Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Nurse AKA Nurse 3-D (2013)

"My name is Abigail Russell. I look like a slut, but don't be fooled—this is merely a disguise to lure the dangerous predators who walk among us. This is their jungle, their breeding ground, and tonight I am on the hunt. These are the cheaters, the married, lying scum. They are like diseased cells cultured in alcoholic petri dishes that destroy unsuspecting families and infect millions of innocent vaginas. There is no cure for the married cock—only me, the nurse."

That is how Nurse begins. A title card explaining statistics of those who kill while in the medical profession and then scenes accompanied by the above words being narrated by the main character, a psychopathic nurse going by the name of Abigail Russell (played by Paz de la Huerta). You'll either go with it or you won't.

I'm always saying how much I enjoy movies that don't pretend to be anything other than whatever they're aiming for. I would never say that art is art, and trash is trash, and never the twain shall meet. Although that IS a pretty good general rule of thumb. Nurse is trash. It knows that it's trash, and it's happy to be trash from beginning to end. 

Riffing on material that will be familiar to anyone who has seen Fatal AttractionSingle White Female, or any one of the hundreds of other psycho thrillers from the past few decades, Nurse shows the unbalanced Abigail taking quite a shine to a nurse named Danni (Katrina Bowden). In between killing sleazy, cheating men, Abigail decides to do whatever it takes to get Danni closer to her. Unfortunately, she pushes too hard, simply showing herself up as the psycho that she is.

When watching Nurse, you're never more than a few minutes away from either some gratuitous nudity or some entertaining nastiness. It's that commitment to keep things so entertaining from start to finish that helps the movie become more than the sum of its parts. Trash plus trash plus more trash can become treasure, and that's the case here (admittedly, not everyone will agree with me). Director Douglas Aarniokoski, who also co-wrote the movie with David Loughery, seems to know just how to pitch everything, and he's helped immensely by the game cast.

Paz de la Huerta gives the kind of performance so bad that, in line with everything else in the movie, it transcends standard quality checks to become something wonderful. Bowden is as good as she usually is, and she's fast become someone I like seeing in movies, Corbin Bleu is fine as Bowden's boyfriend, which automatically puts him at risk, and Niecy Nash is a lot of fun as another nurse, Regina. Martin Donovan and Judd Nelson both get to play sleazebags, Boris Kodjoe is the detective who gets involved with the girls, and there's even a brief cameo for Kathleen Turner (which is, I assume, a tribute to her enduring status as one of the most memorable femme fatales, thanks to her turn in Body Heat).

If you go into this movie expecting something even remotely remembering a serious, tense thriller then you've only got yourself to blame if you end up baffled by the viewing experience. If, however, you know what you're letting yourself in for then you can just sit back and have a whale of a time.



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