Monday 15 January 2024

Autopsy (2008)

The Mad Scientist cliche is back and in good form with a side-splitting gore-fest, wrapped up in a thriller/chiller/horror from writer/director Adam Gierasch. It’s complete bonkers of course and clearly is not taking itself seriously as everyone involved sticks the knife in!

Robert Patrick (Dr Benway) as the doctor-in-charge of the chaos, side-kick nurse Jenette Goldstein (Nurse Marian), their two ‘attendants’ Robert LaSardo (Scott) and Michael Bowen (Travis) play about with the material gleefully. They’re running an operation out of an (as we find out later) closed-down hospital. That’s not really a spoiler as it’s obvious from the start that it’s not a proper hospital.

The storyline starts as we follow a bunch of university drop-outs having fun with life and not taking it too seriously. They are in a car and the car crashes. In fact, it drives into a bloke who, we later find out, was trying to escape from the make-shift medical building, Mercy Hospital.

There’s no cellphone coverage, of course, and a private-looking ambulance happens along to pick up the bloke who has been run over - and in the process encourage the teens to tag along and get checked out after their crash. They go, partly because they now have no car and it’s a way out of the tricky rural situation.

The ambulance then takes them all to Mercy Hospital and we start to find out piece-by-piece what’s going on there, who is madder than who, why the fruit-loop staff are so keen to make pate out of everyone and begin the cat-and-mouse game wondering who, if any of them, will survive - and how much blood, guts, organs and gore there can possibly be along the way! There is a logical reason for it all in the end. Just a mad one!

90210 Actress and singer Jessica Lowndes (Emily) is clearly the star of the show and lead of the group. She gets by far the most of the on-screen time and the story, pretty much centred around her and her path through the mayhem. The rest of the cast do a decent enough job, but I surprised we didn’t catch any of them at least grinning about their jobs on camera somewhere!

The film has been shot in a very colourful palette with bright, rich and saturated hues to make the most of the (particularly) red gore - but also brightly coloured fluids in pipes, which form a part of the plot. Travis and Scott are having specially good fun in all this, as they execute the back-room requirements of the scheme, directed by the doctor/nurse duo. And there some pretty inventive set-ups in operating theatres and treatment rooms, which take some working out. Travis, particularly, is a sadistic, heartless, torturing loonie of a character - once again, I’m guilty of finding the horror/gore stuff funny when I shouldn’t!

So in the end, we have Emily fighting everyone, against the odds, even though she’s kind of given up on anyone making it out alive apart from her. And maybe not even her! Anyway, there it is. As I say, complete bonkers, but rip-roaring fun and (for me at least) a wildly comic turn by all!

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