5.9/10
2,814
34 user 36 critic

The Ambulance (1990)

A comic-book artist meets a woman on the NY streets, but after a quick flirtation, she suddenly collapses, and is picked-up by an old ambulance. He checks all the hospitals in the area, but the woman seems to have disappeared.

Director:

Larry Cohen

Writer:

Larry Cohen
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Roberts ... Josh Baker
James Earl Jones ... Lt. Spencer
Megan Gallagher ... Officer Sandra Malloy
Red Buttons ... Elias Zacharai
Janine Turner ... Cheryl
Eric Braeden ... The Doctor
Richard Bright ... McClosky
James Dixon ... Detective 'Jughead' Ryan
Jill Gatsby ... Jerilyn
Martin Barter Martin Barter ... Street Gang Leader
Laurene Landon ... Patty
Nick Chinlund ... Hugo (as Nicholas Chinlund)
Matt Norklun ... Ambulance Driver
Rudy Jones ... Ambulance Driver
Stan Lee ... Marvel Comics Editor
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Storyline

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 <rhkessen@cs.vu.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll be in perfect health before you die.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 March 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ambulance See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Trump made a small cameo in a deleted scene. See more »

Quotes

Cheryl: They were going to sell me like an animal!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Masters of Horror: Pick Me Up (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Do You Want My Love
Written by Gary McLaughlin & Gavin Christopher
Performed by Gavin Christopher
Produced by Gary McLaughlin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Low-budget black comedy thriller is just what the doctor ordered. (minor spoilers)
23 May 2004 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

The Ambulance actually turned out to be a pretty funny, yet bizarre thriller. Sarcastic extrovert, Josh Baker (Eric Roberts in a hilarious role), probably regrets the day he talked to a woman that he felt compelled to introduce himself to, having always seen her on his lunch break. The woman, a diabetic, suddenly collapses in the street, and he is there as she is carried away in a hearse-turned-ambulance with a mysterious green glowing light in the back. She gets in the ambulance, and as Josh later discovers, she never arrives at any of the local hospitals.

Josh is convinced something is awry, but doesn't pay too much attention to it at first (in fact, as bizarre as the story becomes, he's so matter-of-fact about everything. Him and everyone else). The more people he confronts about the strange ambulance that conveniently seems to arrive when he's talking to them but never seems to be around when he needs to prove it exists, the more likely those people are going to wind up dead because of the ambulance (actually, because of the people driving it, who are the goons for a strange doctor who is using his victims for a strange medical experiment).

Josh's only hope, besides himself (a guy who will soon be quite immune to pain as he gets hit by cars, jumps through barred doors, is drugged, and finally beat by a junkyard gang), is the red head cop Sandra Malloy who turns up after her boss, Spencer (James Earl Jones in an even funnier part as the disbeliever), turns up missing. And if they don't act fast, the ambulance will show up for them, and the only chance of stopping it will be lost.

All in all, the story is bizarre, but the movie is much more of a comedy than a thriller in sort of that 'After Hours' style of comedy. Josh appears to be absolutely crazy to those around him, babbling about some weird ambulance that is out to murder people. But he seems to dismiss the seriousness of it, just hoping to save the girl and get through the day, and not much else. Eric Roberts and Red Buttons, too, made a good team, albeit a brief one with Red Buttons as Elias Zacharai, the fast-talking newspaper reporter who befriends Josh and has similar convictions about the hospital staff trying to drug up patients and keep them against his will, but in that senile old man kind of way. He plays the reporter that wants the exclusive story on the ambulance.

Loosen up and give it a try. Though cheap, it's got some good action sequences, a decent plot, and is just overall, pretty funny. Except, for maybe the ending. It was just too easy.


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