Y'know, before slasher films became self-aware parodies, they actually tried to frighten their audiences...I know, those of you who have only seen the Scream films and stuff like Saw probably think that slashers are supposed to be either ironic comedies or torture porn, but before the '90's, some slasher flicks were actually pretty scary. This week's film, Visiting Hours, is a pretty good example of this. As always, SPOILERS will apply, so read at your own risk!
The story opens up with Deborah, a reporter, interviewing a criminal defense lawyer. He's defending a serial rapist, and she gives him the 5th degree. As the interview gets more tense, her boss Gary, played by William Shatner has the station cut the segment short. Oh, and the suspected rapist, played by a rather creepy Michael Ironside, is sitting at home, getting angrier at the feminist reporter by the second.
On the way out, he tells her that her interview style is bound to piss off a number of viewers, and that he probably won't allow the segment to get on the air. Being William Shatner, he delivers every line with wild arm gestures and weird emphasis on random words. Anyway, Deborah wishes him a good night, then heads home. Angry, she decides to walk home.
Well, apparently "walking home" meant something else back in 1982, because we see her parking a car in front of her house in the very next scene. Inside, she finds wineglasses and empty bottles in several rooms. Her housekeeper, Francine, is nowhere in sight. The movie then treats us to a good ol' fashioned scary movie cliches montage: doors open loudly for no reason, lights flicker, there's even a pet parrot that leaps at Deb from out of nowhere.
Deb finally decides that it's okay to relax. She prepares to take a shower, and hears something in her bedroom. It's Colt, wearing jewelry, brandishing a knife and half-naked. He cuts Deb, and a chase around her home begins. Deb sees that the wound is gushing blood, so she locks herelf in the bedroom and tries to dial 911. As she realizes that the phone is dead, Colt removes some of the jewelry and starts to vandalize Deb's bedroom.
She opens a window, but no one outside can hear her screams for help. Deb decides to escape via a dumbwaiter, just seconds before Colt enters the bathroom. He finds her almost immediately, and they play tug-of-war with the pulley's ropes. Frustrated, the killer decides to cut the rope, and let her fall to her death. She crashes, but lives. As Deb tries to crawl to safety, she comes face-to-face with an older man, who calls 911.
At the hospital, the doctors determine that Deb has a fracture, but that the knife wound just missed being a fatal cut by a few inches. She's unconscious, but very much alive. Colt returns to his apartment, where he is accosted by a nosy neighbor who has the hots for him. Colt ignores her flirting and heads straight for his apartment.
His apartment is filled with framed letters and pictures of women he's attacked. I guess he doesn't get his decorating tips from Martha Stewart. Colt washes up and gets ready to go back out, and we see a menacing silhouette move toward Deb's hospital curtain. It's not Colt, though---it's some goofy-looking nurse who offers her a sip of juice. She tells Deb that the police need to ask her some questions, and that she's recovering from the attack rather well.
The investigators enter the room, and the nurse quietly leaves the room. At the nurses' station, we meet another potential victim, Connie, who has a VERY active social life. It's a good thing the killers in these movies don't kill oversexed young women, huh? She gets killed a few scenes later, in the room of an elderly female patient. Nurse Forehead finds the bodies, then chases Colt, who escapes via the elevator. After the police question her, our large-skulled nurse turns down a police escort and drives herself home.
Colt starts to follow her, clenching and unclenching a rubber ball. As the nurse gets home, she picks up some of her children's toys in the front yard, one of which sounds like a baby hyena having an orgasm. As she gets into the house, checks on her kids, and strips, a half-nude woman joins her. ROWR!
At a nearby coffee shop, Colt stares intently at a young blond. She ditches her friends and follows him home. Wow, that's smart! Colt's nosy neighbor tries to spy on them, but he slams her door before she can even voice a single syllable.
Inside his apartment, Colt spills a drink on the girl, themn tells her to strip. When she refuses, Colt aggressively attacks her and rapes the poor girl. He forces her onto his bed, then threatens her with a knife, but lets her live.
Deb decides to give a press conference during all of this, but finds the questions about her attack rather unnerving. Colt watches the press conference with his elderly father, and it brings back repressed memories of his father abusing him sexually.
Back in the hospital, Deb decides to visit the female patient in her old room, unaware that she was murdered. A patient named Vinnie tells her about the murder, and Deb demands to be released. Nurse Forehead tries to calm her down, which only makes her more upset. Somehow this leads to an abrupt scene where Deb is seen on a stretcher, surrounded by medical staff. Yup, it's always wise to confuse your audience.
In the next scene, we see Colt stealing a hospital uniform. An actual doctor walks in, sees that he doesn't belong, then demands that Colt leaves. The next time we see Colt, he enters the O.R. and injects something into Deb's IV. She starts freaking out, then falls asleep.
The scene abruptly changes again, and we see our favorite nurse trying to get her children off to school. One of the kids, Bridget, is sick and decides to stay home. Colt starts to photograph the mother, then returns home to make a collage. Oh, and he has more flashbacks.
Deb, awake after her surgery, tries to tell Gary that she saw her attacker in the operating room, but he refuses to take her claims seriously. Heck, he even starts eating her dessert in front of her. Then Nurse Forehead meets a patient in a clinic, the same blond who Colt beat up and raped a few scenes earlier.
