Friday, October 12, 2007

Dr. Giggles

I’ll freely admit, I purchased the Twister Terror collection specifically for this movie. It’s the only one of the six films I had seen prior to buying it, and I have so many beloved memories of watching this in my teen years that I was more excited than is probably healthy when it finally got a “proper” DVD release (proper in that it’s in widescreen for the first time, at least – the extras on the disc range from Languages to Play). And yes, I probably could have saved some money by buying it separately and avoiding the other five films in the collection, but then where would that leave you, my faithful readers? No, I had to get the whole thing, for your benefit as much as mine.

The film itself is basically a comedic slasher that’s pretty openly parodying the original Halloween. It has everything: a man who’s been locked up in a mental institution since he was a little kid escapes, killing several staff members, steals a car and drives (somehow knowing how to drive a car perfectly, yes) back to his hometown, and sets up shop in his creepy boarded up old house that’s viewed by the townsfolk as cursed, before commencing his house calls and killing a bunch of people. Through it all, he’s fully living up to his nickname, giggling nonstop while delivering a nonstop barrage of beautifully awful puns and one liners (My favorite, at the end after he’s supposedly been killed twice already and returns to menace our young heroine, is when she screams at him “You were dead!” and he gently corrects her with “I’m not that good a doctor”). It’s completely tacky and cheesy, and I have a big goofy grin on my face right now just writing about it.

Aside from Larry Drake’s brilliant performance (I’d go so far as to say that he’s the second best wisecracking murderer in film history, behind only Krueger), there’s also some fun from the female lead that looks uncannily like Neve Campbell in Scream (yes, Dr. Giggles came first), but who is actually Holly Marie Combs from Charmed, playing a girl with a bad heart in need of an operation, if only there happened to be some homicidal son of an infamous heart surgeon nearby to help her out. His doctoral tools get good mileage here too, and include such things as a thermometer with a scalpel blade on the end (when it slowly goes into some poor girl’s mouth and the blade dances around the underside of her tongue I challenge you not to wince a bit), a liposuction machine that can go up to 11, and various instruments with hooks and blades that I can only guess at the usage of.

This may not really try to elevate itself above the standard slasher format, but dammit, it’s good enough that it doesn’t need to. It’s simply a really fun movie, and if I may be overrating it somewhat, then so be it. It’s my blog, and I’m allowed to do so when I see fit. Now go buy this already.

Rating: *** ½

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