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Dr Chopper (2005)
4th Nov 09
Maniac plastic surgeon with a motorbike kills teens in the name of beauty. End of.
In the 1990s a rogue plastic surgeon and his troupe of sultry nurses began harvesting body parts from unfortunate victims, all in the name of cutting edge science and their own biting vanity. Twenty years later, the group is looking haggard and now depends on a constant supply of fresh organs to survive. Setting up shop in some abandoned woods, they eagerly await some new beautiful young teens to slaughter.
The familiar staple of horror in the name of beauty is exploited to the full in the imaginatively titled Dr Chopper (He kills! He rides a motorbike!), where the crazed antagonists once sported “maybe she’s born with it” lips, a set of lungs fit for The Sun’s page three and the doctor himself looked like, well, quite normal actually. Flash forward to the present day and the nurses now resemble horny drunk aunts at a wedding and Dr Chopper like the rotting corpse of Victor Meldrew in a gimp suit. If only the rest of the film was this terrifying.
The film opens with a ritualistic slaughterfest where Chops and his crew pace around a surgery where they’ve restrained an unlucky couple, mumbling away about this being a landmark day in modern plastic surgery or whatnot before finally bringing the axes down, cuing an abundance of projectile gore covering the doctor as he goofily smiles in orgasmic glee. Making a run for it, the scene is later discovered by a pair of detectives whose excruciatingly hammy dialogue suggests the writer’s only experience of police work has been through watching endless re-runs of NYPD Blue while waiting for his complete DVD boxset of The Wire to arrive in the post.
Flashing forward twenty years, it’s Christmas time and obligatory alienated teenager Nick is grieving for his deceased mother in the care of his supportive girlfriend, where he discovers he’s now a proud owner of a log cabin in the woods. Convinced that it would be good for him to get away for a bit, the couple decides to head there for the weekend with a group of friends, where in the car on the way they mutter stuff like “this is going to be a weekend none of us are ever going to forget”. Arriving at the cabin they’re greeted by a frantic blonde whose girlfriend has been nabbed by something lurking in the woods, and through the multitude of missing persons posters begin to suspect that something might be wrong in this here woods.
Assigned to the missing person’s case is Detective Terrell, played by Costas Mandylor from the Saw series, who’s the bitter cop that’s been around the block now harbouring a past trauma so obvious that when it’s finally revealed at the end of the film you’ll feel physically sick and dirty, not in a good way. Spending most of the time sippin’ whiskey pining after his estranged wife to some rookie cop who practically has “kill me now” carved into his forehead, old Terrell comes across like Ranger Smith from Yogi Bear played by Michael Madsen on the set of Days Of Our Lives, only far less interesting than that sounds.
The key problem with Dr Chopper is the flat characterisation of everyone involved, alienating what’s going on to the extent that each death becomes increasingly tiresome as we don’t get a chance to love or hate these people in the first place. That and the fact that the whole thing resembles an episode of Sunset Beach if the writers were allowed full creative control for a weekend. This is typified by a particularly grating scene where the Doctor whinges in the manner of a spoilt child that it will only be a matter of time before his current heart expires (whining “it will only be a matter of time” three times! Three fucking times in one scene!), spoilt further by a stock synthesizer orchestral score. This from the guy who looks so badass on the DVD sleeve I practically shit myself putting the disc into the player.
So away he goes, slicing and chopping the remainder of the cast until, well, you can probably guess what happens. Sorry guys, no amount of bong hits could improve this one.