Our Love Holds On. Holds On.
It’s finally happening. I’m reviewing an Al Adamson flick.
You’re still here? That’s surprising. Once I said it was an Al Adamson flick, you should’ve been gone. For those not in the know, Adamson and his partner, Sam Sherman, founded Independent-International Pictures in 1966, and then went on to release what are, depending on your point of view, some of the shittiest movies ever made. We’re talking films such as Satan’s Sadists, Dracula Vs Frankenstein, Blood of Ghastly Horror, Blazing Stewardesses, & many more. That’s not to say that these movies are unwatchable. Well, Bloody of Ghastly Horror might be.
Knowing how I made you feel with my previous tribute to Ms. Deborah Gibson, I will refrain from making any 1980’s musical references. Besides, you’re more of the Journey type, aren’t you?
The film starts in the deserts of California. A member of a small cult has died. The cult’s leader and head necromancer, Reanhauer, arrives to resurrect the fallen man. He, of course, arrives in the time-honored ceremonial tweed suit and tie. I can only assume that the job as cult leader is secondary to his job selling used Oldsmobiles as the man that he has come to resurrect has been dead for 3 weeks. So, even if this guy did return from the dead, he’d be forced to work with a body that is now pretty much a piece of sweaty turkey jerky. Delicious, sweaty, turkey jerky.
Reanhauer starts the ceremony, but a heart attack stops him before he can finish. An ambulance rushes him to the hospital. He is then seen in surgery, the doctors trying to save him. One of them desperately pounds on the heart in an effort to try to restart it. Okay, so “pounds” is the wrong word. It’s really more of a punch. Either way, this doctor is delivering a cardiac beatdown. And just like a Boom Boom Mancini fight, it ends with someone dead. In this case, Reanhauer.
As cell phones were not around at this time, how was the ambulance called for? Did they have to drive him to the nearest pay-phone before calling? And if I have to explain what a “pay-phone” is…… well, I just might beat your ass!
Meanwhile, Sherri (Jill Jacobson, who would later appear on TV’s Falcon Crest) and the hospital’s “token” black nurse, Tara (even though everyone calls her “Smiley”), are in the nurse’s station. Tara (Marilyn Joi – The Naughty Stewardesses, Mansion of the Doomed) informs Sherri that a star running back, Marcus Washington, is a patient in their hospital. Smiley is a huge fan of his and is ecstatic to be assigned to his care. As she tells Sherri, “When he gets that ball and moves his black ass downfield, it’s like poetry in motion.”. Damn, girl. I didn’t know it was like THAT.
Smiley goes into Marcus’s room to meet him, unaware that the running back’s playing days are now over due to an automobile accident costing him his sight. Naturally, he’s not very happy about it. She tries to cheer him up and offers him encouragement, but he asks her to leave him alone. He tells her that he “don’t need none of her honkey bullshit”. Once again, he’s blind! She informs him that she is, in fact, also black. She calls him a “bigot” and leaves.
The film cuts to Sherri’s apartment. Dr. Desmond, the hospital’s most promising doctor, is getting dressed after giving Sherri the ol’ “crotch thermometer”. She starts to wake up, but he tells her to go back to bed because “she needs beauty sleep”. Damn, Doc! Really, Sherri is cute enough. She’s rather well endowed too. There was one scene where I thought she was being attacked by a couple snapper turtles, but it turned out just to be her breasts going “free range” as she lay on her back. Oh, the 70’s. When bras were considered sacrilegious.
As Sherri sleeps, a superimposed green splotch of glowing light enters her bedroom. The blob flashes a few times, turns into non-“sissy vampire” based sparkles, and then changes again into the outline of a human head. One with green lit-up eyes. The illuminated color splotch spills across the room and onto Sherri’s bed, slowly covering her body. THIS is what passes as “possession” in this movie. I should’ve been gone long before this.
