Saturday, April 29, 2006
Visiting Hours (1982)
So, this time I did decide to participate in the Final Girl Film Club to watch the hospital horror movie Visiting Hours. I was enticed to watch because William Shatner was in it (he is mildly amusing to me) and it was set in a hospital (I hate hospitals - they freak me out). I was sorely disappointed in Shatner, the hospital setting and the movie in general.
It was a real snooze, and played out more as a thriller (though it didn't thrill me at all) than as a horror movie.
It begins with our heroine, Deborah Ballin (Lee Grant) conducting a TV interview on women's rights, abusive relationships and women's self defense. She defends an abused women who is on trial for killing her husband, though Ballin argues it was just self defense. This opening scene lets the viewers know that Ballin is a strong woman who stands up for women's rights.
After being told by her producer (William Shatner) that her segement won't air, Ballin is upset and heads home. Her house is a real pigsty and we follow her throughout while she has a series of fake scares (a loose parrot, water left running in the shower, etc.). There are many POV shots that mimic someone watching her (from inside a closet, for example), but most of them turn out to be fake. This gimmick is used all throughout the movie and it really started to get on my nerves.
Finally, the killer, who appears to be nude and wearing her jewelry, jumps at at her and slices her up a bit. She gets away and tries to escape via dumbwaiter (brilliant!) until the killer cuts the cord and she falls to the first floor. Then some guy comes running up the steps to her rescue and she gets carted off to the hospital.
Ok, did my DVD skip or something? Did I leave the room? I think I missed something from when she crashed to the first floor to someone rescuing her...can anyone clue me in?
At the hospital, we meet the kindly Nurse Sheila (Linda Purl) who takes care of Ballin in the hospital. She is intent on keeping Ballin safe. The rest of the film switches between showing us the killer (Michael Ironside) trying to get to Ballin and Ballin trying to keep away from the killer. This film focused a lot on the killer and his life. It may have shown and explained too much, for the killer wasn't scary to me, just pathetic in his hate for women. I really just wanted to rip his testicles clean off and shove them down his throat.
Mr. Killer terrorizes any women that get in his way. He enjoys torturing them a little bit before they die. He takes Poloroids of them as they are dying. He doesn't mind killing any men that get in his way, but (predictibly) he has a mommy complex and loves watching women suffer and die. It sounds sick (and it is), but not scary. He just ended up pissing me off and I loved watching him get his in the end.
I don't feel like going into the rest of the movie since it's basically just the killer sneaking in and out of the hospital trying to kill Ballin. This movie coulda-shoulda-woulda been a whole lot better if it focused more on the terror of being stuck in a hospital with a killer coming after you instead of focusing on the killer. Also, Shatner was sorely misused and his character was BORING. The hospital setting did convey a sense of isolation, but I think it could have been better utilized. It seems a waste of space to write anymore about it, so skip this movie unless you're perverted and like to see hate for women spread out on the screen.
Check it out on Amazon!