Posts Tagged ‘Malcolm McDowell’

When I discovered A-Pix entertainment for the first time I didn’t know by then how blessed I am. While rummaging through a list of their titles I noticed quite few we have already watched (such as Jack Frost, Werewolf). With my eyes sparkling with glee at the assortment of nefarious titles in front of me, my gaze fell upon the one with Malcolm McDowell’s name on the cover and smile appeared on my sweaty visage. I present you my treasure of the day: The Surgeon!

The story begins in the 1950s in a sequence filmed in beautiful, crisp, black and white. A family has rushed their son to a doctor’s home, where the doctordecides that the boy is in need of emergency surgery, which he performs in a back room. The doctor doesn’t take necessary precautions and he botches the surgery and “accidentally” kills the boy. The boy’s brother is nearby and sees his brother dead on the cold, metal table. There’s also a bit of poeticimagery here involving an actual lollipop while the song “Lollipop” plays in the background, silly as that may be in the grand scheme of things.

That’s our prologue, and it quickly cuts to the present, where we see a beautiful physician Dr. Theresa McCann (played by Isabel Glasser) begin a very bad day as she arrives for work at a hospital. She runs late to a lecture by Dr. Stein (played by Malcolm McDowell), who is demonstrating an experimental technique on a baboon. The baboon goes nuts in the middle of the lecture then dies. We find out Dr. McCann has been protesting Dr. Stein’s experiments with hospital administration, but we soon learn that something much more sinister is going on.

It is funny because it is true

After this incident Dr. Theresa went to check out the patients with her medicine students. We notice there are a lot of black people among sick ones. There are young Whoopi Goldberg (though it is not actually she, this girl here is hot) and some old fat black lady. While Theresa and students were on entourage some mysterious doctor sneaked into one of the patient’s room and injected her some sort of toxin which made poor woman’s body melt down. And here is the clue for the viewers: He left a lollipop on the desk next to patient’s bed. Dr. Theresa couldn’t be there in time to save her so she went back to her officewhere she found a note left for her by one of her top students Dr. Hendricks (played by James Remar, known for his role of gay Rayden in awful Mortal Kombat: Annihilation). Even despite being a witness of horrible and painful death of the one of her patients Dr. Theresa smiled when she saw a drawing of bare ass in the note. See, even doctors are not immune so such kind of low-brow jokes.

A Valentine card

Theresa went to meeting hospital director Dr. Ed Mittlesnay (played by Charles Dance, best known for his role of Tywin Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones) who gave her suspension because of tempering with other doctor’s patient. Knowing that something odd is happening there Theresa and Dr. Hendricks sneak into hospital. There they find Dr. Stein’s corpse. There goes their top suspect. Malcolm McDowell surely looks like a murderer, especially with that deranged look of his. But if he isn’t the killer, then who it is? We found out that soon since killer got into the fight and ended up incapacitated by Dr. Hendricks.
Later we find out that he is Dr. Julian Matar (played by Sean Haberle). Apparently he got fired 3 years ago because he was conducting unauthorized procedures on patients. Back then, he ended up paralyzed after trying to escape by jumping through the window. And now he is back! Somehow.

 

Julian manages to escape this time again. And now he is heading to the hospital, dressed like a doctor, to take what he came for (whatever that might be). Remember fat black lady Milly (played by Mother Love) from the beginning? Well, she is our good doctor’s next target. Being cranky as she is she saw through
his mask and went out looking for the help. As it is custom in such kind of movies they searched the room but no one could be found. And of course head nurse wouldn’t believe her. But the moment Milly went back to bed Julian, who btw has much resemblance to Serbian actor Ivan Bosiljcic (though Ivan Bosiljcic is a pathetic looking guy), jumped down onto her from the ceiling. The rest of the scene is left out for our imagination.

 

Now do you remember young Whoopi Goldberg? Thats right, she is the next victim. Her name is Lisa (played by Juliette Jeffers) and she ended up in the hospital with the broken leg after car accident. But broken leg doesn’t stop her from having a sex with her boyfriend in her own hospital bed while
surrounded with candles! What kind of hospital is this? Patients are being murdered every now and then while some other patients are turning their room into a brothel! Anyway, Lisa’s boyfriend needed refreshment after hard work so he went to the bathroom. And thats Julian’s time to strike. At first, it looked like boyfriend is going to overpower him but eventually Julian gave him enough injections to put him down for good. She moved onto Lisa, and not in a way her now late boyfriend did couple of minutes before. Julian poisoned her with gas and then injected her the same substance he gave to his first victim.
Meanwhile, Theresa and Hendricks were having some naked fun in the pool when they received a call from Lt. McEllwaine (played by Peter Boyle, who needs no special introduction). They arrived just in time to find Dr. Ed being killed by Julian. We learn that Julian is blaming Ed for loosing his license so he
stapled Ed’s mouth shut. Poetic justice. In the meantime, Julian is tasting his own medicine. What he is up to now?

