Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Murder Clinic (1966)


Murder Clinic Dir by Elio Scardamaglia/ Lionello De Felice (1966). 

This film is a part of the infamous triple bill “Orgy of the living dead” I mean just look at that snazzy poster! The film I’m reviewing here Murder Clinic went under the title of Revenge of the Living Dead and good ole Skunkape took a gondola trip to Sicily to procure this very copy for me. If you were curious, Kill Baby Kill- Mario Bava is the other “Living Dead” flick in the triple bill. Be sure and check out the straight jacket tongue wagglin’ trailer, which I first saw in Mad Ron’s Prevues from Hell (1987). This one won’t put you in a straight-jacket as advertised but it might make you drowsy if you despise this film subgenre. This begins with some spooky music in an ultra-gothic setting. I used to think Giallos were boring and wretched but lately I’ve been enjoying them more. I’m not even gacked up on some neck tension inducing sativa or my 18th cup of Folgers crystals.

So, if you can find it, check this one out. The typical Giallo black cloak/straight razor motif used later by Hitchcockian devotees like Brian DePalma and Dario A. is present. We’re trapped in a gaunt mental home with a cruel old carved apple faced female named Sheena (she looks more like a Hagatha). This character is played by Harriet Medin, who has quite a resume! She’s been in lots of Italians Horrors like Black Sabbath(1963), Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962) but then in her mature years The Terminator (1984), Fresh Prince (1993) and Quantum Leap (1984)! Yowza! 

I taught the Fresh Prince how to sucker punch

This movie has the eerie late-night vibe of a creature feature hosted by your fav horror host. Just picked one, there are so many—Dr. Gangrene from Nashville perhaps.

The surf guitar chugging peppers the score. The women in this mental home are very unsafe. Dr. Vance a ghoulish Victorian chap lies to a blonde nurse named Mary. Barbara Wilson who plays the newbie nurse literally never acted again after this role. William Burger plays the aforementioned Dr. Vance. Burger later on was in Devil Fish (1984) and a Lou Ferrigno Hercules (1983) flick. Dr. Vance’s wife has a hideously mangled face. Ooh---it's gruesome. It looks like a soggy Morlock or a mop that swept up a pile of chop-meat with a dangling oyster. 


Dr. Vance sometimes reminds me of Peter Cushing but utterly more unpleasant. He feels up the Giselle, a girl he finds lying in the forest by saying “I’m a Doctor”. He has something devious up his sleeve for sure. There’s a mental ill elderly lady with a big stuff white cat. The wooden paneled institute holds all kinds of unstable and fragile people. When they get jumpy, there’s a primitive medieval looking injection awaiting them, OUCH! There’s a seriously fucked up scene where a dude getting dragged under a horse carriage. Since it’s the mid 60s they darken the screen and we don’t see guts. Unless there’s a Corruption (1968) type uncensored cut I’m not aware of. 

insert pussy joke here

Giselle and Mary chat for a few mins and seem like opposites. Françoise Prévost was in Spirits of the Dead (1968) with Jane Fonda and The Possessor aka Return of the Exorcist (1975). 

We find out through his partner (maybe his nurse, I was never clear ) that Vance is a female killing creep who got away with his crimes. They’re obviously trying to make him look like the killer. One inmate named Fred tries to slice a Blonde’s throat with a glass bottle but Mary somehow gets him to come out of his hyper-manic episode. I hate this scene because this is supposed to be a hospital that treats mentally ill patients. There’s just the right dose of meds around the corner for Fred! Fred (Massimo Righi) was in two Bava movies Blood & Black lace (1964), Black Sabbath (1963) and a couple Spaghetti Wests. 

Fred will get the proper meds one day, just not in this insane asylum.

Anyway, Dr. Vance is busy shaving a Hamster, so me thinks medicine is too primitive if that shit is going on. It’s actually for a skin graft on his ugly wife’s face! 

There’s a late-night hallway encounter where Giselle takes one look at ole hemorrhoid Chewbacca (by that I mean Dr. Vance’s wife’s mug) and faints as the witch emits laughing guttural sounds. 

These boots are made for blackmail

Giselle, who looks a lot like Nancy Sinatra blackmails Vance because she saw him bury a corpse and thinks she has some leverage. Cut to she was attacked by the straight razor wielding maniac (who they pretty much give you the answer early on). 

poster for another film in the triple bill

This one leans very heavily on spooky Goth atmosphere and Victorian bullshit which is fine. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. This one reminds me slightly of Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967). Out of the triple bill I enjoyed it more than Kill Baby Kill (1966)or Fangs of the Living Dead (1969) directed by the same man who created The Blind Dead. There’s another film titled Revenge of the Living Dead (La revanche des mortes vivantes 1987) from France that is epic! I give this Giallo pudding 3 sprays of whip cream/
cheese in a can. Diabolik has and all region blu-ray.

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