Film Reviews:

Exquisite Tenderness

aka The Surgeon

(Carl Schenkel, US, 1994)

Exquisite Tenderness - German video sleeveStylish 'nutter on the loose in a hospital' piece from German director Carl Schenkel. Malcolm McDowell is Dr Stein (oh yes) who carries out questionable experimental surgery in a hospital that starts to have more than its regular monthly allowance of fatalities - but is Dr Stein really to blame? Female doctor (Isabel Glasser) seeks to unearth the truth behind the killer and his (or her) motives.

Excruciating scenes of violence utilising an array of medical utensils are strangely entertaining to watch! Ultimately, I guess, this is disposable trash but there's enjoyment to be had if you approach with the right mentality. Be warned, good cinematography (by Thomas Burstyn) and Schenkel's visual flair suffer from pan and scan treatment on some formats. Features a score by ex-Tangerine Dream man Christopher Franke. Rates as the leading film in recent memory for making me yell out with empathy for victims' plights one second - only to be followed by nervous laughter of disbelief at their suffering the next. Do I need to see a psychiatrist? Would make a squirm-inducing but entertaining triple bill with The Dentist and Dr. Giggles.

Rob Dyer

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