 

The hospital is now under full police protection and they are using Dr. Theresa as a bait. Of course, that didn’t stop Julian from dispatching them all, one by one, and pinning Theresa to where it all started – the surgery table. He wanted Theresa to be the last ingredient for his cure – a substance that regenerates tissue even after you die. They had some sweet talk giving her enough time to shock him using a defibrillator. And that was the cue for the entire police force to bust in and shower Julian with rain of bullets while Theresa was still behind him! Yup they made a Swiss cheese out of poor Julian, who just needed to be loved. What a stupid ending!

 

Or is it? As you can see in the scene above, Julian has taken the advantage of their moment of carelessness to inject himself some more of his juice. He woke up in the mortuary and killed fat pathologist. And now he is going to finish what he had started. Surprisingly he manages to kill Dr. Hendricks while he was in bed with Theresa. Theresa then finished him in a more stupid way then a previous one. I am tired of bullshit and don’t want to waste any more words on this plot so you can check for yourself below.

 

Conclusion: Directed by Carl Schenkel, The Surgeon aka Exquisite Tenderness is a film with German roots (to add to the confusion, it is also known as The Beast in the White Smock and Infernal Torments in German, although it was filmed in English). I will try to watch this again because I still can’t believe a movie with Malcolm McDowell, James Remar, Peter Boyle and Charles Dance in it could be this bad but it’s bland and uninteresting despite their competent performances. Were all of them totally broke? That must be it right? I don’t know. Another thing that’s very noticeable about this movie is its above-average use of make-up effects. The blood and gore effects were done right and might even cause some viewers to cringe. AS for the plot itself, many films have explored the uses of the Pituitary region of the brain for its possible regenerative properties. Yeah this is very funny movie to watch but personally I would rather always recommend you this and this. To me Jeffrey Combs is the only true mad scientist.

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deathrace_article

The fact that many of his much younger coworkers started dying in last one year or so, didn’t prevent Roger Corman  from continuing to make  cult movies (more cult than movies truth to be told). Unexpectedly the most prolific B- Movie producer of all times  decided to remake a remake of his own film, legendary Death Race 2000 (Stallone, David Carradine), now Death Race 2050!

The filming is underway right this moment in Peru staring surprisingly potent cast of Mannu Benett (Chronicles of Shanara, Arrow, Spartacus), Malcom McDowell (Clockwork Orange, Halloween, Class of 1999) and Yancy Butler (Kick-Ass, Hard Target, Witchblade).

Deathrace

“This is an amazing opportunity for me and millions of Death Race 2000 fans to experience the intensity, thrills and dark humor of the original, fueled by a terrific young cast, spectacular vehicles and side-splitting action, literally” said Corman.

death-race-720x916

New York Comic-Con limited edition poster via IGN

People are talking about violence in schools problem since schools had been invented. Violence in schools, by my account, is as old as education itself. Over the years a lot of suggestions for solving this problem have been made. Many procedures have been implemented. And they all failed. School violence still exists and it will exist long after we are gone. But the crappiest attempt to subdue the violence has been made in this movie. To answer the violence with more violence!

On the beginning of this supposedly a sequel to the “class of 1884” we get an explanation about how far violence in school have gone until the year 1999. High school gangs are taking control over schools. Gang controlled areas are known as free fire zones. In the middle of one of these zones, in Seattle, Kennedy High is located. It is an area without law, where police do not enter and where only thing that rules is anarchy. Department of Educational Defense (created for the purpose of this movie) has decided to re-open the schools and control the gangs. With the help of Megatech (robot making guys) they send 3 new teachers to Kennedy High and it’s principal Dr Miles Longford (played by Malcolm McDowell). Well, not the teachers actually but 3 cyborgs programmed in history, chemistry, mathematics and physical education. Of course, they also come equipped with special hardware to deal with armed to the teeth gangs. To me this looks like a combination of Dolf Lundgren’s “Detention” and bad cyborgs movies. Or, to be more accurate, it looks like if someone tried to build a school and starts education system in “Mad Max”.

