20th Jul2017

‘Nurse Sherri’ Blu-ray Review (Vinegar Syndrome)

by Mondo Squallido

Stars: Geoffrey Land, Jill Jacobson, Marilyn Joi, Katherine Pass, Prentiss Moulden, Bill Roy, Erwin Fuller, J.C. Wells, Clay Foster, Caryl Briscoe | Written by Michael Bockman, Greg Tittinger | Directed by Al Adamson

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Deep in the L.A. Desert, a gullible cult lead by the influential and ever, ever so slightly mad and deluded preacher – Thomas Reanhauer (Bill Roy) work “hard” to bring a recently deceased boy back to life by the power of chanting and spiritual mumbo-jumbo. The unfortunate child had died when Reanhauer informed the child’s mother not to give hime his insulin because religious freedom I guess? Naturally, all of this hard work combined with being stuck IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT takes its toll on Reanhauer and as a result, suffers a massive heart attack. He is instantly taken to hospital where he refuses treatment due to his beliefs (why we still allow that shit, I’ll never know…). Thankfully, the medical team uses common sense and carries on with the relevant treatment regardless. Unfortunately however, Reanhauer dies on the table and as a result he possesses the beautiful young nurse Sherri (Jill Jacobson). As you would expect, he uses Sherri as his vessel to take revenge upon  those who lead him to die. As we all know, hospitals are horrifically understaffed so fingers crossed that Sherri or her work colleagues can work out how to rid Sherri of this evil and bring a little bit of sanity back to the sordid world of Los Angeles. It’s going to be bloody!

As much as I love exploitation cinema, you really have to sift through mountains of shit before you strike even the tiniest piece of schlocky cinematic gold. Unfortunately, Nurse Sherri is another jagged piece of rock with only but a few specks of gold. Aside from some nice pieces of gore and the odd bit of flesh on show, there’s really nothing to shout about here. OK, there’s a fairly well executed car chase, but that’s all I’m giving you. When the story isn’t jumping back and forth in a haphazard way, it’s just bloody boring. The concept is cool, if not a bit contrived and familiar at times. Acting as you would expect (and want to be honest.) is a bit wooden at times, but not in that unintentionally funny sort of way. Speaking of funny, I have seen people talking about the comedic aspects of this film. What comedic aspects? It’s about as funny as a John Oliver joke. I just didn’t really get engrossed in to the film like you should. I mean, it’s nursesploitation meets paranormal horror! That should be outrageous and silly! This is far from Al Adamson’s most memorable outings. I can’t even recommend Nurse Sherri in that “oh so bad, it’s good!” sort of way. That being said, the finale is somewhat memorable.

I never go in to these films even wanting cinematic gold, I just want to be entertained. Am I going to blindly bash on it? Hell no! There will be some people who will get a kick out of Nurse Sherri and like some Vinegar Syndrome releases – the film itself may not be anything to write home about, but I thank the trashy cinematic gods for releasing films like this in the way only Vinegar Syndrome know how.

First of all, for a film shot on 16mm and then blown up on to 32mm with reshoots and inserts, Nurse Sherri looks great and sounds great. Of course, there are clear dips in quality, but what do you expect from obscure cheapies like this? It’s not like Vinegar Syndrome didn’t you warn you before the films starts or anything. Included on disc is a commentary from producer Sam Sherman which is insightful, a DVD-only “exploitation” cut of the film sourced from tape which actually does improve the overall a film a tad with a bit more sex thrown in and some alterations, interviews with Jill Jacobson and co-star Marilyn Joi which is fun, a then and now location featurette as well as a promotional gallery and trailers. Not only that, but there is the option of two artworks which both look fantastic. Like I said, only Vinegar Syndrome could put this much effort in to a film most companies wouldn’t even bother to remaster and for that, I’m thankful.

Nurse Sherri is not my cup of tea, but it may be yours. It literally is the shitty quality hospital tea of the trash cinema world.

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