Thursday, October 30, 2014

Horror Hospital

Horror Hospital (Dr. Bloodbath, Frankenstein Horror Klinik, Computer Killers) Directed By Anthony Balch, starring Michael Gough (1973).

If you're looking for a ghoulishly fun British horror film, this is a must see! Not even five minutes goes by before we get a motorized decapitation Rolls Royce with a handy dandy head catching basket. This film is in league with cryptic Brit favorites like Theatre of Blood, Dr. Phibes and the work of Peter Walker

Michael Gough and his dwarf pal Frederick (Skip Martin) are perturbed that two patients with blood soaked bandages on their scalps attempted to escape. They pay for their insolence with their lopped off heads. I remember seeing the image of the two victims on the cover of a zine in middle school called Demonique in the Fantaco catalog. 

They went alittle crazy with the condiments

   Jason Jones (Robin Askwith, who looks like they cloned Brian Jones) decides to take a vacation away from the music scene after a glam band steals one of his tunes. His ripped off song "Mark of Death" by Mystic is a pretty hilarious and sounds like Eric Burdon trying to imitate Alice Cooper. Askwith was also in Horror On Snape Island before this, which I've yet to see but remember fondly from the "Mad Ron's Prevues from Hell" tape.
Gingivitis I hardly knew yee

   Mr. Pollack (played by Ealing comedian Dennis Price) is a gay rotten toothed travel agent for Hairy Holidays. After checking out Jason's bulge he watches as the mop-toped yob sets off on a train. Jason meets a cute girl named Judy (Phoebe Shaw) who's timid at first, but he eases her mind by saying "Listen honey, I'm not gonna rape you". Yeah that's a reassuring opener, which I guess worked in 1973 because she trusts him and they become a couple. They check into a drafty health clinic where they are greeted by Fred the dwarf from the beginning who's unusually chipper and wears a yarmulke. Skip Martin, who was also in Vampire Circus, brings most of the black comedy to the film. 

This corn beef bloody better be kosher

   At dinner time, the couple (who are getting friskier by the minute) see a table full of pale teens with head wounds, there are glasses of green Kool-aid in front of them. 
I'm beginning to think Hairy Holidays is a scam to commit hippies to an insane asylum or worse!

Coloring books were often used to fool Hippies into impromptu lobotomies

   Dr. Storm (Michael Gough) shows up at the hotel and his midget servant keeps telling everyone to brush their teeth, he's an advocate for tooth wellness, not brain health. Storm has a grayish complexion, wears black leather gloves and travels in a wheelchair.

   There are two motorcycle henchmen who reminded me of the axe hacking maniac biker gang from The Undertaker and his Pals. They beat the piss out of Jason in the forest which really taps into that fantasy you might have in wanting to see one of those 60's era Rolling Stones jerks get what's coming to them.
Oh wait, you didn't drown, is Hendrix still alive too?

   This movie hates hippies and Dr. Storm uses the travel agency to lobotomize the teenagers.
He's kind of like Phil Spector and anyone that deserts him gets slaughtered, even those who were loyal to him. At the end he explains how he worked for Pavlov and after Stalin installed new adolescent runts, that was the last straw and the reason he hates the younger generation. His form of retaliation was to create a lobotomized human zoo. They tried this concept in Barn of the Naked Dead with unappealing results. It gets even weirder as we find out Dr. Storm is a mutant creature made out of melted wax and is seen fornicating with different girls. 

It's embarrassing but you're right we both have the same hair stylist

   The director Anthony Balch is a counterculture fixture who hung out with Burroughs and Kenneth Anger, later on he distributed some of the most highly regarded cult flms like Haxan, Supervixens and The Corpse Grinders (which was on a double bill with Horror Hospital). He never made another film and sadly died of stomach cancer in 1980, he was an extremely talented director. The score is great and uses stock music from the De Wolfe catalog to great effect, I guess I'm a sucker for library music as someone who is obsessed with all the Romero tracks from Dawn and Creepshow. This film is a total blast and a must see for people who are on the fence about British horror, it may just convert them.


I gotta run this over to the set of Brain Damage

Hold on! I'm indecent!

Mutant 69 which I guess you could call a 74

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