“This job is more than just sticking needles in butts and looking pretty.”
There is a lesson here. Be careful what you wish for. The archetypal male fantasy of nurses has not noticeably become more sophisticated over time. Certainly, what once was saucy snapshot Carry-On type shenanigans, confined to stiff and stoic fifties wish-fulfilment by husbands in carnal need of a bed-bath, has inarguably become more graphic, as sensibilities and acceptable depiction have allowed. This does not, however, mean we think any differently, but cinema now is much more inclined to show us our darkest thoughts on screen than ever before.
And as such, you don’t need really need to be a genius to work out just what kind of audience Nurse 3D is aimed at. Predominantly heterosexual males, naturally, given the amount, and type, of skin on show, but who also enjoy enough gore to top up the interest levels in between all of gyrating and thrusting that our main characters dutifully put up with having to perform. If this had been made at our local hospital, this would have made for a very different film indeed. I’m not sure that there is a cinematic market for featuring haggard, mostly bad-tempered, middle-aged women that work eighteen hours a day in uncomfortable, unflattering uniforms, coping with the never-ending fallout of drunken pub crawls and domestic violence, or wiping the backsides of the elderly or infirm, for a pittance of remuneration and no more than the promise of going to heaven for being there to help.
“How are we today?”
“We are peeing in a bag.”
“Oh, how convenient!”
The film is not without some humour, as the above testifies to, but it does not excel in this department. Given its trashy, b-movie feel, even with its glossy frosting, you would expect there to be more moments that would draw a smile, but too often will you find yourself glazed by the predictable and overly cheesy dialogue. Granted, you may not have come for the impressive script (and nor will you get one) but the opportunity to wax lyrical in this comic-book, blood-spattered environment is as good here as anywhere.
With a cast that includes Judd Nelson and Kathleen Turner, you expect a certain level of competency and you can almost hear the conversation as this project was being pitched to the pair of them, something along the lines of ‘cult classic in the making’ and/or ‘barnstorming return after years in the cinematic wilderness’. But Nelson and even more so Turner, are bit players in a vehicle that isn’t too fussed about its acting credentials but needed a name or two in order to get the budget.
The ‘Nurse’ in question here is Paz De La Huerta, which the more avid cinemagoer may have seen in Enter The Void. Despite acting since a very young age, this does not really appear to be her vehicle to shine. Her delivery is comical at times and you just have to hope that this was on purpose, but the law of averages here suggests that it wasn’t, which leaves the viewer asking if she is very good at this, or stupendously bad. Coming across like a stereotypical soft-core porn star from the eighties, she fails to convince that she is doing anything more than delivering the lines she read only a few minutes beforehand. If not for Katrina Bowden as the object of this serial killers’ attention, this would have been pretty much unbearable to watch. Bowden does her very best with the script and of the featured players is easily the most talented and believable.
In all, I would be lying if I suggested this was worthy of your time. It will leave soft-core porn fans wanting and for those after either a decent, well-delivered story, or a collection of decent performances, they too will go home feeling more than slightly short-changed. Visually, it is quite striking on occasion, but if you want something visceral with better acting and more considered moments of pain and suffering, then I would recommend American Mary instead, as it is a much better example of what I think this project was trying to achieve.
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