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Exquisite Tenderness
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Surgeon More at IMDbPro »Exquisite Tenderness (original title)

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Overall satisfying hospital chiller

Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
22 October 2004

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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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Wacky and almost great, overall satisfying loopy hospital horror.

Author: t-birkhead from United Kingdom
25 May 2009

I'm surprised this one doesn't have a whole lot of reviews and seems to languish in relative obscurity, its a loveably maniacal slice of silliness with a number of notable moments. It begins with a solid creepy shock sequence, where a spot of disturbing violence is set to a silly pop tune, then after a little time out for humour gets right ahead and delivers some good tension and a couple of suitably nasty sequences pretty soon after. After a bit though it sadly settles down and though it has a tasteless verve and good performances carrying it through it could have been so much more. I have a natural affinity for hospital horror, the idea that those employed to save lives could be evil and crazed is something I find very scary indeed and for the first half hour or so I found this to be a pretty gnarly and intense work. Its just a shame that it doesn't really keep it up though. The cast is cool, with roles for a typically twisted Malcolm McDowel as a possibly evil doctor and an amusing turn from Charles Dance as a hospital administrator who just can't nail an American accent. Sean Haberle gives it all kinds of crazy as the villain of the piece, whilst on the side of the angels we have the lovely Isabel Glaser as an investigating doctor and the ever solid James Remar in a nicely characterised role as her love interest. There are solid shocks peppered throughout, though the film isn't really gory as such and fun suspense despite the films ever escalating absurdity. Plus director Carl Schenkel has a lot of style, with some cool angles and a great grasp of fear sequences. As far as hospital horror goes, its head and shoulders above the likes of the recent Autopsy or Pathology, though its nutsoid slasher thrills are perhaps less fun than the morbid silliness of Doctor Giggles, and though he does well, Sean Haberle is no Larry Drake. Altogether, I'd say this is definitely worth a watch, with some fine deranged moments, but it doesn't quite live up to its potential for madcap greatness.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

B-movie thriller, with a couple of good performances

Author: vchimpanzee
24 July 2008

If you like the song "Lollipop" by the Chordettes, you are advised to miss the first few minutes of this movie, or you may never think of the song the same way again. In an eerie but effective scene that suggests an old B-movie, a little boy, who turns out to be one of the movie's characters, is watching something horrible happen to another little boy at the doctor's office, as the song is playing on the radio. According to the DJ, it's the latest hit.

Dr. Theresa McCann is not having a good day. On the way into work she breaks the heel on one of her shoes, and that's just the beginning. But this film needs a little humor. As Dr. McCann makes the rounds with her residents, Dr. Hendricks just has to make them uncomfortable, believing that is the only way to make them truly dedicated to their work.

Meanwhile, Dr. Stein is showing an experimental treatment which he is testing on some sort of ape, with less than ideal results.

Given Dr. Stein's reputation, Dr. McCann took over the treatment of one of his patients, doing something unauthorized that may have resulted in the patient's death. She gets suspended, but with the help of Dr. Hendricks, she may be able to clear her name. Perhaps it is Dr. Mazar, who was supposedly locked away in an institution, who is causing the problems for Dr. Stein. He once believed it was more important to find effective treatments by testing on humans about to die anyway rather than animals; he believed the Nazis had the right idea. Could that also be what's happening here?

This was mostly an ordinary thriller. Certainly not for kids--especially that terrifying first scene. There is some violence, and that ape scene isn't too pleasant. But there were a couple of performances worth noting. Sean Haberle has some good moments as the demented Dr. Mazar, though he's not consistent. And then there is Mother Love as a patient named Milly Putnam. Now she's really worth seeing.

The movie could be worth seeing, too. If this is really the sort of thing you like.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

his scalpel is dull and rusty

Author: movieman_kev from United States
21 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the 1950's, young Julian witnesses his brother being murdered by a surgeon (with the sounds of the Chordettes' "Lollipop" none the less). Now all grown up he turns to stalking patients, of the hospital where he got canned for carrying on unlicensed experiments on regeneration, and killing them for fluid he needs to carry on his aforementioned experimentation. It's up to his ex, Theresa and her new 'flavor of the week' Ben, to stop the carnage.

