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Film / Dr. Giggles

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The Doctor is out...of his mind.
"This town has a doctor and his name is Rendell
Stay away from his house 'cause he's the doctor from Hell.
He killed all his patients, every last one,
And cut out their hearts, purely for fun.
So if you're from Moorehigh and you get sick
Fall on your knees and pray you die quick."
A Playground Song by the children of Moorehigh

Dr. Giggles is a Slasher Movie from 1992 directed by Manny Coto. It starred Larry Drake, Holly Marie Combs and Cliff De Young. It is notable among horror movie buffs for both its horror and comedy.

35 years ago in a town named Moorehigh, Dr. Rendell was found to have been ripping out the hearts of his patients with the help of his son Evan Jr. in an attempt to bring back his dead wife. Dr. Rendell was stoned to death by the townspeople, but his son disappeared. 35 years later, the now full-grown Evan Jr. murders two doctors, escapes the asylum that he was in and returns to Moorehigh as the insane Dr. Giggles, stalking victims to prep them for fatal examinations. But his quest to kill people with his medical abilities becomes his secondary concern once he learns about a certain girl's heart problem and decides to cure her in order to honor his father's interrupted work.

The film was produced by the movie arm of Dark Horse Comics, which released a 2-issue comic adaptation of the film that differs greatly from the final product since it was based off earlier drafts of the script. The main villain also appeared in issues 64 to 66 of the same company's Dark Horse Presents comic.

Provides examples of:

