Wednesday, July 14, 2010

HORROR HOSPITAL

After not releasing any vintage exploitation discs for a year or more, Dark Sky Films is back on the cult DVD scene with the 1973 comic fright film, HORROR HOSPITAL.

A creepy mad scientist named Dr. Christian Storm (Michael Gough, HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM, KONGA) runs a private sanitarium in the English countryside, where he experiments on young people, turning them into lobotomized, mind-controlled slaves. His experiments are going swimmingly until a young songwriter, Jason Jones (Robin Askwith, QUEEN KONG), and his pretty new girlfriend, Judy (lovely Vanessa Shaw), arrive on the scene and jeopardize his sick and sinister plans (whatever the hell those plans actually are)...

A blackly comic horror film in the tradition of THEATER OF BLOOD or some of the Amicus anthologies, HORROR HOSPITAL (also known as COMPUTER KILLERS) is an entertaining - if nonsensical - 90 minutes filled with early-70s charm and solid performances by the experienced cast. Solidly directed by Antony Balch, HORROR HOSPITAL is a hoot, with brief nudity, gouts of blood, an automobile equipped with a blade to behead pedestrians, shuffling hippy zombies, English counter-culture slang and fashion, and a dwarf minion (Skip Martin, VAMPIRE CIRCUS) who almost steals the show with his darkly humorous performance.

Previously released ages ago on DVD by Elite Entertainment, the new Dark Sky edition features a stunning, 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen HD transfer from the original 35mm negative. It is flawless. Audio is a clear 2.0 mono. Extra features are slim, with only an audio commentary by producer Richard Gordon & film historian Tom Weaver, and a still gallery, but the commentary is very good, with the elderly Gordon having remarkable recall, vividly recounting the film's making.

If you're a fan of the British "camp" horror films of the 70s, HORROR HOSPITAL is a fun entry in the genre, and Dark Sky's DVD is gorgeous. Recommended.

BUY: Horror Hospital