Josh Baker meets a very special woman, Cheryl, in the streets of New York. Suddenly she collapses, and she's picked up by an ambulance. When Josh wants to visit her in the hospital, it ...
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Josh Baker meets a very special woman, Cheryl, in the streets of New York. Suddenly she collapses, and she's picked up by an ambulance. When Josh wants to visit her in the hospital, it appears that she hasn't been admitted in the hospital. Josh follows the roommate of Cheryl, and she disappears after a ride in the same ambulance. It's up to Josh to solve the secret behind this strange vehicle. Written by
Tony Kessen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I hadn't seen "The Ambulance" for quite awhile, but I had a good time re-visiting it and this was one of the first works I had seen of filmmaker Larry Cohen. It might not be one of Cohen's highly regarded pieces, but "The Ambulance" is a fun, gripping slice of paranoia with an injection of black humour. The concept is audaciously ludicrous and Eric Roberts' ham-fisted lead performance is full of energy (and lets not forget that hypnotic mullet when in motion), along with James Earl Jones small, but cynically meaty role as a rundown detective on the edge. Moving at a fast, uniformed tempo, Cohen's boldly tight direction never lets up (where he knows how to shoot on location for maximum effect) and his writing manages to stay one step ahead as you get pulled along for the dangerous ride with its engineered thrills. There always seems to be some sort of threat at every turn for Robert's character and this keeps it excitingly intense, if daftly over-the-top with comedic results. Especially its cheesy climax in a night club with some berserk ambulance driving and of course its irony-laced revelation that you won't see coming. Roberts' character sure didn't. The plot takes on a modern approach to its mad doctor formula, staying quite dark and full of mystery in the chase/or race to uncover the truth while also trying to convince people of the threat. Roberts' plays Josh Baker a comic book artist who one day goes about asking out the women of his dreams (a stunning Janine Turner) who he sees everyday out on the streets of New York. An incident sees her collapsing with Josh by her side and then a mysterious vintage ambulance appears and whisks her off. So he goes to one hospital after another with no such luck. He thinks there might just be more to it, as he uncovers and now he's running for his life with no one believing him there's a phantom ambulance kidnapping people. Eric Braeden is suitably clinical as "the doctor" that's behind the kidnappings and Megan Gallagher offers good support as a police officer we can trust. Red Buttons is enjoyably snappy and Cohen regular James Dixon shows up too.
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