Film #128: HORROR HOSPITAL
2 out of 5 stars
The great Michael Gough (HORROR OF DRACULA, Tim Burton’s BATMAN, HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM) acts in this Antony Balch (BIZARRE) directed horror comedy from 1973. Fans of the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW will recognize a LOT of the plot devices in this film. From a sexually active couple in old castle/mansion, leather clad bikers, gore, an evil doctor, brain manipulated minions… even the couple's arrival at the hospital is almost a carbon copy of Brad and Janet's greeting by Riff Raff (who is in this case a freaky dwarf). It’s all very groovy and swingin’ and Michael Gough chews scenery like it was All-You-Can-Eat Rib-Night-At-The-Sizzler! Lead actor Robin Askwith (CONFESSIONS OF A WINDOW CLEANER, CONFESSIONS OF A POP PERFORMER, CONFESSIONS OF A DRIVING INSTRUCTOR) looks and acts like Ron Weaseley’s long-lost mod cousin and manages to basically “oi!” and mug his way through the entire film. All in all, the film is a bit of good-natured fun that makes for a nice little diversion, but it’s hardly an awesome horror movie. The film has its moments, but… it all pretty much boils down to campiness for campiness’ sake. It stumbles where something like Douglas Hickox’s Vincent Price sendup THEATER OF BLOOD (made the same year) doesn’t. A decent little frolic (and a title all horror fans should eventually check off their lists), but… not anything more.