Nurse 3D (2013)

My tolerance for schlock is high, I think there is an art to a gratifyingly gratuitous film. I also think that there is a very fine scale when in this territory between creating an entertaining picture or a bland, useless one. Nurse 3D manages to succeed in being so self knowingly brutal that it loses all menace and all tension.

It’s problems start with its shaky premise. Nurse Abby Russell (Paz de la Huerta), scorned by the infertility of her father, seeks to seduce and murder men with similar marital disregard. How she reasons to herself that the children and wives she is “saving” are better off with dead fathers/husbands rather than in a divorce situation, is never explained. By the end, it seems that our Nurse just doesn’t care.

A subplot involving a younger, more innocent nurse (Katrina Bowden), a mentee to the titular Nurse only serves to convolute the situation. Spurred by some kind of lesbian lust for her mentee, Russell takes her to a nightclub, spikes her drink and lures her into cheating on her boyfriend. Russell proceeds to harass Danni via photographic blackmail before killing her adulterous stepfather in a last ditch attempt to win her heart.

In the final act, when none of her terrible plans coalesce, she opts for the only decent thing to do; she tears through her hospital and murders people left, right and centre with absolutely no mercy. It makes no sense, her abandons her M.O. and butchers security guards, patients and doctors alike. Her final stand involves tricking a naive, lovelorn nerd to batter the skull of a policeman in before she assumes a new identity and moves to a different hospital.

De la Huerta handles her role with aplomb, tackling all the terrible dialogue fed to her with relish. She is really the only redeeming feature of the film but she is also unfairly homogenised by a film ostensibly enamoured with the empowerment of women. She spends half her screen time naked, and in a manner that is always wholly unnecessary to her situation. It’s a film that is clearly written and directed by men and men whom appear to have little to no respect for women.

Between its arduous special effects, including what I’d now refer to as “retro” 3D, all flying blood drips and scalpels pushed in your face, and it’s muddied, contradictory moral center, Nurse is one I would save for a rainy day when there are literally no films left you’d rather watch.

– Oliver Drew

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