  • Antagonist Title: "Dr. Giggles" is the nickname given to Evan Rendell Jr. at the Tarawood mental hospital where he escapes from, since his real name was unknown to its staff.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Giggles cuts off the arms of his doctor after killing him, and uses them to caress a nurse from behind before revealing himself to her.
    Dr. Giggles: He should have kept his hands to himself. Mhmhmhm!
  • Asshole Victim: Tamara, Jennifer’s self-centered Attention Whore stepmother.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted. In the opening scene, which also served as the Establishing Character Moment for the film's Big Bad, Dr Giggles' first victims were a Doctor, a nurse and another Doctor (whose car he stole) at the psychiatric hospital where he was incarcerated. However, the Token Minority Couple Trotter and Leigh are the first ones to die in Moorehigh at Dr. Giggles' hands after they get locked up in his house by Stu, who's pulling a prank on them.
  • Comfort Food: After Jennifer's father Tom leaves their house to go look for her, her stepmother Tamara starts eating a bowl of ice cream because she finds the situation stressful. Not because she is worried for her stepdaughter mind you, but because she thinks that Jennifer is just playing her father along for attention, all of which she wants for herself. Dr. Giggles then arrives on the scene and decides that such unhealthy habits shouldn't go unchecked and starts pumping her stomach to the point of death.
  • Creepy Child: Evan Rendell Jr. in the flashbacks emulated his father by performing surgeries on stuffed toys, and he got worse after his father started to go insane.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Some of the deaths by Dr. Giggles are rather unusual, like an extended otoscope getting jammed to one woman's nose (which pierces her brain), and suffocation due to an oversized band-aid being placed on one girl's face.
  • Crying Wolf: Mrs. Henderson hears screams from the abandoned Rendell residence and sees Dr. Giggles peeking at her, but her call to the police about it isn't looked into quickly since she is known for seeing "rapists in hemorrhoid cream".
  • Daddy's Girl: Jennifer is close to her father since he is the only parent she has left after the death of her mother.
  • Deadly Doctor: Dr. Giggles kills people with medical equipment like syringes and a sphygmomanometer.
  • Destination Defenestration: Dr. Giggles hits Reitz so hard with a golf club that he crashes through an office window, and the thing bends.
    Dr. Giggles: Should have used an eight-iron.
  • Epigraph: The films opens with a quote from Hippocrates (of Hippocratic Oath fame), which underlines Evan Jr.'s deadly stance on medicine.
    For extreme illnesses, extreme treatments are most fitting.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted. Dr. Giggles comes up behind Stu's kid brother while he's playing Dr. Mario but leaves him unharmed. However, it's more due to this own warped sense of medical ethics rather than any moral aversion as he deemed the boy's condition as "terminal" and that there was nothing he could do for him.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Averted early on. Trotter pranks his girlfriend by pretending to get stabbed in the eye when he is peeking through a keyhole. Then as he is turned around from the door, Dr. Giggles stabs him in the back with an injection needle and poisons him.
    • Played straight later when Dr. Giggles stabs a surgeon through his eyeglasses with a piece of untested equipment.
  • Final Girl: Averted with Jennifer, as she isn't the only person from the cast to survive the film.
  • Flatline: Shown when Dr. Giggles stops Jennifer's heart in order to perform experimental surgery of his father's design on her.
  • Giggling Villain: Dr. Giggles as he operates on his unwilling patients. It's also his coping mechanism when he gets hurt.
  • Golf Clubbing: Dr. Giggles arms himself with a golf club to attack Reitz, and as he picks it up, he quips that it's "time to do what doctors do best".
  • Groin Attack: Dr. Giggles kills Stu off-screen (after making a joke about condoms), and his body is shown under a sheet, which is being stained by the blood that's coming from his groin.
  • Hall of Mirrors: Jennifer runs into one at the amusement park after she finds her boyfriend Max making out with Coreen. Dr. Giggles, intending to capture her for his treatment, follows.
  • Having a Heart: This is one of the dark jokes made by the villainous doctor.
    Dr. Giggles: Have a heart! (tosses a real human heart at Reitz)
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Jennifer kills Evan with his own tools.
  • Is There a Doctor in the House?: These are the last words of Dr. Giggles after he is stabbed fatally by Jennifer.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Dr. Giggles' father started killing people in order to find a cure for his dear wife's heart condition.
  • Mad Doctor: Dr. Evan Rendell Sr. used his patients as unwilling heart donors in his experiments to help his wife.
  • Motifs: Doctors.
    • Dr. Giggles' father was a doctor, and he aspires to be one himself.
    • Elaine is briefly shown watching Ben Casey on her television; the show's eponymous character is a doctor.
    • A kid is shown playing Dr. Mario on his Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • Mouth Cam: As Dr. Giggles forcefully inspects Elaine throat.
  • Necromantic: Dr. Evan Rendell Sr. in his insanity sought out to cure his beloved wife's heart condition even after she was already dead.
  • New Media Are Evil: Played for laughs. Dr. Giggles comes across a kid immersed in playing Dr. Mario, and quips how his condition is "terminal" before leaving.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Dr. Giggles cut Jennifer's dad Tom pretty badly and it seems that he has died, but he springs back to life when Reitz finds him to inform him that "a doctor" was behind the attack.
    • Performed by Dr. Giggles twice: first comes after his seeming demise among his exploding home and the second comes after he is electrocuted with defibrillator equipment.
  • Obliviously Evil: In his own mind, Dr. Giggles is helping his patients by curing their medical conditions. Death is just an unfortunate side effect of the treatment.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The asylum workers gave our antagonist his nickname because they didn't know the real one.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Said by Jennifer to Dr. Giggles when she stabs him with two pieces of his equipment: "Take two and call me in the morning."
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Dr. Giggles.
  • Pungeon Master: The eponymous doctor always has a handy doctoral one-liner for the occasion.
    Elaine. I need a doctor...
    (Dr. Giggles appears before her)
    Dr. Giggles: It's a good thing that I make house calls.
  • Self-Surgery: Dr. Giggles is shot in the leg by dying McGruder, and not only does the surgical work to remove the bullet and stitch up the wound himself, but he does it as if he had a full medical staff, down to requesting (and handing himself) various tools to work with.
  • Shirtless Scene: Stu has one when he is preparing to have sex with his girlfriend, and drops his condom into a toilet (the dope).
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Reitz attempts do it, but he is interrupted by Dr. Giggles attacking him.
  • Slashed Throat: To escape from the mental hospital grounds, Dr. Giggles borrows a keycard from a guy whose throat he cuts open with a scalpel, and uses it to open the gates.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: Three blondes bite it in the film, the Final Girl is brunette.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: The drama between the main cast is played seriously, but the deadly antics of the main villain are played for dark comedy.
  • Tongue Trauma: Dianne is killed when Dr. Giggles shoves a sharpened thermometer through the base of her tongue. An onward.
  • Two-Faced: Dr. Giggles survives the explosion that destroys his home with tattered clothes and a half-burned face.
  • The Unfair Sex: Inverted. After Max kisses Coreen (while drunk), she is "punished" by getting murdered. Played straight in the comic however.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Officer Reitz throws up when he finds the corpses of Dr. Giggles' victims sitting in the waiting room of his late father's office.
  • Vomiting Cop: Officer Reitz throws up when he finds the corpses of Dr. Giggles' victims sitting in the waiting room of his late father's office.
  • Weapons of Their Trade: In this horror film, the title character commits several murders using medical equipment such as scalpels and blood-pressure cuffs.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Jennifer's stepmother Tamara is close to a modern example, as she refuses to care about the troubles that Jennifer's going through.