05/24/2015  
Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26HeForShe Campaign Features Star-Studded Cannes ConversationDespite The Gods on DVD May 19The Gunman on Digital HD Jun 16 & Blu-ray Combo Jun 30So Bright Is the View on DVD May 26Bar Rescue: Toughest Rescues on DVD May 19

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2...
See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26...
First look: Bill Murray in Netflix's "A Very Murray Chr...
'Late Show' Set Dismantled A Day After David Letterman ...
'Dancing With the Stars' Finale: Who Took Home the Gold...
Jane Fonda Admits She's 'Not Proud' of Plastic Surgery...
Everyone is missing the most important part of Louis C....
HeForShe Campaign Features Star-Studded Cannes Conversa...
Despite The Gods on DVD May 19...
Natalie Portman to Play Jackie Kennedy in Film About JF...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Elite Entertainment presents
Horror Hospital (1973)

"'Sun and Fun for the Under-30s—Hairy Holidays.' Yeah, I fancy something a little hairy."
- Jason Jones (Robin Askwith)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: August 03, 2000

Stars: Robin Askwith, Ellen Pollock, Michael Gough
Other Stars: Dennis Price, Vanessa Shaw, Kurt Christian
Director: Anthony Balch

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: R for (nudity, graphic violence, language)
Run Time: 01h:30m:24s
Release Date: November 02, 1999
UPC: 790594467722
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- CA-C- C

DVD Review

Horror Hospital is an unusual British horror film, released in 1973 and very much "of its time." The story concerns shaggy young Jason Jones (Robin Askwith), a frustrated rocker with a Mick Jagger sneer who arranges a much-needed vacation through a creepy travel agent (Dennis Price.) He meets a young woman named Judy (Vanessa Shaw) en route to the same destination, and the pair soon arrive at Brittlehouse Manor, a sanitarium operated by a Dr. Storm (Michael Gough) and Judy's Aunt Harris (Ellen Pollock). After a little free lovin', Jason and Judy attend their first meal at the "health resort" and discover that the other young visitors are catatonic zombies. When the faucet in their room spews blood-red water late that night, the pot-addled lovers begin to suspect that something is not right. When Abraham (Kurt Christian) shows up looking for his lost girlfriend, the horrifying truth begins to emerge.

This movie is another one of those frustrating "near misses" so familiar to horror fans. When Horror Hospital works, it's bloody good fun—the doctor's limousine is equipped with a decapitation device (complete with head-catcher), the mindless but supernaturally agile "Bike Boys" parody American motorcycle cops, and there's a charming, good-natured, quintessentially British tone about the whole sordid affair. Broad, scenery-chewing performances (by some fine actors) generally suit the movie well, although Askwith's strenuous cheekiness grows tiresome after a while. 1970's fashions and hairdos add to the film's entertainment value for entirely the wrong reasons, as do the red-paint "blood" and other clumsy gore effects in this early sex-and-violence flick. The film benefits from some great old Hammer-esque sets, and the physical production is competent if unspectacular.

Unfortunately, the film's requisite genre trappings too often interfere with the pleasures of a stay at Horror Hospital—director/co-writer Anthony Balch's genuinely creative ideas are too often interrupted by his hackneyed story, another in the long line of stranded-couple melodramas parodied by Richard O'Brien in The Rocky Horror Show. Horror Hospital plods along in a thoroughly conventional fashion spiced up by a few see-it-to-believe-it moments—it delivers the cheesy "old dark sanitarium" goods, but its occasional flashes of humor and style make its general mediocrity all the more disappointing.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Elite Entertainment presents Horror Hospital in its original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The image is slightly soft due to the age of the film, but Elite has come up with an excellent source print, very clean with just a few minor flecks and reel-change markers. Color is rich and bright and detail is quite good, even in darker scenes. This film has almost certainly never looked better, even in its original theatrical run, and it's great to see an obscure genre film like this given such a fine (though non-anamorphic) transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Horror Hospital features a Dolby Digital 2.0 monophonic soundtrack, decoded to play through the center speaker in ProLogic systems. The digital transfer is clean with remarkably little hiss, but the soundtrack hasn't aged well. Significant distortion arises in music and elsewhere, and dialogue clarity and volume varies—a few scenes that were recorded "live" are much more difficult to understand than the obviously "looped" scenes that make up most of the film. The soundtrack features a few creatively off-the-wall music cues, and Elite's DVD rendition is solid enough, but this is generally a flat and occasionally irritating audio experience.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 21 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Elite Entertainment provides a few standard supplements for Horror Hospital. Menu designs are static but snazzy, adorned with bright-red blood, and picture menus link to the disc's generous 21 chapter stops.

The disc's only "extra" is the theatrical trailer from the film's double-feature pairing with The Corpse Grinders, but it's a wonderful addition that raises this rating significantly. Likely due to trailer content restrictions, Horror Hospital is presented with almost NO footage from the film, opting instead for a series of text messages daring audience members to "See It With Someone You Hate!" and utilizing an extremely brief shot from the film in which no cast members are recognizable. This is old-fashioned horror exploitation marketing at its best, and worth repeat viewing even after you've tired of the film itself.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

Horror Hospital is an interesting "mod" horror movie, though its best ideas are buried in its formulaic mad-doctor plot. Elite Entertainment gives the film a solid DVD release with great image quality and a terrific trailer, and if the straightforward title appeals, you'll probably find this early gore disc worthwhile.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

sci-fi, drama, television, a very murray christmas, bill murray, netflix, sophia coppola, george clooney, amy poehler, chris rock, paul shaffer, rashida jones, miley cyrus, the late show, david letterman, ed sullivan theater, taco bell, dancing with the stars, abc, rumer willis, riker lynch, noah galloway, val chmerkovskiy, celebrity, jane fonda, mile high club, plastic surgery, grace and frankie, saturday night live, louis c.k., racism, israel-palestine, movies, cannes, documentary, movie, jackie, jackie kennedy, darren aronofsky, pablo larrain, pitch perfect 2, rebel wilson, super fun night, derek hough, nastia liukin, american idol, fox, jennifer lopez, harry connick jr., keith urban, ryan seacrest, gary newman, daytime soap, general hospital, anthony geary, genie francis, frank valenti, mad max: fury road, mel gibson, george miller, tom hardy, hugh keays-byrne, charlize theron, the cw, arrow, the vampire diaries, supernatural, the originals, jane the virgin, the flash, the 100, izombie, reign, beauty and the beast, action, afc football championship game, jim mcnally, john jastremski, tom brady, bill belichick, music, prince, baltimore, rally 4 peace, freddie gray, 3rdeyegirl, metropolitan museum of art gala, kim kardashian, chloe sevigny, john paul gaultier, georgia may jagger, sarah jessica parker, rihanna, comedy, scifi, joss whedon, the avengers, chris evans, cris hemsworth, samuel l. jackson, scarlett johansson, jerem renner, revenge, manhattan love story, selfie, the mccarthys, the millers, gracepoint, mulaney, red band society, utopia, bad judge, dallas, 10th birthday party, kelly monaco, maks chmerkovskiy, meryl davis, hemorrhage, australia, tokyo, san francisco golden gate, docuementary

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store