Even with such heavyweight talents as Peter Boyle (as a hardened cop) and Malcolm McDowell (as an ape-experimenting doctor) in this film, it still can't overcome it's clichéd premise and story. Most of the acting is serviceable but somehow lacking, the killer is not all that memorable nor terrifying, and the tension was non-existent. I've seen a lot worse but this movie is still just too mundane to recommend to anyone. Screenplay writer Patrick Cirillo wound go on to pen the much better "Tears of the Sun"

My Grade: D+

Eye Candy for the guys: Juliette Jeffers gets topless; Isabel Glasser shows everything Eye Candy for the girls: James Remar's penis & ass

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

surgical mistake!!!

Author: sidmsdw
28 October 2001

This was one of the most repulsive and disgusting movies I've ever tried to watch. So much gore and special effects splatter overwhelm whatever extremely minor narrative pull the movie has. The movie starts off stupidly as a would-be attempt at irony (e.g., horrible violence set to silly '50s pop song) lets you know how wrong this flick is gonna go. If not for the extremely lovely presence of leading lady Isabel Glasser I never would have spent as much time on this splatter-dog of a flick as I did. Didn't need to see James Remar's tackle, either. All in all, a waste. I will keep my eyes out for Glasser in the future, though.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not at all exquisite

Author: johnny-08 from Rijeka, Croatia
28 January 2008

Schenkel's "Exquisite Tenderness" is not exquisite at all. As a movie it does not present anything new because it tries very hard to be a good hospital mystery and it fails in that. It's sadly ruined by big plot holes and lack of true idea that would be a guidance for the whole movie. From beginning to end I cannot extract anything. Actors are mild, direction is so usual that it hurts and the story that is meant to be scary, is not that at all. Instead we've got Dr. Julian Matar who is very boring character and even after 20 bullets in his body he's not dead. Because Schenkel needed ending. Ending is such a cliché, with that old message that evil never dies. Sad movie for Remar, Boyle and McDowell and really no reason for you to watch it.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Hospital horror...

Author: plaznihqyllnikaaf ( from Gråsten, Denmark
28 November 2001

Not the worst of it's kind. The performances are acceptable and the story is a kind of dumb, but... It's not so much of a horror movie, it's more like a thriller.

If you want real Doctor horror, I would recommend Dr. Giggles...

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Another bad hospital horror flick

Author: MoonShdo from United States
20 August 2001

This movie can't decide what it wants to be.

It starts out medical mystery. Standard "Coma" plot here - maverick woman doctor fights with colleagues and discovers something fishy going on.

Next is a detour through subplot melodrama - maverick doctor gets in trouble and starts hanging out with a photojournalist turned med student. Nice work by James Remar here.

Then it lurches over to horror flick but doesn't quite make it. The heart of a good horror flick is a compelling villian. This script practically forgets about its villian until a good way into the film. What we get then is a laughably bad, unchilling parody of a sort of bad guy. He's got no menace, no personality. What good is a forgettable bad guy?

Skip this one unless you must see every bad hospital horror flick ever made.

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just what the doctor DIDN'T order

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
13 June 2012

When I watch a slasher, I don't expect it to be particularly intellectual. I expect a lot of blood and guts. If the movie turns out to be more than that, then it's a pleasant surprise.

Unfortunately, "The Surgeon" tries to be intellectual but fails. It could have just stuck to being a gorefest and I would have been satisfied. Instead, it fizzles out very early on. Not even the presence of Malcolm McDowell and Peter Boyle can save it.

There's just no reason to see this movie. It's a total waste. Much like how the one "Twilight" movie that I saw tried too hard to be both a vampire flick and a teen romance, "The Surgeon" tries too many things at once and ends up making no sense.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:


Author: Raidar from Basingstoke
8 February 2004

Not a bad little thriller that lifts various elements from the slasher genre without actually becoming so easily recogniseable as one of those movies. James Remar is fairly good and the film plays fairly well. Just average really

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