Sunday, November 13, 2011

X-Ray (1982)

I'm sure the distributors never knew what hit them. It was suppose to be an ordinary slasher, and it turned out to be the almost surreal cheese-fest X-Ray. No, I'm not negative at all, this is prime cheese with a storyline so simple even Andreas Schnaas couldn't have failed with telling the story. Directed by legendary Boaz Davidson under the protective shield of Cannon's even more legendary Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan. In front of the camera they trusted Barbi Benton, the former Playboy model and ex-wife of Hugh Hefner (and also a productive recording artist) and the result is the silliest slasher ever made.

Susan Jeremy (Barbi Benton) goes to the hospital for a routine check, but something is not right and soon they're are keeping her there much longer than needed. At the same time a man, dressed in a surgeons outfit, starts killing the staff of the hospital one by one! Could it be the crazy boy that killed Susan's best friend by impaling him on a coat-hanger 16 years earlier? How the hell should Susan know that? She's still waiting for the doctor, not realizing that someone is fucking with her files to make her stay longer at the hospital...

This must be the first and only time a story is built around long waiting times at the hospital! I can imagine how the screenwriter experienced something similar, short visit that ended up four hours later and with less answers than before. It's basically Halloween 2 mixed with My Bloody Valentine with a couple of splashes of very soft porn and a slasher parody like Wacko or Student Bodies - but unintentional. It's like the filmmakers didn't even try to make it scary, they just had a big hospital set and a couple of actors walking around without any real purpose and decided to toss together the next slasher hit.

I guess it didn't became a hit and the silly plot and absurd twist probably helped. But I'm not saying this is a bad movie. It's flawed and silly and stupid and retarded and more stupid, but it's also entertaining and has a nice body count and Barbi Benton being quite effective in the lead. And she show's her tits in one long and gratuitous sequence, for those who like that. Barbi looks like a TV-actress, and the visual style of the movie echoes any soap opera set in a hospital, but that's a neat combination - especially with bloody (not gory) murders happening around every corner.

X-Ray is out on DVD in Germany. I have no idea if it's a bootleg or not, but it looks OK in it's fullscreen presentation, probably taken from a Betacam SP master (just a guess, because I think the terrible quality a VHS would offer) and seem to be uncut.

A nice addition to the slasher-collection!

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