HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Britannia Hospital Testing The Patients
Year: 1982
Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Leonard Rossiter, Graham Crowden, Malcolm McDowell, Joan Plowright, Jill Bennett, Marsha A. Hunt, Robin Askwith, Fulton MacKay, Peter Jeffrey, Brian Pettifer, Vivian Pickles, Mark Hamill, Richard Griffiths, Valentine Dyall, Tony Haygarth, Brian Glover
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Science Fiction, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Britannia Hospital is suffering a crisis amongst its staff and patients as all ambulances must be checked in with the trade unionists before entering, and when they are admitted, they might very well be left to die in a corridor by workers taking their tea break. Even the workers in the kitchens are refusing to work because they are not allowed to cook for the private patients and see this as an insult, and one of the private patients is a corrupt leader of a Third World nation which means there are a growing number of protesters outside. Meanwhile, Professor Millar (Graham Crowden) enters the new hospital research wing to continue his experiments, a building which is to be officially opened by royalty that day - but not if the unions have anything to say about it...

Written by David Sherwin, this bleak satire was the last in the loose trilogy of director Lindsay Anderson's Mick Travis stories, all featuring Malcolm McDowell in that role, only this time around the film is so cluttered he isn't offered as much to do. It takes a sour view of Britain as a run-down hospital, and packs in as many state-of-the-nation potshots as possible, with the country suffering under the blight of terrorism, cutbacks, strikes, riots, class war and racism, and that's just for starters. One running joke sees the telephone lines constantly putting the caller through to the wrong person as an example of the frustrating way things have declined, but here you're not sure if there ever was a golden age for the United Kingdom.

Travis is now a investigative journalist (having made his fortune in America), and has brought back with him the very latest recording equipment to stage an expose on Millar's practices. In a large van parked outside the gates are his team, including Mark Hamill, one of a host of recognisable faces brought on board for the film. As they receive his transmissions, Travis breaks into the Millar building and snoops around eventually becoming more involved with the experiments than he would have liked. And what is Millar attempting to do? He's a modern day Frankenstein with refrigerated cabinets full of body parts and a dedicated team of doctors and nurses who turn a blind eye to his professional abuses.

Coming straight out of the turbulent seventies it's not surprising to have the jokes concentrate on the conflict between workers and bosses, but Anderson and company don't take any sides as both are portrayed as selfish as the other, more concerned with getting one up one their rivals than getting the job done. As Potter, Leonard Rossiter (an excellent piece of casting) has to use all the diplomacy at his disposal to get operations running smoothly for the royal visit, and is not above being devious or even murderous in getting his way. The upper class visitors include a tiny lord and a man in drag as his wife, yet more instances to have you wondering whereabouts the humour is being aimed.

If you can call it humour, as it's not particularly funny even if it has your attention in wanting to see how far it will go next. One moment of apparent sincerity sees one of the protesters, a young woman, hold up a flower as a peace offering to a line of riot police only to be savagely beaten down, thus triggering the rumpus that brings the story to its climax. But mostly it thumbs its nose at everyone within reach, leaving no one character to sympathise with and with a bad tempered tone to further alienate the viewer. It criticises mercilessly without putting forward any solutions of its own, but it is weird enough to deserve its cult following, with a finale consisting of Millar's pompous speech to inadvertently show how hopeless the hopes of the human race really are. Always arresting, but rarely satisfying, Britannia Hospital is filled with memorable scenes (liquidised brain, anyone?) yet all over the place as social commentary. Music by Alan Price.

Other cast members include guest stars Alan Bates and Arthur Lowe, Liz Smith, Dandy Nichols, Robbie Coltrane, Barbara Flynn, Betty Marsden and Ram John Holder.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7032 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: