Flick from writer/directors Matthew Kennedy and Adam Brooks is a tribute to the italian horror/Giallo films of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci that succeeds in certain areas, but fails in others. The film tells the story of legendary film editor, Rey Cisco (also Adam Brooks) who is currently working on a bloody murder mystery film, when he becomes embroiled in one in real life. The case is being investigated by hot shot detective Peter Porfiry, (also Matthew Kennedy) who thinks Rey is the prime suspect.
The film, co-written with co-star Conor Sweeney, creates the look and feel of the Italian chillers of the 70s and early 80s excellently, with some dead-on camera angles, shots and lighting, along with a perfectly fitting electronic score. There is also a bevy of lovely ladies with very generous amounts of nudity and excessive gore. Where the film goes wrong is that not only is it tedious and dull, with it’s gimmick wearing out it’s welcome early, but it also is played for laughs where a straightforward recreation probably would have been far more entertaining. The homages to Argento, Bava and Fulci are certainly well intended…thought there are also nods to Cronenberg’s Videodrome and Nakata’s Ringu that seem a bit out of place…but as a movie in itself it’s gets boring after the first half hour with the story awkwardly changing focus from Rey to Detective Porfiry and losing it’s grip. Too bad, the flicks heart is definitely in the right place.
Overall, while the tribute is certainly heartfelt and Kennedy and Brooks know their subjects well, the film they have created from that admiration fails to entertain like it’s influences. Also stars Nurse 3D‘s Paz de la Huerta, American Mary‘s Tristan Risk and the legendary Udo Kier.
This newest installment of Halloween Hotties takes a look at a fairly new cutie to catch the eye of horror fans, the lovely and talented Katrina Bowden. Most people know her from her 7 year stint on the hit show 30 Rock as Cerie but, horror fans took notice of this gorgeous Jersey girl… oh yes, she is from MonsterZero NJ’s home state and you know I love me my Jersey girls… in the fun horror/comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evil and we’ve kept our eyes out for this easy on the eyes scream queen ever since and, so far, she hasn’t let us down…
(Click on the highlighted links or on the movie posters to read a review of her horror film’s that I’ve covered here previously.)
The horror hottie and Jersey girl at a more relaxed moment then she usually gets in her fright flicks.
Bowden got her start acting with a brief role on the long running soap opera One Life To Live in 2006. She continued to get TV work until landing a long-running part on one of TV’s biggest hit comedies, 30 Rock. It was in 2009 when she starred in her first horror, The Shortcut. A direct to DVD tale that told the creepy story of a group of high schoolers investigating a strange old man who may be behind a series and of deaths and disappearances on an ominous shortcut through the woods. Obviously, their inquisitiveness brings dire consequences.
Katrina’s Christy stalked by a killer while on The Shortcut.
But, it wan’t until 2010 that she really caught the attention of horror fans with a starring role in the rib-tickling and blood spattering cult hit horror/comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evilas vacationing college girl Allison, who captures the heart of sweet natured redneck Dale. It’s Dale’s rescue of Allison during a late night skinny-dipping mishap that sets the plot in motion as her friends have seen too many horror movies and mistake good ole boys Tucker and Dale for some Chainsaw Massacre style mountain folk who’ve kidnaped Allsion. Hilarious hi-jinx and spurting blood ensues.
As apple of Dale’s eye, Allison…
…the skinny-dipping incident that starts the gruesome ball rolling…
…and a damsel in distress awaiting rescue from her knight in plaid and denim.
Katrina’s next foray into horror was in the cheesy yet entertaining 2012 sequel to Alexandre Aja’s deliriously fun Piranha remake, Piranha 3DD. I won’t spoil the fun but, not only does Bowden’s Shelby have one of the more interesting incidents with a baby prehistoric piranha but, it results in the film’s funniest and most outrageous line which Katrina somehow delivers with a completely straight face.
A quiet moment with another popular horror hottie, Danielle Panabaker…
…after her not so quiet ‘encounter’ with one of the film’s carnivorous critters.
In 2012 Bowden also starred in the Asylum horror Hold Your Breath about the urban legend of how one should hold their breath when passing a graveyard to avoid spirit possession. Katrina is one of a group of young travelers who find out the hard way why the rule exists. Add the spirit of a serial killer and an abandoned prison to the mix and this gets gory quick for Katrina’s Jerry and her friends.
A happier moment for Bowden’s Jerry before blood and bloody parts begin to fly…
…and once the blood has hit the fan.
In 2013 Bowden gave us two more horror themed flicks to enjoy her in. First the horror spoof Scary Movie 5, the fifth installment of that popular comedy series…
Going to pieces in Scary Movie 5.
…and the delightfully decadent and over the top Nurse 3D where she finds herself a new nurse on the hospital staff who gains the obsessive attention of Paz de la Huerta’s psychotic and very dangerous lead character… and with gruesome results.
As new nurse on duty, Danni who has yet to realize her fellow nurse Abby needs to be in a hospital not work in one.
And as her beautiful and talented self who we want to see more of whether it be in horror or not. With the recent announcement of Tucker & Dale vs. Evil 2, we can only hope her Allison makes a return along with our two lovable hillbillies in this eagerly awaited sequel. Either way we want more Katrina Bowden!
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a guilty pleasure like Nurse 3D that not only wears it’s exploitation movie status proudly, but gleefully revels in it. It’s not perfect, but has a good, gory time with it’s twisted story and isn’t afraid to be trashy when it wants to be.
The ‘Nurse’ in question is Abby Russell (Paz de la Huerta) an angel of mercy at a NYC hospital by day and murderess, who preys on married men who cheat on their wives, by night. Abby also develops an unhealthy infatuation with pretty new nurse Danni (New Jersey native Katrina Bowden) and if anyone has seen Fatal Attraction, you know where this is heading. Abby takes advantage of an upset Danni and while on a girls night out, she drugs her for a night of depraved sex between the two and a man they met at a club…which Abby documents with her cellphone. When Danni starts to become afraid of Abby’s obsessive behavior…which includes murdering her cheating step-father (Martin Donovan)…and jealousy of her boyfriend, Steve (Corbin Bleu), she rejects her and sends Abby off the deep end of revenge, blackmail and murder…which she tries to pin on Danni. Meanwhile, Danni does some investigating and finds out the horrifying truth behind her deranged co-worker…but is it too late to save herself, Steve and anyone else in Abby’s bloody path?
Directed and co-written (with David Loughery) by Doug Aarniokoski, Nurse 3D is a stylish, fast paced and fun exploitation flick that is only held back by it’s reliance on the all too familiar ‘crazy jilted lover’ storyline we’ve seen so many times before. Abby’s antics to get back at Danni are blood-soaked fun and taken to extremes, but it’s still a tale told many times and we wish the story focused a bit more on Abby’s vengeful nighttime activities than her psychotic attachment to Danni. Though, the lengths she will go to salve her broken heart are gleefully sadistic and blood-spattered.
The cast go with the material and have a good time with it, especially NYC girl, de la Huerta. As Abby, the actress goes nicely over the top, not being afraid to walk around stark naked, or covered in blood, or both, as she delights in her depraved actions and walks a nice fine line between over-the-top and camp without crossing it. The rest of the cast play it fairly straight and the fact that de la Huerta is the only one to really go into overdrive, makes the film work very well by giving it some contrast between the normal world and the demented fantasy world in Abby’s head. Katrina Bowden is a strong heroine and does a really good job at portraying the object of Abby’s twisted affections and a woman forced to fight back against a literal nightmare on two legs. The two actually have a nice chemistry together which makes things click all the more and we only wish it was the same with Corbin Bleu’s generic boyfriend, Steve. You wonder why Danni bothers with the guy, they just don’t seem to really click all that well, but it does make Abby’s obsession work all the better, as there seems to be a bit of a bond till Abby’s Single White Female behavior forces Danni away. We get solid work from the supporting cast too, with Judd Nelson playing a hard-nosed, philandering doctor, Melanie Scrofano as a way too perky head of human resources and Kathleen Turner puts in an appearance as the head nurse.
On a technical side the film looks very good with an arty visual style that suits the film’s audacious, fetish-laced, tone. There are some very gruesome moments, such as impromptu surgery and what might be the goriest hospital bloodbath since The Re-Animator and all the gore is exceptionally rendered. There is also a lot of nudity from the voluptuous de la Huerta, who also has quite the wardrobe of fetishistic clothes, which makes the sexy and scary character all the more vivid. This does tie in to one of my minor complaints, though. I respect actress Katrina Bowden not wanting to do nude scenes, but then, at least film her shower scenes to try to hide that she’s in her underwear. No one showers in their underwear, certainly not more than once. Either film in close-ups to give the illusion she is naked, CGI her underwear off as they did with Jessica Alba in Machete… sorry to ruin that for you, but Alba filmed the scene in her skivvies and her Fruit Of The Looms were removed digitally…or hire an actress that will do nudity. It just seemed silly.*(see updates below)
Overall though, despite some flaws, Nurse 3D is a fun guilty pleasure that is twisted, gory, a bit trashy and is quite pleased with itself on all counts. It may not be quite as good as it could have been, but is certainly entertaining enough as a neon, candy-colored grind-house flick with some fun plot reveals along the way. And that adds up to 84 minutes of decadent entertainment that is a bit refreshing when surrounded by remakes and endless sequels.
*UPDATE: Concerning Katrina Bowden’s shower scenes… some online research has led me to believe that there is a version of the film where CGI was used to simulate nudity, but for reasons only speculated at, the original shot scenes using Bowden in her underwear where used for the home media release. If I get a straight story, I will update again!
*UPDATE #2: The scene in question… home media scene on the right, other version on the left. Being a photoshop artist for over a decade, I can see anomalies in the left side photo that lead me to believe that the photo was altered to make Bowden look nude (the glare on her right butt cheek in the right photo is the exact same glare on her left butt cheek in the left photo. Just moved over), but then the original footage was used for Blu-ray and DVD release. Can’t find any official word why this occurred though, since the actress has yet to actually do nude work, we can speculate she might have protested the simulation. Nothing substantiated at this time.