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Film / Intensive Care

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Intensive Care is a 1991 Dutch slasher film directed by Dorna van Rouveroy, starring George Kennedy, Koen Wauters, and Nada van Nie.

The plot is as follows - somewhere in Washington state, a brilliant surgeon named Dr. Bruckner (George Kennedy) is on the verge of a revolutionary new advancement in medical science when he is involved in a car accident that leaves him severely burned and puts him into a coma for seven years. Upon reawakening, he goes on a murderous rampage, killing several hospital staff before fleeing into the night. He then stalks a teenage girl named Amy (Nada van Nie), her brother Bobby (Michiel Hess), and her boyfriend Peter (Koen Wauters), and repeatedly attempts to break into her house while the others try to fence him off.

Despite the presence of Wauters (a popular Idol Singer at the time) and Kennedy, the film ultimately failed to make a profit and was utterly demolished by critics, with one major newspaper describing it as, "A movie where every aspect goes so disastrously wrong that it almost seems like a parody." It has since developed a cult following akin to The Room (2003) or Plan 9 from Outer Space, and is traditionally shown during each edition of the annual Dutch-Flemish B-Movie festival Nacht van de Wansmaak ("Night of Repulsion").

This film contains examples of:

  • Artistic License – Geography: Due to being set in America but very obviously filmed in the Netherlands, many of the regional details are a bit off. Most notably, there are numerous examples of untranslated Dutch-language signs and labels throughout the film.
  • Artistic License – Cars: A specific consequence of the blatant California Doubling is the appearance of cars that are either not sold in America (such as an Opel Rekord E) or are sold there under different brand names than in Europe (such as a Honda Legend, sold as an Acura in North America).
  • Body Horror: In addition to third-degree burns on at least 90 percent of his body, it's implied that Bruckner's time in a coma may have messed up his brain functions.
  • Dull Surprise: A lot of the cast members seem to be operating on cruise control, with Wauters standing out in particular due to his lack of acting experience, having appeared in only one other film prior to shooting.
  • EmPHAsis On The Wrong SylLAble: The Dutch actors' English pronunciation ranges from passable to just plain poor, with many of them running head-first into this trope.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: The accident that puts Bruckner into his coma has many unexplained explosions.
  • Fake Shemp: In all scenes taking place after the accident, Bruckner is visibly played by a different actor, covered in bandages.
  • For the Evulz: Apparently the motivation for Bruckner's rampage, as the film never bothers to explain the exact reasons for any of his actions outside of the suggestion that being experimented on while he was in the coma may have warped his mind and provided him with his abnormal strength and durability.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Taken to an extreme with Dr. Bruckner, whose exact motives are never explained apart from the brief suggestion that they may be related to an experiment performed on him while comatose. In fact, he could seriously rival the killer from Final Exam in this regard.
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: As mentioned in the description, Koen Wauters was a popular Idol Singer at the time of filming, and the film was made partially to capitalize on his fame.
  • Plot Holes: The film is infamous for these. Specific examples include:
    • As mentioned under For the Evulz, the reasons for Dr. Bruckner's killing spree and his stalking of Amy and her friends are never made clear at any point.
    • Throughout the film, the mad doctor manages to survive numerous attacks that would horribly injure or even kill him under normal circumstances. How he is able to do this is once again never explained.
  • Title Drop: "Take Dr. Bruckner to intensive care."
  • You Don't Look Like You: It's very easy to tell that the killer is being played by someone other than George Kennedy after he awakens from his coma, which the filmmakers try to cover up using prosthetic makeup and bandages.