Friday, June 19, 2009



The fastest way to induce an audience's nausea, is perhaps to throw up plenty of thick crimson blood and splatter loads of internal organs on screen, and there's just something about having a ready made premise in hospital mortuaries where there are dead bodies ready to be exploited for some horror and gore, playing into the consensus that these places are just those that you wouldn't want to linger for a second longer.

Autopsy here didn't refer to any post-mortem done on bodies to discover death, but rather plays out like a typical formulaic horror film of recent times where the human bodies go through extreme, mindless torture which torture porn flicks have been trying very best to go one up against one another by upping the ante, either by body count, death by strange tools, or some insanely crafted violent sequences. A look at films such as Body #19, Pathology, Unrest and even Saw IV would give you an idea of what you're in for, should you opt to give this film a shot.

Told in relatively low budget terms, it centers around a group of teenagers, all drunk and high on dope, getting into a car crash, and checking themselves voluntarily into Mercy Hospital, run by two unconventional looking ambulance drivers / helpers, the receptionist Nurse Marian (Jenette Goldstein) and Dr. David Benway (Robert Patrick). I suppose if one's not drunk, a hospital run by a crew of four would have raised eyebrows, but to some traumatized teens, it seemed like a godsend being able to be medically looked at before they get on their way.

Only for things to go bump, with scenes crafted with little logic and flow, plenty of repetitiveness (climbing up and down the same stairwell for example) and cheap tricks out to elicit cheap scares. While you'd appreciate what writer-director Adam Gierasch is trying to get at, especially with the build up toward the end under lead protagonist Emily (Jessica Lowndes), what was ultimately a let down was the plot loopholes that you could pilot a 747 through, poor, choppy pacing, and plenty of throwaway, useless characters in hospital patients just shown on screen to boast what good make up artists they have.

And the make up and art department deserve some credit in coming up with some really mind-numbing, gory looking wounds, parts, decapitations etc, in order to keep you somewhat engaged in looking out for the next big gory scene. While you don't expect Oscar winning performances, I can't help but chuckle at some very wooden, amateurish acting amongst the cast, and even Robert Patrick seemed like he's parodying his Terminator role here, being deadpan in expression, and persistently hard to shake and get rid of.

Autopsy is a poor man's cousin of flicks like Hostel, where things just aren't quite they seem and victims get compartmentalized in some divide and conquer strategy. In most cases, you're going to laugh at the scenes for being implausible, or clumsily executed, so while I won't recommend this film as a horror flick, I definitely would do so as a comedy of errors, and how it contains some of the pitfalls that one should consciously try to avoid when making a horror film.

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