Dead Man's Shoes
The Last Horror Movie
Shaun Of The Dead
The Weekend Murders
Kiss Of The Vampire
The Devil's Men
Three Cases Of Murder
O Lucky Man

Horror Hospital

In 1973, ex Kit-Kat advert director and friend of William Burroughs Antony Balch made his second feature film. His first had been a bizarre experiment starring Valentine Dyall called Secrets of Sex in 1970 - an Amicus-style anthology, which took the interlinking stories idea and chucked in a load of sex and gore. The new film starred Michael Gough as a mad scientist running a "health farm" for hip young things (they book their weekends through a travel company called Hairy Holidays)
Enter failed rock musician Askwith, still smarting from losing a punch-up to a "faggot". Confused Robin, who has hooked up with a "bird" on the way (Using the worst chat-up line in history - see sounds page) eventually susses out something is wrong after a number of bloody deaths.
This film has everything for the discerning viewer - a car which decapitates people, a murderous dwarf who can't say "shish kebab?", and the ever wonderful Michael Gough.
No recommendation can possibly do it justice - it has to be seen to be believed. Askwith gives his all (which granted, isn't much) as the prize thicko wandering gormlessly through the blood-soaked proceedings without a care in the world - until one of Doctor Storm's "patients" breaks down in the middle of dinner and Askwith reacts with the immortal line: "What the fack is going on here?"
Full marks must also go to his reaction noises as two bikers beat the crap out of him with lead piping - over and over and over again.
And let's not forget his sudden grasp of the situation as he appraises the equally gormless (but beautifully coiffeured) Abraham of the situation after said beating, or the peculiarly unsignalled way the "freaky little dwarf" suddenly changes sides.
Horror Hospital was Balch's first and only attempt at a continuous narrative. The man who had caused a storm in the 1960s by re-titling French art house film Traitment du Choc as "Doctor In The Nude" just to bring more punters in suffered the fate of most independent film makers in the 1970s - The Exorcist with its big budget chills had effectively killed off their livelihood. No-one wanted to see cheapo horror any more. He died in from cancer in 1980, never having made another film. Shame, really.

Play video clip
(The clip will open in a new window and play within the browser)

Now make a clean job of it... 28k
That'll teach them... 22k
That stole my song... 28k
I'm getting out of this bloody music business... 46k
There's no need to get so uptight... 14k
My... you look like a couple of drowned rats... 36k
What the... 31k
Scream 18k
Women can be very troublesome... 17k
Oh my goodness... 25k
When you leave here... 12k
Jesus! 19k
Abraham's theme 53k
Delightfully cheesey sub-porn music
Robert explains the plot 110k

Another video clip (needs Realplayer)

Horror Hospital (1973)
Director: Anthony Balch Writer(s): Antony Balch, Alan Watson
Cast: Michael Gough - Dr. Storm, Robin Askwith - Jason, Vanessa Shaw - Judy, Ellen Pollock - Aunt Harris, Dennis Price - Pollack, Kurt Christian - Abraham, Barbara Wendy - Millie, Kenneth Benda - Carter, Martin Grace - Bike Boy, Colin Skeaping - Bike Boy, George Herbert - Laboratory Assistant, James Boris IV - 'Mystic' Rock Group, Allan 'The River' Hudson - 'Mystic' Rock Group, Simon Lust - 'Mystic' Rock Group, Skip Martin - Frederick

Eek! For the last time, Robin - take those red y-fronts OFF!


Askwith picks on someone his own size