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Article Archive >> Entertainment

Movies From the Black Lagoon: Autopsy

Movies From the Black Lagoon
Autopsy - 2008, Unrated
By Tom Doty

A quintet of " Mardi-Gras" partiers find themselves in deep trouble after a car wreck lands them in a creepy medical center in this decent outing from the folks at "After Dark Horror-fest."
Most of the 'Horrorfest" films have been duds, unfortunately, but this effort manages to eke out a few scares. The start of the film is the only slow part as we meet our gang of" party hearty "co-eds. They are a dull bunch who don't get much more interesting until their death scenes except for the heroic Emily. She is the 80's style heroine who winds up figuring out that they are all in danger. Unfortunately she figures it out way too late for her friends.
The action begins when our "Scoobies" wreck their car on a wicked curve. An ambulance just so happens to show up just as a guy in a hospital gown emerges from underneath their auto. The paramedics point out that the patient escaped from 'Mercy Hospital' while being prepped for surgery and is under the influence of drugs. The youngsters appear to have their judgment impaired as well because they buy this story and accept a ride back with the ambulance.
Once they re ensconced at the hospital their torture begins with endless waiting. This can be expected at legitimate medical centers as well. Splitting them up is a piece of cake for the psychotic staff at the hospital. They are easily lured away under the pretense of a physical exam and no one is the wiser. Emily, however, figures it all out during an exceptional scene where she runs into a fellow patient. It's a great moment that comes equipped with a long hallway that is mostly dark (except for when it is lit up by brief flashes of lightning). Emily notes that the patient appears dazed and asks if she needs any help. The reply is priceless "What makes you think they're here to help?"
Sure enough it turns out that her group has been doped up and diced into separate parts. If you're guessing that this shadow facility is a hive for black market organ donations then you are too clever as the goofy plot shifts to a demented doc who is trying to keep his wife alive while finding a cure for her terminal ailment. This shoddy excuse for motivation at least allows for a thrilling climax where Emily stumbles across one of her friends. The poor fellow is strapped to a table and sports an open chest while all of his organs are suspended above him and still attached to his torso. It's an eerie scene even if it is totally stupid.
Okay this movie could have been smarter but it does have an exceptional cast of bad guys. Robert Patrick (the enhanced killer robot from "Terminator 2") is well cast as the emotionally distant surgeon who runs the place. He is pretty much upstaged by Michael Bowen as a sadistic orderly. Bowen is really good at playing crazy medicos (he was also seen in 'Kill Bill" where he stole the show as a sexual predator/orderly who preyed on comatose women). Jessica Lowdnes does a credible job as Emily. She's especially good in the final reel wherein Emily gets all "Leatherface" on the bad guys.
Best Line: "This won't hurt a bit." (Gives victim a shot and then proceeds to pick up a scalpel)"This might hurt a little."

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail and to read to children every Wednesday at 10:30am at Borders in Hagerstown. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@myactv.net.

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