Visiting Hours (Jean-Claude Lord, 1982)

posted in: Duane, Jocelyn, Joint Review, Review | 0
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The controversial blatherings of an outspoken talk show host attract the homicidal attentions of a local nutjob who takes offense to her advocating women’s rights to defend themselves. When his assault on her is unsuccessful, he tracks her down at the local hospital to finish the job.
 
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Duane: I’ve always thought there was something not quite right about this movie, then I discovered it was Canadian. Something just feels off when I watch it – it just looks wrong somehow. It could just be the stink of maple syrup and Frenchmen that’s tainted it for me, but Visiting Hours is a strong enough production that I am (thankfully) able to overlook such transgressions in this particular case. Michael Ironside (fresh off the set of Scanners) was the perfect choice for the role of Colt; our loveable anti-hero as he swaggers around hating women and generally just being an angry, creepy motherfucker.  He seethes with abhorrence in such a perfect way that it sucks you in as you cheer him on in his quest to eliminate feminism, one mouthy slut at a time. William Shatner (Incubus, The Devil’s Rain) is totally unnecessary in this on the other hand, as he woodenly gestures and stammers his way around as the conservative television producer and astounds one and all with his uncanny ability to make the most irritating noises while eating ice cream with a plastic spoon (seriously… I wanted to jam it down his throat). 
COSDS-Visiting-Hours-25282-2529Jocelyn:  This film was better than I expected it to be but it still failed to deliver in a variety of ways. Our killer’s entire motivation is due to his mother leaving after his father abused her one too many times and she decided to redecorate his face with hot oil. Naturally, a journalist defending a woman’s right to kill her husband in self- defense sets this fucker off on a killing spree.  Michael Ironside is an excellent villain; he’s got those cold, dead eyes that make him instantly believable as a murdering psychopath. I guess the problem I had was that it didn’t live up to the material. They barely showed any blood, there were NO tits (ample opportunity as he picks up a fucking WHORE…with nice tits!) and Ironside had 2 lines in the whole movie. His face sells it, sure, but imagine how much better this film could have been had he been slicing these bitches up and spouting off some anti-vagina monologues? Why couldn’t he rape all the nurses and call them Mommy while stabbing them? What the fuck was William Shatner even doing in this movie? Why didn’t the nurse go home and make out with the babysitter who comes into her room in nothing but a towel? Have I even mentioned that the direction in this is atrocious? There was ample opportunity for some nicely framed shots and he dropped the ball every time. The one thing I did like? 
Spoiler!!!
 
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D: That babysitter was asking for it all wet and toweled up… yeah there was a lot of missed opportunity. Despite taking a more conservative route in the gore/sleaze department, Visiting Hours still managed to end up on the BBFC’s infamous “Video Nasty” list.  Despite its shortcomings and really fucked up atmosphere I found it to be a decent enough excuse to waste 90 minutes. What the fuck was up with those creepy flashbacks with Colt and his dad though? At one point I was half expecting them to make out.  That was just one of many ways that the direction completely missed the mark. Ironside carried this film, if it wasn’t for him there would be nothing worth mentioning.
Spoiler!!!
  It was clever little scenes like that that held my interest long enough to avoid getting bored with the whole thing.
 
J/D: Visiting Hours has its moments, but generally leaves much to be desired. Barring a brilliant script (which this certainly is not) this is an excellent example of how shying away from titties and gore isn’t going to do a film any favors.
Official COSDS Nunspank Rating: 
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Jocelyn lives on 35 acres of woodland in an undisclosed Appalachian location. When not boozing it up or fighting the power she's tending her organic garden or collecting punk/soundtrack albums. Her best friends walk on 4 legs. She does not own a cell phone.

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