HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  Coma OR8 Or Else
Year: 1978
Director: Michael Crichton
Stars: Geneviève Bujold, Michael Douglas, Elizabeth Ashley, Rip Torn, Richard Widmark, Lois Chiles, Hari Rhodes, Gary Barton, Frank Downing, Richard Doyle, Alan Haufrect, Lance LeGault, Michael MacRae, Betty McGuire, Tom Selleck, Charles Siebert, Ed Harris
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Susan Wheeler (Geneviève Bujold) is a young doctor at Boston Memorial Hospital and frequently run off her feet by the workload. This is putting a strain on her relationship with boyfriend Mark (Michael Douglas), also a doctor, and they are rowing tonight when they get back to his apartment, first over who should use the shower first, then about putting on the dinner, and finally about Susan's career-mindedness forcing Mark out of her life. They can't reach a truce, so Susan promptly leaves for her own home and the next day talks over her troubles with her best friend Nancy (Lois Chiles) after their aerobics class. Nancy has problems of her own, as she is going into the hospital to have an abortion without her husband knowing, a simple operation that should run smoothly. So why does Nancy end up in a coma?

There was a passage of five years between Michael Crichton's directorial debut, Westworld, and his second film, Coma, but already he had become a bestselling author, as had Robin Cook whose book he adapted for the screen. Crichton drew on his experience as a doctor to render this film's atmosphere as authentic as possible, and you can't argue with the clinical, even chilly air he brought to this project. It starts slowly and deliberately, with none of Jerry Goldsmith's score to make its tension overt until almost halfway through, and to top it all there's a pro-feminist agenda to add a measure of depth to proceedings that now looks exceedingly stagey and obvious, and not only in the way that no man will believe Susan.

Once Susan loses her best friend, who we barely get to know, she's adrift in a man's world and not even Mark will share her concerns that there might well be a conspiracy at work in the hospital. After doing a bit of digging, she discovers that young and relatively healthy patients falling into comas after minor operations is not unusual there - well, it is unusual, but it's also happening a lot. Far too often according to Susan's enquiring mind, and so she starts uncovering an appalling crime; although this may look like a science fiction film, and its medical settings contribute to that impression, it's really a detective story, and at its best in its suspense sequences as the powers that be realise they've been rumbled and will have to crack down.

And so follow a couple of chase setpieces, the first at the hospital where Susan is pursued around its corridors and storage rooms full of preserved corpses by a hitman who has previously bumped off a cleaner who was going to tell all he knew to her. As he showed in Westworld, Crichton knows his way around such scenes and when Susan reaches a facility out in the countryside where a load of evidence is being held (the most famous shots in the movie), she proves resourceful, yet why is it that when she meets her challenge with what might as well be a stereotypical nineteen-forties mad doctor, she has to rely on a man to save her? After all the "right on, sister" business that we've sat through, it's a pity that Crichton fell back on a damsel in distress cliché. Coma is a good thriller for rewatching as it has few moments that really stick in the mind, perhaps because it is lighter than it intended.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4629 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
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: