The Aisle Seat - Movie Reviews by Mike McGranaghan
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THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan


Nurse 3D

Nurse 3D is an early frontrunner for Craziest Movie of 2014. Just look at that poster image on the left. It tells you everything you need to know. This is an unapologetic exploitation flick, executed with tongue-in-cheek style. It's got blood, boobs, and butts galore, plus a lot of outrageously gimmicky uses of the third dimension. Even though grindhouses no longer exist (at least as they once did), grindhouse movies have made something of a resurgence in recent years, thanks to the likes of Machete, Hobo With a Shotgun, Piranha 3D, and others. This one fits easily, and entertainingly, within the genre.

Paz de la Huerta (Boardwalk Empire) plays Abby Russell, a nurse at a New York City hospital. It's an ethically-challenged facility where the doctors and nurses all have sex with one another whenever possible, and that includes its chief, Dr. Morris (Judd Nelson). Abby has her eye on someone else, though: her sexy blonde protege Danni (Katrina Bowden). When she's not working or engaging in her favorite hobby of picking up cheating husbands and murdering them, Abby strives to get Danni's full attention. The problem is that Danni has a boyfriend, Steve (Corbin Bleu), to whom she's devoted. Tensions between the women escalate, with Danni coming to suspect that her fellow nurse is not as benevolent as she presents herself. Dead bodies mount up, a cop (Boris Kodjoe) starts investigating, and Abby cranks her evil level up to ten.

Nurse 3D is concerned with exactly two things. The first is nudity, especially rear ends. I've never seen so many closeups of posteriors in a film. Both lead actresses appear in frequent states of undress, but whether they are clothed or not, director Douglas Aarniokoski (TV's Criminal Minds) never misses an opportunity to study their backsides with great intensity. I couldn't help thinking about Mike Judge's futuristic satire Idoicracy, in which brain-dead audiences lap up a picture called Ass: The Movie, which is nothing more than a 90-minute closeup know. Bosoms play a big role here, as well. Paz de la Huerta gets topless multiple times, while Bowden, in typical exploitation movie fashion, keeps finding excuses to strip down to lingerie.

The other thing the film is concerned with is blood. And boy, is there a lot of it. Abby kills her victims in creative ways designed to get the red stuff spurting. Her methods involve all sorts of surgical items, not just scalpels and scissors – although they come into play – but also drugs, bone saws, and defibrillators. One has to marvel at the inventiveness of the kills here. They're insanely over-the-top, so that you don't take anything too seriously, yet they also have an undeniable squirm factor. 3D isn't technically essential to enjoy the movie, yet it does provide an extra kick whenever Abby takes a victim. Blood, body parts, and sharp objects come flying right at you. It's delightfully sick fun.

Paz de la Huerta is amazing in Nurse 3D, and by “amazing,” I mean “terrible.” In her defense, she may have been instructed to act terribly, because it absolutely works in the context of the film. She perpetually makes “duck face” at the camera and delivers all her lines in a weird, stilted manner. These things serve to give Abby an unhinged quality. They also contribute to the movie's most subtle joke, which is that Abby is clearly a psycho, yet no one seems to realize it. The actress's bizarre affectations help to sell some of the screenplay's wittier lines, as when Abby, in voiceover, tells us, “There's a lot more to this job than just sticking thermometers in butts and looking pretty.”

When all is said and done, Nurse 3D gives you exactly what it promises: a mixture of T&A titillation and grindhouse gore. That's all it sets out to do, and it absolutely achieves the goal. Anyone with an appreciation for well-executed exploitation fare will enjoy it as much as I did. Visually stylish and imbued with sly humor, Nurse 3D is trash that knows it's trash. The film is proud of its trashiness.

( out of four)

Note: Nurse 3D is playing theatrically, and is also available on VOD. Some VOD platforms offer the 3D version for those with 3D HDTVs.

Nurse 3D is rated R for bloody violence, strong sexual content, language and some graphic nudity. The running time is 1 hour and 24 minutes.

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