In the next scene, we get to watch another nurse, Beth visit a patient. When the patient complains of not feeling any better, she does what any good nurse should do. She undresses and gives him a “humdinger”. Wait……. What? Really? And to think of all the stuff I have to go through just to get some antibiotics. Unfortunately, this is as “sexual” as this sexploitation flick gets. (NOTE: That’s not actually true. Read on.) And for a movie such as this, that’s a total let down.
Desmond meets the nurses in the nurse’s station and offers to buy them lunch. Sherri and Tara debate whether to get Chinese or Italian. Beth may have skipped lunch altogether as she has just had a midday snack of “baby batter”. Without much explanation, we then see Sherri driving in her car. She drives to a cemetery, and here the possessing spirit takes control. The spirit, now revealed to be that of Reanhauer, decides to visit his former right-hand man. He torments the man by wrecking his house and throwing a knife at him.
In a very convenient plot point, Marcus announces that he is the grandson of a Haitian voodoo priestess. Because of this, he can sense the evil that is “invading” Sherri. A possessed Sherri even stops into Marcus’s room once to kill him, but is deterred by a bracelet that the football player wears and seemingly protects him from harm from supernatural entities.
Back at the hospital, Desmond asks Sherri where she disappeared to during lunch. The poor woman does not remember where she went, let alone even being told anything about lunch. Way to go, Doc. You’ve broken the poor girl with your mean comments about needing sleep to stop being fugly. And even after all your words of steel, she’s still crazy about you and your Lyle Wagonner haircut.
Sherri takes off again, this time to drive to a farm and kill one of the doctors that assisted in Reanhauer’s failed surgery. She tells the old man that she has a package for him from the hospital in the trunk of her car. When he opens the trunk, she stabs him through the back with a pitchfork. It’s worth mentioning this scene as it is the height of the bloodshed in this flick.
Once again at Sherri’s apartment, Desmond corners Sherri about her disappearances and her recent odd behavior. She tells him that she was in some sort of dream-like state and can’t remember any of it. I have a few ex-girlfriends that I don’t really remember, so I guess that like Sherri, I must’ve been a dreamer. After Desmond persists some more, Sherri warns the man to “Back Off!’, albeit in Reanhauer’s voice. I guess I must’ve been someone else because I think I’d remember some shit like that happening.
Even though we, the audience, have known what is going on for most of the movie, it takes the characters 45 mins to start getting a clue. Luckily, the movie starts strong and shows quite a bit of potential for having a good story. Unfortunately, it’s not to be as the next 40 minutes of the movie are nothing more than padding. Sure, a few things happen. A couple of characters die. There is an extended car chase that leads to nothing. We finally get some gratuitous nudity courtesy of Nurse Smiley. All of these things have no real importance and don’t really progress the story so much as slow it to a crawl. At 87 minutes, Nurse Sherri should have been finished 20 minutes earlier. And we should’ve been over with this review 50 words ago.
Finally, in the last 5 to 10 minutes, Marcus tells Smiley how to rid Sherri of this evil spirit residing within her. She sets out to do just that, enlisting Beth for the ride.
And that’s it. That’s the climax. There are no twists. There are no surprises. There IS a downer ending, but I am glad that realism was applied here. Oh, and there isn’t enough nudity, but that’s neither here nor there. No, really. I looked HERE. I looked THERE. I don’t see much 70’s boob anywhere. Note: There is another cut of this film entitled “The Possession of Nurse Sherri” that is supposed to feature more sex and nudity, but sadly I did not bother to watch it for this revision. This cut is included on the recent Vinegar Syndrome blu-ray release of the film.
As far as Al Adamson’s movies go, this might be one of the better ones. And by a fair margin too. Then again, it’s an Al Adamson movie, so that’s not really saying much. Like most of Adamson’s films, it may grow on you after a few rewatches (albeit for all the wrong reasons), as it has for me. That said, there just isn’t enough here to give the film a raving recommendation.
In closing, one thing bothered me the entire time I was watching this movie. Just who is taking care of the patients while these nurses are leaving the hospital at random times during their shifts?
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