Thursday, May 10, 2018

X-Ray (1981)

Lately, I've been in the mood to check out some of the more 'oddball' - or just lesser-known/often unmentioned - slasher flicks of the early '80s that I've yet to see. I was pretty positive I had already seen "X-Ray" (aka. "Hospital Massacre") but after skimming a synopsis for it I realized I must've had it mistaken for another hospital-horror joint, "Visiting Hours". Definitely not as good as that movie, but I thought this one was watchable enough.

We start with a flashback to 1961 where a misunderstood, introverted little boy sees the girl he likes destroy a birthday card he left on her doorstep so he promptly kills and hangs her friend/brother from the coat rack. Cut to present day, the all grown up girl drops by a hospital to pick up some results but soon finds herself held there against her will by the creepy staff who seem to believe she is seriously ill. All the while, a killer dressed as a surgeon is making the rounds - dusting people off around the building in a variety of slasherific ways...

I'd say this one's worth it alone for Barbi Benton's prolonged "examination" scene, showcasing some awesomely puffy nipples. Kudos for this one taking some surprisingly sleazy 'turns'. Some of the kills are decent - for one, a fairly gruesome hatchet to the head as well as some bloody stabbings. The whole "Twilight Zone" vibe surrounding the seedy hospital faculty was also kind of a cool accompaniment to the all-too familiar slasher formula and definitely adds to an already strong atmosphere. Hospitals can make for pretty great slasher film environments. The killer's reveals was ridiculously and disappointingly obvious, however, seeing as how we know his name as a kid and the guy who turns out to be the culprit just has a shortened version of that name. Might be one of the most obvious 'whodunnits' in slasher history while ironically having what might be the most 'red herrings'. At the end of the day, fans of '80s slasher flicks are sure to get a kick out of this one. It's nothing too memorable, but it's entertaining.

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