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 Horror Hospital

We like the British understatement, because if it’s used well also creates very funny moments, but if it is used badly can to pass unnoticed even things that deserve morefame. It 's the case of this movie, which slips quiet and a bit' forgotten in the history of cinema. Unfairly.

Because this is a movie with a great Brit climax, British, a subtle irony and social criticism, all mixed with a gothic horror story.

Anthony Balch is the director, a very interesting artist who died at the age of 42 in 1980, which in addition to directing movies is a great friend and collaborator of William S.Burroughs and also a distributor of some successful films (among which we mention the new edition of "Freaks" and "Supervixens" and "Black Snake" of our beloved Russ Meyer).

In 1973, he works with Alan Watson on this story, starting only with the title and with the support of Richard Gordon the producer of his biggest hit "Secret Of Sex" of 1970.

The two that closed in a hotel room, write a classic story, based on a mad scientist and also on a character similar to Bela Lugosi, who is played by Michael Cough. This great English actor, often work with the "Hammer", in "Doctor Who" and it is certainly known to the general public thanks to the role of butler of the first four "Batman", two of which, as we know, directed by Burton, with whom he worked successively in "Sleepy Hollow" and "Corpse Bride."

The cast of "Horror Hospital" is completed with Ellen Pollock, important theater actress, with Dennis Price another important name in English cinema and theatre , here at sunset and a few months before the end of a life rich of professional success, but also very unruly  and especially with Robin Askwith. British actor, who here has an amazing resemblance to Mick Jagger until 1973 star in film and television productions without great success, but thanks to "Horror Hospital" and especially  to "Carry On Girls" to him the doors areopen to a series of sex comedies, four, and very successful, titled "Confession Of ..." (Window Cleaner, Pop Performer, Driving Instructor and Holiday Camp). The rest of his career is made up of a lot of theater and television productions.

He is the protagonist, Jason Jones, singer, that a little 'stressed decide to go on holiday and went to the "Hairy Holidays" agency that proposes the "Brittlehurst Manor" a clinic known for total relaxation holidays.

On the train to the "Brittlehurst", he meets Judy (Phoebe Shaw, who starred in several commercials and some television work here is renamed Vanessa) who is going there too, but to meet an aunt.

The place is famous just for relaxing holidays, but the first impression is this is a dark and gothic place dark and gothic and the dwarf servant (a bit 'at Riff Raff's "Rocky Horror Show") increases the discomfort.

In fact, the "Brittlehurst Manor" is just an excuse to attract young "rebels" and drop them into the hands of Dr.Storm (Cough) a Finnish scientist expelled from the Soviet Union and evidently refugee in Britain, where he continued with his evil experiments.

Our heroes make every effort to fight the Dr.Storm, like every story wants, also having to do with his weapons and his loyal henchmen. Men and the weapons of great charm must to say. Motorcycle guards dressed in black wearing a helmet in the interior too and a fantastic Rolls Royce with retractable blade that cuts the heads with incredible ease.

A small but interesting horror "low budget" that not miss a number of "bizarre" things that facilitate the flow of the plot. For example the meeting of Jason and Judy (she is the only woman on the train) or the fact that the they share to the "Brittlehurst Manor" a double bedroom and a minute later she is already naked ( and the first time).

Little things good for the genre that make us appreciate "Horror Hospital", which was destroyed in Italian with a very stupid title.



Fact Sheet

Original title: Horror Hospital





Alternative Title: Computer Killers (USA), prohibited Diary of a women's college (Italy), Doctor Bloodbath, Frankenstein Horror-Klinik (Germany), La Griffe de Frankenstein (France), Skräcksjukhuset (Sweden)



Length: 100 '(uncut version)

Country: United Kingdom

Directed by Antony Balch

Starring: Michael Gough, Robin Askwith, Vanessa Shaw, Ellen Pollock, Dennis Price, Skip Martin, Kurt Christian

Production House: Noteworthy Films