Your life as a horror fan won’t be complete if you don’t see Nurse 3D. I’m not entirely sure it’s a good film, and I’m not entirely sure that its makers intended it to be good but it is a true delight in every sense of the word. Endlessly quotable, hilariously bloody and cavalierly clothed – I can’t imagine a group of people sitting down to see this thing and not having a good time.
If you’ve seen the trailer for the film, you know the essentials of the plot. Abby (Paz de la Huerta) is a psychotic nurse who becomes obsessed with new recruit Danni (Katrina Bowden). As it becomes evident that Danni won’t willingly reciprocate Abby’s advances, chaos ensues. But the pleasures of Nurse 3D don’t lay in the essentials, they’re found in the incidentals. The amazingly candid voiceover, dialogue that is (hopefully) so willfully stupid it’s instantly memorable, a high body count and a rampant lack of pants. None of this is really in the trailer, making the process of watching Nurse 3D a wonderful sense of illicit discovery. The movie takes you back to the sensation of sneaking downstairs while your parents are asleep to watch your first “R” rated movie and it achieves it simply by being so left of center that none of the behavior in the film is recognizable as human. These aren’t people. This isn’t remotely the real world. These are chess pieces in a world created by people raised on a steady diet of Cinemax.
One of the weird things about the film is that, for all of the nudity and sex on display, it’s not very erotic. Abby kills cheating men as kind of a side hobby at night, which provides plenty of scenarios that aim for titillation – but the movie’s dissociative qualities render these transactions as inhumanly recognizable as anything else in the film. This actually works to Nurse 3D’s benefit, upping the comedy and allowing us to view Abby as a praying mantis that happens to have some medical knowledge rather than anyone we’ve ever actually had a conversation with.
While there’s almost a slow burn quality to the film’s second act (which seems odd in a film that clocks in at under 90 minutes), it’s buoyed by the perverse noir of Abby’s voiceover, the very use of which positions her as an alternative protagonist to Danni – a highly carnal and mentally challenged Private Investigator trying to make sense of her own overspun web. Just as this conceit starts to wear thin, we get the relentlessly bloody third act which culminates in a hilariously random rampage through a hospital ward where Abby gets to use all of the instruments at her disposal – much to the detriment of the innocent patients around her.
Nurse 3D forces us to ask the question, “what is good?” And while I’m sure that my judgment could be recalibrated by another viewing of Her or Wolf Of Wall Street, right now I’m comfortable swimming in the delirium this skeezy world dropped me into. Right now, if Nurse 3D is bad I don’t want to be good.
PS – if you can’t find a theater, don’t sweat it. The 3D isn’t all that important to the experience. In fact, I’d love this movie even more if was released exclusively in 2D, keeping 3D in the title as a dadaist statement. Just get some friends together, buy some beer and hit up the VOD option.