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Visiting Hours (1982)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Visiting Hours (1982) Early entry slasher movie that's thin on plot, heavy on the sleazy KILL atmosphere! Michael Ironside (as "Colt Hawker"---wow what a name!!!) chews up the scenery like Joe Spinell on steroids as a sad sack janitor that works at a TV station. Hawker becomes obsessed TV journalist Lee Grant, who stands up for women's rights---specifically, their right to defend themselves from spousal abuse. This ANGERS ol' Hawker, as he has wacky flashbacks of his parents arguing and his mom throwing hot grease in his dad's face, mauling him for life! Hawker was a daddy's boy, and it's even sickeningly implied that Hawker was molested by daddy, but still thinks he was in the right. So there's Hawker's thin motivation---from there, it's Ironside going after Grant like the Terminator, stalking her at home, putting her in the hospital, and going after her relentlessly there in the fine traditions of HALLOWEEN II. A hospital is an eerie place to set a horror film, as seeing the villain prey on the already hurt and sick patients there is downright low! A nurse, played by Linda Purl, sympathizes with Grant so then she too is targeted by Ironside, who goes after her family and anyone else in his way. The Hawker character's favorite weapon is a switchblade and large knife, and wow is he crazed with it! He kills anyone he likes for pleasure, and there's several scenes where he offs ailing patients that will make you turn away...he photographs their dying breaths with a trusty camera he totes around and makes a collage of pictures in his closet with them forming a "death mask." William Shatner plays Captain Kirk, er, himself, in a thankless supporting role to Grant, but he's fun to watch hamming it up, as always. Sadly, Kirk doesn't get in on any of the action scenes when ol' Hawker attacks again and again, like a great white shark, somehow always avoiding authorities with his hospital Orderly and Doctor disguises. Grant is whiny and annoying in her role, for the most part, but finally gets the courage to face the obsessed madman in the end. There's no nudity in this one, but there is an intense scene with a hooker and HAWKER where he puts his switchblade through the David A. Hess motions quite effectively. Though thin on plot and highly implausible, VISITING HOURS is worth the watch---early 80's slasher madness where the targets are all middle-aged adults as opposed to the 'teens in the woods' scenario. And watching Ironside EXPLODE with pure rage for 90 minutes as COLT HAWKER is a real treat! Check this one out for a nice blast from the past!

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