone here lives or dies, though that might be the point. Also, though it's got some really nasty violence, the movie is afraid to deliver on the nudity department. This is the kind of movie in which a girl showers with her clothes on, which puts a damper on a film that should be shameless exploitation.

Still, "Sick Nurses" is a fun but not great take on a tired sub-genre that throws in enough curve balls and surprises to keep the viewers interest. Not a bad way to spend a boring afternoon.

Rating: 6.5/10

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