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Visiting Hours (1981)

  Tags: 80's, 80's Slashers, Harvey Atkin, Helen Hughes, Jean-Claude Lord, Lee Grant, Lenore Zann, Linda Purl, Michael Ironside, Michael J. Reynolds, suspense, underrated, Visiting Hours, William Shatner

Your rating: None Average: 5.3 (4 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

visitinghours.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Jean-Claude Lord
Runtime: 
103 minutes
Cast: 
Michael Ironside, Lee Grant, Linda Purl, William Shatner, Lenore Zann, Harvey Atkin, Helen Hughes, Michael J. Reynolds


This is actually a movie a lot of members on my message board recommended, so I looked for it on my trip to the local video store. Surprisingly they had it in the original oversized VHS case. I checked the movie out when I got home and thought it was very good from the beginning to the end.

The movie starts out kinda slow with a female journalist speaking about women's rights and violence on national television, where a crazed woman-hater (Michael Ironside of course) watches and sets out to prove her wrong. Later that night, he visits her home and badly injures her in hopes she changes her views and stop from completing an important interview that's to be held later in the week. She ends up in the local hospital for surgery, and with the realization that she's doing better and still plans to do the interview, the crazed man returns to finish what he started.

The beginning of the movie really hooks you because we watch a long sequence where Michael Ironside's character is going after the journalist in her home -- very suspenseful. After the beginning the movie slows down a bit and follows both characters. We witness the crazed guy killing off some of the hospital staff after they get in his way, and we follow the journalist as she has visions and nightmares of the attacker, and how she thinks he's going to come after her while she's being hospitalized, and having no one believe it.

The movie's pace slows down a bit for the most part, but picks up again towards the end when the guy gets closer and closer to reaching the woman. The last sequence is a good pursuit between the two, which brings back the suspense that was captured in the beginning. What I liked most t about the movie was how it mainly focused on the terror and suspense that came with the chase between the two characters, and how Michael Ironside's character came so close many times. I also liked how the killer didn't need to wear a lame mask to conceal his identity or anything. He was just a normal looking guy that just happens to kill people.

This obviously wasn't just a normal hack-em-up slasher with a simple story from the 80's. Nope, I felt this underrated gem had a little something extra. Michael Ironside's performance was pulled off quite well, but who better to play a crazed villain than the master of cheesy movie villains himself? William Shatner also has a small role in the film as a co-worker of the journalist who visits her now and then for morale support. Luckily it wasn't a big role, because it would’ve just dumbed down the film. Poor Captain Kirk.

In the end this is an effective slasher flick that focuses on the suspense in a movie rather than the blood, gore, and clichéd boo! scares. This movie gets a well deserved 7-rating in my opinion. Hopefully someone will release this movie on DVD, because right now the only way to get your hands on it is in its original an old-ass VHS version.

A good underrated slasher flick. Lots of good suspense and good performances from Michael Ironside and Lee Grant. Worth a check if you're looking for a smart 80's slasher.

Posted on February 5, 2010 - 11:27am | FrighT MasteR

 

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