While trying to understand a frightening reoccurring nightmare, a pledge is coaxed into breaking into her father's department store by her sorority sisters, where a deranged killer targets the girls and their boyfriends.
Three college girls on their way to a jazz festival crash their car in the isolated woods during a rainstorm, and are taken in by a mysterious family in an old mansion. Little do the girls know, the family has a dark, murderous secret.
Deborah Ballin is a controversial middle-aged TV journalist, who is campaigning on air on behalf of a battered woman who murdered her abusive husband, claiming justifiable defense against the so-called victim. But her outspoken views championing women's rights incense one of the studio's cleaning staff, closet homicidal psycho (and misogynist) Colt Hawker whose deep seated despising all all things female occurred from seeing his Mother throwing boiling oil in the face of his abusive Father when he was a small child (and who's M.O. is to photograph victims he stabs as they're spasming to death). So much so that he decides there and then to shut her up...PERMANENTLY! Managing to beat her home, he soon dispatches her maid Francine, before turning his rage onto her as she come home (greeting her in only wearing her jewelry and make-up). Despite the brutal injuries he lashes out on her, she manages to survive and is rushed off to hospital. But undaunted he catches up to her in hospital and...Written by
The name of the medical facility in the movie was the "County General Hospital". It was portrayed in the film by the real-life Veteran's Hospital in Senneville in Quebec, Canada. It served for both interior and exterior shooting for the picture. See more »
(at around 45 mins) Michael Ironside's character dashes through a bathroom door in the hospital, and the camera and 2-3 crew members are briefly reflected in the mirror above the sink, before he closes the door. See more »
The film was listed as one of the original DPP 74 UK video nasties. UK cinema and video versions were cut by the BBFC to edit a scene where Colt traces his knife across Lisa before slashing her clothing and shots of Colt kicking Sheila as he photographs her. The uncut version was shown on ITV in 1989 by mistake and the company was publicly rebuked by the Broadcasting Standards Council. See more »
Worth watching if you're in hospital and there isn't anything else on
The basic premise of Visiting Hours is that an unsuccessful serial killer decides to finish off the job at the hospital where his victim is being treated. There is about enough plot there to make a good TV episode or short film, but somehow Jean-Claude Lord's film has been stretched to an hour and forty five minutes. As you might expect, this leaves the film overlong and more than a little tedious as the majority of it is merely filler. Furthermore, neither the psychopath nor any of his victims are elevated above the very basic level of characterisation needed for this sort of film, and since this plot was done to (slightly) better effect a year earlier with Halloween 2, there really isn't a lot of reason to bother with this hospital slasher. Of course, the film did feature on the DPP 'Video Nasty' list back in the eighties, so it will always have something of a fan base as well as a list of people wanting to see it; but even as a Video Nasty, it isn't all that good as the scenes of gore mostly feel rushed and in true Halloween style, the murders aren't exactly imaginative.
The hospital setting ensures that the film stands out as hospitals are traditionally 'safe' places where the sick get better; whereas here we've got someone bumping off the patients. The setting isn't very well used, however, as the rooms mostly look like offices and the director doesn't do a very good job of building up the location. The acting isn't very good either, as while Michael Ironside may have a look of Jack Nicholson - he certainly doesn't have his talent, as his performance isn't charismatic or even interesting, and he's a lot like Michael Myers without the mask. Linda Purl and Lee Grant both give typical performances as typical female victims (although the film features no nudity) and William Shatner also has a small role. Basically, the problem with this film is that it uses up all of its energy in the first sequence. The first scene has suspense and terror (best shown in the laundry shoot), but after that it just fizzles out into an overlong boring mess. I'm not the biggest fan of slashers anyway, but there's far better one around than this; the Video Nasty list itself even has some better ones.
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