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In a rundown hospital that never seems to have any patients, Dr. Taa and his harem of sexy nurses sell dead bodies on the black market to make extra money. But when one of the nurses Tahwaan, who was supposed to marry Dr. Taa, becomes jealous after he decides to marry another nurse, she threatens to go to the police. For her disobedience, she is murdered by the rest of the nurses and put on ice to become the next body sold.
But on the seventh day after her murder, Tahwaan returns in the form of a vengeful spirit with her sights set on killing the nurses. Taking a play out of John Doe’s handbook, Tahwaan begins using each nurse’s particular vice to dispatch them in bloody and torturous ways. As the hospital’s black and white tiled floors are stained red, the ever dwindling survivors believe that they only have to survive until midnight which is when Tahwaan will lose her spirit form. But Tahwaan has a particular trick up her sleeve to ensure that the clock never reaches 12:01!
Short on plot and even shorter on character development, co-director and writers Piraphan Laoyont and Thodsapol Siriwiwat embark on a rather misogynistic trip that takes a look at the excessive vices and jealousy that brews within women. To these two, apparently, women are nothing more than vain and vindictive creatures who only enjoy looking their best and being number one. This view is reflected in their choice of actresses, many of whom make their film debut here and deliver their lines tenuously at best, and seem to be chosen only for their sexual energy and ability to shriek.
The hospital setting, with flickering fluorescent bulbs and eerily painted hallways, is laid out as a labyrinth like maze of endless twists, turns, and random tables of surgical equipment. Hospitals are scary enough as it is, and that is before you drench it in a nighttime setting, which provides all the natural lack of light necessary to keep the shadows thick and piled up in corners, and add in some boiler pipes and a room full of specimens in jars. The nightmarish quality of this hospital is outstanding, and provides all them ample atmosphere for a few great scares.
Where the film does shine through is with their ghost creation, who supplies some very bloody and satisfying kill sequences. This ghost, which is painted black and wears a draping black dress at first appears to be nothing more than another generic long-haired spirit, but quickly breaks out of this mold to become one of the more creative killers in recent East Asian horror. Though she has the standard ability to spread her hair out like tentacles, she takes particular pleasure in possessing part of her victim and forcing them to bring about their own demise. These particularly grim sequences include a bulimic who is forced to eat a mouthful of metal, forcing a pregnant woman to impale her own stomach, and forcing one woman to use a bone saw to remove another woman’s legs.
Sick Nurses continues the trend of low-budget Thai horror, who will take bad taste to the extreme, exploit sensitive topics for a buck, splatter the screen with grisly violence, and inject sexual objectification where ever they can, but will not for any reason whatsoever show nipple. After all, using a fetus from a jar of formaldehyde as a killing device is a-okay, but nudity is strictly forbidden!
The film is presented with an anamorphic widescreen transfer of its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and features hardly any blemishes in the print. The original Thai soundtrack is presented in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Stereo, and includes easy to read optional English and Spanish subtitles. An English dub is also provided, and as usual, sounds utterly ridiculous.
Making Of – This brief six minute clip includes the directors talking about the story origins, interview snippets with the main actors, and a few quick behind-the-scenes shots that provide insight on how some of the more impressive shots were pulled of.
Fans of spraying blood and the final sequence in Gozu, and those with a predilection for Asian women in nurse outfits should definitely seek this out.
Magnet Releasing presents Sick Nurses. Directed by Piraphan Laoyont and Thodsapol Siriwiwat. Starring Wichan Jarujinda, Chidjan Rujiphun, Chon Wachananon, Ase Wang. Written by Piraphan Laoyont and Thodsapol Siriwiwat. Running time: 82 minutes. Not Rated. Released on DVD: April 22, 2008. Available at Amazon.com.