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I instantly got hooked on this film when I first saw it. It came on late-night TV and I watched it even though I wasn't really allowed. The combination of seeing a forbidden film and being impressed by everything that is bloody, I really liked it. Now, years and literally tons of movies later, I notice that it is obviously flawed and unoriginal but yet I still think it's an enjoyable thriller that can provide you with a few scares. The film opens with an eerie black and white sequence in which a young boy witnesses the death of his older brother while the song 'lollipop' is playing on the radio. Apparently due to this trauma, he grew out to become a mad scientist with Frankensteinian ideas and methods, using terminal hospital patients for his research. He takes revenge on the hospital staff that suspended him. The most efficient aspects about this film are unquestionably the ominous set pieces and locations. The horror highlights include a sequence in which a helpless patient gets a huge needle injected in her nose, or when our insane doctor operates on himself. First time actor Sean Haberle is decent as the 'villain', by the way. He's a spooky looking dude with vicious eyes and a violent charisma. The two leads James Remar and Isabel Glasser are okay as well but it's the supportive cast that is REALLY interesting. Peter Boyle (Young Frankenstein, Hardcore), Charles Dance (Alien³, Space Truckers) and especially Malcolm McDowell all make great appearances. Unfortunately, McDowell's icky character dies too soon and the film dies a little with him.
Exquisite Tenderness is nowhere near original, the production takes itself way too serious and the last 5 minutes shouldn't have made the final cut. Yet, it's still a delightful film to kill some time with and the body count is enormous.
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