Monday, September 21, 2009

On DVD in the U.K.: Sick Nurses

Sick Nurses, a movie I didn't appreciate when it was released in Thailand in 2007, but has since gone on to be something of a cult hit internationally, is being released on Region 2 DVD today in the United Kingdom by Revolver Entertainment.

The story of six saucy, misbehaving nurses and a doctor being terrorized in a hospital, perhaps I would have tolerated Sick Nurses if, right before it was released, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Syndromes and a Century hadn't been censored because it contained hospital scenes deemed inappropriate. Some friendly old-lady doctors enjoying a wee nip of whisky or a doctor kissing his girlfriend and getting a chubby in his trousers while in a hospital are not okay, but doctors and nurses engaging in illegal activities, having sex and being hunted down by a vengeful spirit in a hospital is okay?

Okay. Whatever. Maybe one day I'll get over the ridiculous, blinkered hypocrisy of it all and sit down to watch the generously English-subtitled DVD and at least appreciate the pretty cool cinematography and production design.

Interestingly, I think Sick Nurses (สวยลากไส้, Suay Laak Sai) was one of the reasons producer Prachya Pinkaew became involved in the process of helping to implement Thailand's motion-picture ratings system, because Sick Nurses faced censorship too. Seems the authorities thought that having a giant spinning first-aid cross sign falling off a building and spinning across a lawn to kill someone was going over the line.

Under today's rating system, I'm not sure Syndromes and a Century or the spinning cross of Sick Nurses would fare any better. Must not criticize the Thai medical establishment. Or criticize Thailand at all for that matter.

Anyway, here's the sales blurb from Revolver Entertainment:

From the makers of Ong-Bak and Chocolate comes Sick Nurses, a superlative supernatural Thai splatterfest directed by Thodsapol Siriwiwat (Suicide Me) and Paraphan Laoyont (making his feature directorial debut) and concerning the fate of a group of unfeasibly sexy nurses who make the deadly error of murdering one of their own.

Out of the operating theatres of the relatively quiet hospital in which they work, seven young nurses and their handsome, well-respected doctor, Taa, are running an illegal but highly profitable business harvesting dead bodies and selling their parts on the black market. When one of the nurses, Tawan, discovers her love affair with Taa has been compromised by his infidelity with her sister, a fellow nurse, she threatens to expose the scam to the authorities. Quickly deciding they have too much to lose, the other nurses viciously murder their colleague in order to protect themselves.

However, a week later, a local superstition claiming the dead often return to their loved ones seven days after their death is fulfilled when the tormented spirit of Tawan pays an unexpected visit to the hospital to exact a terrifying revenge on her murderers, in each instance playing on their individual obsessions and weaknesses.

Hostel meets The Grudge in this innovative and bizarre horror” (Slasherpool) as the filmmakers pull out all the stops to present one of the most imaginatively grotesque and original shockers you are likely to see in a long while. Vividly shot in a gloriously lurid style that recalls the early work of Dario Argento (Suspiria, Inferno), Sick Nurses will delight hungry gore-hounds with its increasingly rapid succession of inventive death sequences that build to a totally unpredictable and deliriously gory finale.

There's a trailer too. It's embedded below.

Update: DVD Times as a review.

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