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Horror Hospital

Horror Hospital (1973) Movie Poster
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  •  UK  •    •  90m  •    •  Directed by: Antony Balch.  •  Starring: Michael Gough, Robin Askwith, Vanessa Shaw, Ellen Pollock, Dennis Price, Skip Martin, Kurt Christian, Barbara Wendy, Kenneth Benda, Martin Grace, Colin Skeaping, George Herbert, James Boris IV..
       Jason, a member of a 1960's pop group, decides he needs a break at a country retreat. On the train he meets Judy, niece of Aunt Harris who owns the place with her husband Dr Storm and who are using the guests for surgical mind-control experiments. So while Jason and Judy are pretty quickly making out, they are just as quickly working out how to get away.

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 2:01
 
 
 1:03
 
 

Review:

Image from: Horror Hospital (1973)
Image from: Horror Hospital (1973)
Image from: Horror Hospital (1973)
Image from: Horror Hospital (1973)
Image from: Horror Hospital (1973)
Image from: Horror Hospital (1973)
Image from: Horror Hospital (1973)
Image from: Horror Hospital (1973)
Perhaps the late great Michael Gough's last stab at a leading role and he relishes it, but the film (made for another prominent exploitation figure, Richard Gordon) lets him down pitifully! Incidentally, I guess the reason why his name is not as well-known (apart from aficionados) as that of, say, Vincent Price or Christopher Lee is that, even at his best, the overall quality of the films were markedly inferior!

Anyway, this pits him in another typical environment -' people being sent to a health clinic come face to face with their worst nightmare; similarly, we have a reconstituted fire victim for a villain with a dwarf as his all-purpose servant (played by Skip Martin). The hero is the future star of the sexy "Confessions" series Robin Askwith, while his female counterpart (who does little throughout the film but disrobe and scream her head off!) proves to be the niece of Gough's assistant and lover, a former Madam whose clients had served as the doctor's guineas pigs!! Typically, he intends building an army made up of wholly subservient subjects; amusingly, they are frequently made to exercise in his private gym but this does nothing to remove the very conspicuous scars on their lobotomized foreheads!

Also on hand is Dennis Price as the bemused (and openly gay) tour agent who advertises Gough's specialized treatment; a review I read claims his performance is hilarious but, to me, it only felt embarrassing! His character is eventually revealed to have been blackmailing Gough, but he is disposed of before long (as are a number of others) in inventively grisly fashion via decapitation-by-blades protruding from the doctor's Rolls Royce (with a strategically-placed basket to catch the falling head)! There is also the sinister elderly station master (perhaps intended to evoke Boris Karloff!) who informs Gough of new arrivals. What to make, then, of the slimy Swamp Thing-like monster which is revealed to be hiding under the villain's 'synthetic flesh'...?!

P.S. For a more rewarding (and sobering) contemporaneous film on the same themes, try Alain Jessua's SHOCK TREATMENT aka DOCTOR IN THE NUDE starring Alain Delon and the late Annie Girardot.


Review by MARIO GAUCI from the Internet Movie Database.