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A lurid B-movie horror thriller that seems mainly designed to fulfill its comely star Paz de la Huerta‘s exhibitionist tendencies, Nurse 3D might have the inadvertent effect of increasing the number of male hospital patients under the mistaken belief that today’s nurses’ uniforms seem designed for strip clubs. It’s the sort of unabashedly prurient and gruesomely violent programmer that would have been right at home as the bottom half of a double bill in one of the grindhouses on the old 42nd Street.
Speaking of bottom halves, you get to see that and a lot more of the film’s star, who plays Abby, a “Nurse of the Year” at the misnamed All Saints Memorial Hospital who has taken it upon herself to take murderous revenge on cheating men. As she so vividly puts it, “There is no cure for the married cock … except me.”
In between her nocturnal homicidal outings, Abby develops a fixation on the hospital’s newest nurse, Danni (Katrina Bowden, of 30 Rock), who she promptly manages to bed with the help of some roofies. But Abby’s ardor soon turns to rage when Danni, who has a loving boyfriend (Corbin Bleu), rejects her continued advances.
It isn’t long before the body count starts ratcheting up, with victims including Danni’s adulterous stepfather (Martin Donovan), the hospital’s sexually abusing chief of staff (Judd Nelson), an inquisitive detective (Boris Kodjoe) and an overly inquisitive HR administrator (Melanie Scrofano), who thinks that Abby bears a strong resemblance to the troubled little girl she knew as a child who was packed off to a mental institution.
While the film might have been a guilty pleasure had it been made by the likes of Brian DePalma or Larry Cohen — not to mention Abel Ferrara, whose similarly themed Ms. 45 is a classic of the genre — director Doug Aarniokoski and co-screenwriter David Loughery fail to infuse the overly familiar elements with the necessary dark humor. Sorry, but such lines of dialogue such as Abby’s deadpan admission that “my schedule’s been murder” just don’t cut it, especially as delivered by the vocally, if not physically, monotonous de la Huerta.
Voyeurs, at least, will relish the opportunity to ogle, in 3D no less, the frequently unclothed star as well as the equally gorgeous Bowden, who spends much of the proceedings clad only in sexy underwear. Kudos to the costume designer, even if his talents were necessarily underutilized.
Opens Feb. 7 (Lionsgate)
Cast: Paz de la Huerta, Katrina Bowden, Corbin Bleu, Judd Nelson, Boris Kodjoe, Adam Herschman, Niecy Nash, Martin Donovan
Director: Doug Aarniokoski
Screenwriters: David Loughery, Doug Aarniokoski
Producer: Marc Bienstock
Executive producers: Michael Paseornek, John Sacchi
Director of photography: Boris Mojsovski
Editor: Andrew Coutts
Production designer: Alicia Keywan
Costume designer: Zaldy
Composer: Anton Sanko
Rated R, 84 minutes
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