Produced by Prachya Pinkaew, the director of Ong-Bak and The Protector, and directed by two relative newcomers, Thospol Sirivivat and Piraphan Laoyont who between them have only one directed one other movie, Sick Nurses is one hell of a surprisingly entertaining movie. My initial thoughts were that it would just be another predictable long-haired ghost movie from Asia, or Thailand to be specific, and yes it does feature one of these beasties, but don't let that dissuade you from giving it a chance as it may well surprise you.
Set mainly in a hospital that appears to have no patients Sick Nurses is the story of seven nurses and a doctor that sell dead bodies to the black market. This is all very profitable until one of the nurses falls in love with the doctor and tries to persuade everyone to stop their evil deeds or else she will go to the police. Well, the others are having none of this and silence their colleague permenantly. That is what they think anyway. This is after all an Asian ghost story, and before long the dead nurse comes back as an exceptionally long-haired, and very dark of skin, ghostie who wants nothing more than to have her sweet revenge. So preying on the vanities of each of the other nurses, including her sister, she goes about getting some payback.
Some clever twists, inventive deaths and a complete reckless abandon help lift Sick Nurses above a lot of recent ghost flicks that have come out of Asia. Just when things were seeming stale and predictable this flick injects some life into the genre, at times playing things deadly serious whilst also adding plenty of sick humour along the way.
Great use of colour and some quite clever camerawork, which invariably finds itself lingering on the butts of the very attractive nurses, as well a fairly frenetic pace help keep things entertaining as well as quite surpringing. This is one of those wonderful types of movies that seem to get better the further it goes along. Did I mention that the nurses were hot as hell as well? Well it is worth mentioning again!
This is also a quite gruesome movie in places, with jaws being ripped off and a quite nasty scene involving a saw, and for the most part it is all done quite well. That is aside from one scene that incorporates some especially poor CGI effects. I'm not going to hold that against Sick Nurse though, as by then I was having too much fun with the onscreen mayhem. It seemed to me that the directors knew exactly what kind of material they had in their hands and directed it with the sense of humour that it deserves. Yes it is grisly in places, and a little creepy, but it is also a little daft and they do play this up throughout the movie.
Sick Nurses just goes to show that just because a genre of film has been done to death doesn't mean that someone can't inject a fresh lease of life into it, as goes to show here. This is definitely a film that I recommend you should check out if you like your gore and ghosts played with the tongue wedged comfortably in cheek. And the cheeks here are sweet!
Rating - ***
- Jude Felton