DOUBLE FEATURE: PULSE/SICK NURSES
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Kiyoshi Kurosawa , Piraphan Laoyont , Thodsapol Siriwiwat
Kumiko Aso • Kurume Arisaka
What's it about
Nurses: Weird sexy nurses and a well-known doctor are making some extra cash on the side by selling off body parts on the black market. Unfortunately, the doctor can't keep his gloves out of the nurses and this causes one nurse to be killed by her co-workers. Naturally, the dead rise again after a week to return to those they are enamored with and come day seven, the nasty nurses are in for a rude awakening.
Pulse: After one of their friends commits suicide, strange things begin happening to a group of young Tokyo residents. One of them sees visions of his dead friend in the shadows on the wall, while another's computer keeps showing strange, ghostly images. Is their friend trying to contact them from beyond the grave, or is there something much more sinister going on?
Is it good movie?
Nurses: Although I prefer Asian horror flicks to remain Asian and not become watered down North American remakes, Sick Nurses did not do me any favors in terms of enjoyability. Coming from Thailand, this one is firmly entrenched in the 'what the hell is going on' category of foreign films where you're desperately trying to figure out what's going on and why you're the poor fellow watching it.
Essentially, this is a movie with a really weak premise stretched out poorly over an almost feature length runtime of 80 minutes. The nurses are all sort of slutty, but never show anything and their only form of character development comes from small cutaways which show their hang-ups which the ghost will exploit later.
There's really nothing here to note- the movie motors along at a brisk pace but has nothing to it. There's some cool camera work going on here but it is balanced by some of the worst looking CGI blood effects i've seen in quite awhile. People who love gore, look elsewhere. People who love naked boobies, look elsewhere. People who love ghosts with long hair, a few neat moments and nurse torture should check this out.
Pulse: Oh, good god did I ever hate the American version of this film. Unfortunately for me, I saw it before I watched this version, and let me assure you that this is far, far superior than the crappy remake we had to endure. This one is another one of the stories that deals with technology causing the death of social interaction and the like.
This online ghost story is feeling a bit dated here but the film is pretty decent. Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa knows how to write some great characters, ones who have actually been infused with a sense of depth and some black humor. This is a key element in having any horror film being taken seriously and automatically gets bonus points in my book. The whole thing serves as a way to make you think, ya know? The question here is what is separating us from life and death, when some of us are already spending every moment of our time gazing at a monitor almost endlessly.
This is a film steeped in dark, dreary atmosphere and carries itself pretty heavily. There are themes of alienation, loneliness, suicide and depression abound in this flick so it isn't for all tastes. There's no cheap jump scares and the film relies a lot on score and creepiness. It also has an ending that is pretty bleak, despite some bad CGI showing up once again. There are some scenes and moments that felt a bit 'art house' to me, leaving me wondering why things were happening or how people got to certain areas, but I assume that is me getting a bit lost in translation more than anything else.
Video / Audio
Video for both films comes in 1:78:1 widescreen and I'd have to say Pulse is better looking than Nurses, but that's likely because Nurses is much more low-budget.
Audio is presented in 2.0 stereo for Pulse and 5.1 Dolby Digital for Nurses, and Nurses allows you to watch the film with bad English dubbing if you wish!
These two movies couldn't be much more different from each other. Ultimately, this two pack is worth it if you haven't seen Pulse but Sick Nurses isn't something I'd recommend to anyone. I was surprised to see how much I enjoyed Pulse, given its awful American cousin stinking up our shelves. If you see this for cheap or don't mind suffering through the strange Sick Nurses, check it out because if nothing else, variety is the spice of life and this pack gives you a taste of new culture.