by Brody Rossiter
Starring the sultry Paz de la Huerta as Abby Russell, a torrid concoction of femme fatale, anti-heroine and unhinged tantrum prone psychopath, Nurse is a tale of revenge, murder and unhealthy infatuation. Every night after clocking off, Abbey uses her feminine charms to seduce and brutally murder unfaithful married men – a habit exhibited in a wonderfully overblown opening death sequence. After inexplicably falling for one of All Saints Hospital’s newest nurses, Danni (Katrina Bowden), Abbey attempts to pry the timid girl next door out of her boyfriend’s arms and coerce her into bed – by any viscera shredding means necessary of course.
First things first, if unnecessary female nudity isn’t your bag, then Nurse isn’t the film for you. There’s lots of it, and it’s unashamed. The film straddles a thin line between sleazebag exploitation and eroticism. However, as opposed to those late 70’s grindhouse flicks that also fetishized professions such as nursing (prison guard was also a popular go-to) and the supposed “secret lives” of its employees (unexplained lesbian urges being chief among such hush-hush after-hours activity), Nurse is a much more self-aware affair, utilising its X-rated imagery (much of which is produced by a habitually naked Paz de la Huerta) to poke fun at such archaic cinematic conventions while also cynically taking advantage of their salacious appeal.
Despite often veering into especially cringeworthy territory, Paz’s portrayal of the unhinged matron is inescapably sensual and powerfully physical, highlighting her talent for portraying both bodily horror and pleasures of the flesh. Director Douglas Aamiokoski’s garish, gore infatuated tale is a terrible, terrible film, and yet it’s also a fantastically self-deprecating example of its trashy b-movie genre that creates a big, bloody and impactful splash despite its obvious shortcomings. Whether you love it, hate it, or just can’t decide, you won’t soon forget it.