If you told me just before watching Nurse 3D that I’d end up being disappointed in a film where Paz de la Huerta plays a killer nurse who lures cheating men to their deaths, I’d call you crazy. Sadly for me, you’d actually be right. What starts off as a rather good-looking and entertaining bundle of the worst medical care one can imagine quickly turns into a horror film that’s just plain boring. Instead of what the first scene and early monologues introduce, Nurse 3D takes the amusing cheating-husband killer and transforms her into something entirely different: a psychotic bisexual woman hell-bent on taking down her protegé who refuses her sexual advances.
As I’m sure no one will be surprised, the writers of this film were men; one of whom directed it and the other responsible for writing the worst Star Trek film (The Final Frontier). Faulting men for making horror movies pretty much designed to show its actresses naked is something I try to avoid doing, as it’s often not a realistic or fair claim. In the case of Nurse 3D though, it’s an accusation I’m willing to make. None of the women perform well enough in their incredibly limited roles to excuse the shameless amount of nudity presented, and tossing in a couple of male asses doesn’t make it any better. It’s frustrating that Paz de la Huerta in particular seems to be getting shoved in roles only to show off her gorgeous body. I get it. I got it on Boardwalk Empire and The Limits of Control; both far better productions than this. The writers could have easily presented her with a character as over-the-top as its concept, but they slipped into boredom and away from the fun of it all. If anyone looked like they were having a good time, it was Niecy Nash. It’s not a role with any meat, like her work on the also nurse-related HBO series Getting On, but at least her sass vaguely makes up for all the boring writing.
The writing isn’t Nurse 3D’s only issue, though, it’s just part of the symptoms that come with this incurable disease of a movie. You’d think Doug Aarniokoski wasn’t a bad director if it was just for the opening alone. There’s a sense of humor and even a couple of nicely-shot and colored frames. When her first victim bleeds out and gets pushed off a building, everything reads camp. It’s all in good fun, but fun can get a little too comfortable. Any semblance of a plot is left to become a convoluted mess, and its 3D gimmick starts getting overblown like hell. Going for 3D kills in 2014 requires some innovation, not just the same stabbing through a body with blood gushing everywhere. Nothing about Nurse 3D says tact, but a horror film as over-the-top as this one deserves something more interesting than a scalpel through a neck.
The final act essentially devolves into a series of stabs and tackles through a hospital that make next to no sense. Cops, nurses, doctors, patients; everybody’s getting assaulted all over the place and barely anyone seems to care. Considering the opening monologue was about a woman who plain and simply wanted to kill cheating men — a concept I was totally behind from the get-go — it’s sad to see the movie become the bloody travesty it does. As disappointing as it was, Nurse 3D did give me one thing: a beautiful reminder that Corbin Bleu has gone from whatever he was in High School Musical to the kind of guy whose head I’d like to get in the game. If this movie can objectify the hell out of its women, this review is doing a tiny part in bringing man ass discussion to the table.
Directed by Douglas Aarniokoski, written by Douglas Aarniokoski and David Loughery; starring Paz de la Huerta, Katrina Bowden, Judd Nelson, Kathleen Turner, Corbin Bleu, Michael Eklund, Boris Kodjoe, and Nicey Nash; 84 minutes.