Tactical Education UnitTactical Education Unit

In order this experiment to work they will need some Guinea pigs. So they have released the most troubling students from jail. I wonder what makes them so sure that students will go back to school? Anyway, one of them is Cody Culp (played by Bradley Gregg, whom you might remember from the “Nightmare on Elm Street 3”). Cody wants to go straight despite objections of his friend and his younger brother Angel (played by Joshua Miller; “River’s Edge” and “Near Dark”). Well, at least they claim he is “brother” since I spent almost entire movie working out if he was really a boy! Cody arrives in school after making through free fire zone just to be there in time for chemistry class. The new chemistry teacher Ms. Connors (played by legendary Pam Grier) shows that there will be no fucking around with new members of school stuff by kicking asses of two students. Same goes with history teacher Mr. Hardin (played by John P. Ryan; “Runaway Train”), who gave a new meaning to corporal punishment term (and gave the reason why it should remain banned).

Corporal punishment

That something is wrong with robots we see when teachers started with killing undisciplined students (well thats a bit harsh). First, Mr. Hardin bashed the head of some unlucky stoner into his own locker. Then, gym teacher Mr. Bryles (played by Patrick Kilpatrick) started beating the hell out of Cody and then broke a neck of Cody’s friend Mohawk who came to the rescue. Need I to say that Mohawk was also stoned as a hell while he was attacking with gun? Anyway, creator of robots Dr. Bob Forrest (played by Stacy Keach; “The Ninth Configuration”) doesn’t find this not to be unusual and he shows no sympathy for students while he justifies actions of his creations. Not that he could do something about it since cyborgs have openly disliked the idea of being terminated.

Not the Jeffrey Combs but almost as mad as himNot the Jeffrey Combs but almost as mad as him

After teachers have killed Cody’s brother Angel (at which point I am still not sure if he is a boy, and I guess you might say he took that secret to grave) things go in an obvious and predictable direction from then on. With principal’s daughter Christie (played by Traci Lin; “Fright Night 2”) on his side Cody re-unites two gangs to wage a war against teachers. Somewhere along the way we learn that cyborgs used to work for military and that they went back on their original program hence the killing rampage they went on (shameless rip-off of “Westworld”). That’s what you get when you buy a second hand cyborgs from the US army. Mr. Hardin is even more psychotic, Pam Grier is even bigger bitch while Mr. Bryles is just plain strongman.

Rocky Balboa eat yourself!

It seems that teenage gangs were quite well-armed those days since they had automatic weapons and bazookas (?) No one bothered to explain where they did get them. Not that at that point we were keen to search for any logic in this silly and plain stupid sci-fi horror. War is taking place on post-apocalyptic battleground around the school. Don’t miss more senseless killing, explosions and bad rip-offs. Be sure to notice Pam Grier showing us her mechanical tits a moments before she is blown up by an axe. Enjoy the art of brain drilling performed by Mr. Hardin just before his head got shredded by uzi. Street war is the time when you can show your creativity in sadism.

Mechanical bitch

So the war seems to be over. Aren’t you forgetting someone? That’s right, a toughest guy has been left for the end. Mr. Bryles turned out to be quite persistent in performing discipline measures. The fight between him and Cody and Christie, despite the fact they ripped off “Terminator 2, is awfully staged with stop-motion so terrible that it makes “Nemesis” looks like an Oscar winner in special effects category. Yeah, and it ended with explosion of Mr. Bryles’ head. There is nothing more I can add here. Just plain nonsense.

For all you stop motion perfectionists out there!

Conclusion: This movie teaches us that we shouldn’t go to school unless it is the only choice. I am sure that director Mark Lester wanted to send a different message but he did everything wrong. You know, if a cast includes Malcolm McDowell, and if he is not a villain, he is not effective. The acting is bad even with a decent cast like this (I will never understand what made them to sign up for such rubbish), the soundtrack is poor (aside from the “Nine Inch Nails” track), and the plot is so unbelievably non-existent that you get the idea that the whole movie is just a cheap excuse to shoot people and blow things up. If free fire zones were out of reach even for police than what makes students go to school? A friendship? A desire for education? Ha! Obvious attempt of ripping off and mixing ‘The Warriors’, ‘Westworld’ and ‘Robocop’. And it even had failed at that! It is only good for metallers who want to recall the 1980’s battle between the glams (Blackhearts) and the goths (Razerheades).