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Magnolia presents
Sick Nurses (2007)

"If the dead want to be jealous, that's up to them."
- Dr. Tar (Vichaya Jarujinda)

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: May 12, 2008

Stars: Vichaya Jarujinda, Chol Wachananont, Chidjun Rujiphan, Ase Wang, Ampairat Techapoowapat, Ampaiwan Techapoowapat, Kanya Rattanapetch, Dollaros Dechapratumwon
Director: Thospol Sirivivat, Piraphan Laoyont

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (language, violence, sexual content)
Run Time: 01h:22m:06s
Release Date: April 22, 2008
UPC: 876964001304
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A-B-B+ B-

DVD Review

The back cover of the bloody Thai horror flick Sick Nurses presents a nice synopsis of the plot. That's all well and good, except the filmmakers—writer/directors Thospol Sirivivat and Piraphan Laoyont—seem to have to gone to some measurable lengths to make the narrative not so clear cut. And it's not that there's really all that big of a reveal on the DVD case—it's actually fairly general—but it takes away a little from the manic uncertainty of trying to figure out just what the hell is going on.

I'll dance around the detailed particulars, as a courtesy nod to Sirivivat and Laoyont.

The setting is a desolate Thai hospital, the kind of empty place that makes the one Laurie Strode stumbled through in Halloween 2 look positively crammed with people by comparison. The film opens with a tag-team murder, committed by a group of six nurses and one doctor. It takes a bit of time for the facts to get laid out so that it all makes sense, yet the directors waste no time setting the stage for some evil supernatural retaliation. While the doctor spends much of the film driving around with a decomposing body in his trunk, the gaggle of young nurses appear targeted for death by a long-haired spirit, and in some really gruesome ways, too.

They're a visually interesting set of characters to look at. Who cares if they dress more like the male fantasy version of what nurses should wear? Really, I love the high heels. They're all ridiculously cute—did I mention the twins who like to get very close to one another?—and each has their one particular personal foible that eventually figures in to how they're destined to meet their fate. And while the lovely Ase Wang may be a joy to watch exercise, we know she's going to be hard pressed to survive dangling inside of a human hair cocoon. And she gets off easy compared to some of the others.

Sirivivat and Laoyont tease the eventual eruption of gore, fiddling around the first 40 minutes or so with some surreal strangeness, but little in the way of outright nastiness. Then it hits. There's a defining moment in Sick Nurses—a scene involving a mouthful of surgical blades—that suddenly propels this into the gory stratosphere for the rest of the 82-minute runtime. And it's not enough for the scene to end with a rather unexpected and startling image, because Sirivivat and Laoyont have to add a little rotten cherry on top, one that has a neat Evil Dead feel to it.

All of the prevalent dark humor, amidst the gore, is what gives Sick Nurses its edge, especially given that it's not a scary film in any way, shape, or form. Plus, once the plot details get revealed, Sirivivat and Laoyont see fit to take it up another notch by introducing a couple of twists that really push this one into the realm of mondo bizarro. Ghostly justice is indeed a bitch.

Outstanding.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer from Magnet isn't the prettiest thing I've ever seen, marred as it is by some really ugly blocks of grain, but at least it's inconsistent. When the transfer excels, colors and fleshtones are bold and natural, revealing a measurable amount of detail. The unfortunate downside are the moments when murky blacks swallow up edges, and combined with the grain, things begin to look a little rugged. No major blemishes or debris to contend with, so that's good.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Thai, Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Thai, Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Skip the shrill Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 English dubs and stick with the original Thai, equally available in either 5.1 (preferred) or 2.0. Nicely immersive when it counts—frequent weeping and the odd slamming door rise out the rears to add an effectively creepy texture to things. A few bursts from the sub are a pleasant plus, especially during the final 20 minutes or so, and the closing credits pop song sounds bright and clean.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Signal, Quid Pro Quo, Boarding Gate
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The Making Of Sick Nurses (06m:01s)—presented in Thai with English subs—sn't very long, and not necessarily all that groundbreaking, but directors Thospol Sirivivat and Piraphan Laoyont explain the somewhat obvious roots of the plot. Included in the piece are snippets of interviews with some of the doomed nurses (including a Thai-dubbed Ase Wang), augmented by some behind-the-scenes clips that, amongst other things, showcase Wang getting dunked upside down into a huge fish tank.

A few spooky trailers are also provided, and the disc is cut into 12 chapters with requisite English subtitles.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Dark humor, sexy nurses and inventive gore are the key ingredients of this very, very twisted Thai horror flick. There are a number of bizarro "WTF?" moments throughout Sick Nurses, and though there's a crapload of blood on display, this is as much fun as it is nasty.

Not for the squeamish, but adventurous horror fans with a penchant for brazen weirdness ought to eat this one up. Even the end credit sequence is a trip.

Highly recommended.

 


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