One case of intensive care you better pull the plug on
This infamous ending to Koen Wauters' career came to my attention through the 'Night of Bad Taste'. Judging by the comment index i wasn't the first and i am not to be the last person in Western Europe to learn that this musician (undoubtedly one of the best on our contemporary pop scene, even the Dutch agree on that) tried to be an actor. Whether he should have made the attempt or not cannot be judged.
In 'Intensive Care' he's quite likable, but he seems to be uncomfortable with the flick in which he is participating. No one can blame him. It deserves its ranking in Verheyen's Hall of Fame by all means & standards. The story of the Murderous Maniac Who is Supposed To Have Died In An Accident But Is Alive And Wrathful has been told dozens of times before, and even without original twists a director can deliver a more than mediocre story through innovative settings and cinematography.
IC contents itself with a hospital wing and a couple of middle class houses. The pace is dull. The tension looses the last bit of its credibility to the musical score, for every appearance of the murderer is accompagnied by a tedious menacing melody, followed by orchestral outbursts during the murders, which or largely suggested and in any case as bloodless as a small budget can make them. The sex scene is gratuitous but not in the least appealing. The couple from Amsterdamned could have made it work, though. While dealing with the couple subject : the whole subplot between Wauters and the girl does not work. A more effective emotional connection could have been established on screen if they had just been fellow victims-to-be, who loosen their nerves halfway through physical intercourse. I will not even grant the other cast members the dignity of a mentioning, for they should all have been chopped up into tiny greasy pieces. As a matter of fact, most of them do. The ones i recall where obvious for the genre : a pretty nurse and two cops.
Hence, in a slasher, the cavalry only comes in time to need rescue itself. The (anti-) hero has to take out the villain, mostly through clever thinking, for former red berets don't often get parts in these films; they might overcome the illusion of invincibility that surrounds the killer. Translated to the events, Wauters kills the doctor and saves the dame in distress.
No people, i am not finished. This is not how the story goes. Wauters makes his heroic attempt but gets beaten up with a fury that comes close to "A Clockwork Orange", so it is up to the girl to pick up the driller killer act and pierce through the doctors brains. Though this method ensures the killer's death more than the usual rounds of 9mm bullets, the doctor survives in order to enable IC to reach the 80 min mark.
I should have made my point by now. Intensive Care is a bad movie, which can only be enjoyed by Bad Taste lovers, who can verify Verheyen's catchy statements and make some up for themselves and that way try to sit through it. For example, the (unintended) parody value of the doctor's clown mask (Halloween) and the final confrontation in the park (the chase at the end of Friday the 13th).
However, let me conclude by giving an overview by a few measly elements which give IC a little credit. George Kennedy is not one of them. All he has to do is endure a horrible monologue by a fellow doctor/French actor and look horrified when they let him go down in flames in order to tag his big name on a stand-in. He could have played his Naked Gun part again, to end up as beef, but with a longer screen time. The finale may be one of them. I had never seen a maniac being brought down by launching fireworks into his guts in order to crush him against a flexible fence. It is good for a laugh.
Name one good truly point about Intensive Care ... Koen Wauters learned his lesson and devoted himself entirely to his musical career. It makes me wonder how many editions of the Paris-Dakar race he has to abort before coming to his senses.
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