Colt listens to a radio show, then sneaks back into the hospital through some tunnels underground. While Deb and the nurse bond, Colt meets a chatty patient who gives him WAY too much info about Deb and the staff. Colt nearly gets spotted, but ducks into the patient's room to hide out.
Shatner and Deb argue about her release, and she decides to try to formulate a way to capture the deranged attacker. That night, Colt enters her wing dressed as a doctor. After making sure that no one saw him, he kills the talkative male patient by stuffing the rubber ball into his mouth, then stabbing him to death. The security guard rushes in, and Colt attacks him, too.
As Colt escapes, Deb has a breakdown, and thev nurse soaks up her tears with thsat ginormous monstrosity of a forehead. Colt goes back to the underground tunnels to ditch his disguise, gets to his van, and drives away.
At his apartment, though, Colt gets a nasty surprise: someone broke in! They spraypainted the walls, they wrecked the furniture--and they found his picture room. He sees that two photos of Deb have been taken, and he rushes back out.
The hospital is in chaos, filled with cops and staff. Shatner promises to stay with Deb all night, and calms her down. Again. Nurse Forehead discovers that the girl that Colt raped earlier was the one who vandalized his home. When she swees the pictujres of Deb and herself, she tells the girl to take them to Deb's room.
A phone call from Colt makes the nurse freak out. She tries to get one of the many cops to follow her home, but they all refuse, so she races off by herself. Upstairs at the hospital, the rape victim waits to be escorted into Deb's room.
Back at the House That Forehead Built, Colt watches her drive up. She stops nat the kitchen first to grab a weapon to stab him with, then finds her kid's dolls beheaded in the living room and screams. She checks on both children next, and they seem safe. Back in the hallway, she thinks she sees movement from another room, and tries to sneak up on the intruder, but that room tourns out to be empty.
Nurse Forehead goes back downstairs to call the police, and Colt attacks her while she's on the phone, stabbing her in the stomach and taking her picture. While she cries out and writhes in pain, the kids all wake up, and call the police. As more cops arrive at the hospital, the rape victim, Deb and the Shat all stand around staring at the crowd and confusion.
Colt heads home, drinks some beer, and takes several pills from two botles. Then he smashes the beer bottle with his arm, and grinds the glass into his arm before calling 911. As both ambulances arrive at the hospital, we see the injured nurse with a breathing tube in her mouth. One of the kids glimpses Colt on a stretcher, and hides her face from him.
The SWAT team gets to his apartment, with Shatner tagging along. They find the photo collage, which shows that, without the pictures the young woman removed, it looks just lik,e a human skull. Creepy!
Colt waits for the nurse who brings him to get x-rays to leave, then sets his plan in motion. He sneaks into a handful of private hospital rooms, and fiddles around with their life-saving monitors. Then he attacks one of the security guards. Finally, he assaults Deb in her own bathroom.
She tries to grab a weapon, but he makes her drop it, so she throws a cup of clear liquid at Colt's face. It must have been acid, because he howls in pain and starts clawing at his eyes. As he starts to wash his eyes out with water, Deb runs. She makes it to an elevator, but not before he manages to get his arm in the door. She manages to hurt him with her shoes, and presses a number of random buttons.
Deb gets off after a few floors, and starts running again, and Colt starts chasing when his elevator door opens and he hears her. His kooky neighbor is in the hall outside his apartment, and she tells Shat about his trip to the hospital not long ago. As Deb lures Colt into a secluded, underground wing of the hospital, we see Nurse Forehead being treated, and a dog who barks at Deb from behind a large window. There's also a figure driving one of the staff's undrground go-karts, but it's not Colt.
Deb, thinking it IS him, hides. After the driver leaves, Colt leaps at her, and the chase resumes. Deb hides in an X-ray room, and sees Nurse Forehead on the examination table. A technician finds her and promises to get help. After a moment, Deb decides to see if the coast is clear, and finds Cole staring at her. The stupid inane chase begins yet again.
Colt chases her around a corner, and finds himself facing a series of curtainsd. Ripping down all 3 reveals nothing, sop he starts to wander a little bit. He finds another closed curtain and hesitates, just before a hands comes out, holding a scalpel. Deb stabs Colt several times, then uses the blade to push the killer to the floor. As he lays there dying, Deb sloooowly starts to leave, and Colt jumps at her one last time, grabbing her ankle with one bloody hand. Then he dies again.
As Nurse Sheila is wheeled away to b e operated on, Shatner and Deb find each other and head for the exit. The credits roolover Colt's grinning face. THE END
Well, despite being a day late and having NONE of the editing tools work,ing, I think I did pretty good this week. The movie? Eh, not so much. Thesetting was generic, and the heroine was downright pathetic. As far as hospital horror goes, I'd give this 2 out of 5 killer trees.
And what did I learn from Visiting Hours?
-Foreheads are deadly.
-Old women and drugged-out teens find killers to be sexy.
-Hospitals are death traps!!
No idea what my next slasher is, so it'll be a surprise for all of us! Hopefully, by then the editing tools will be working again!