Candy Stripers (2006)

They're running out of patients...
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Candy Stripers - They're running out of patients...

Faced with a DVD cover displaying three sexy nurses in dodgy makeup sucking on lollipops and the accompanying tagline of "They're running out of patients" to tantalise the wit area of the brain, it is best to adjust expectations to low before embarking upon a viewing of Candy Stripers. Even the avid B-Movie groupie will end up a little deader inside as the premise promises so much to satisfy the average aficionado of horror trash but fails to deliver it in any way likely to leave an impression.

The concept is simple. Sugar craving aliens land in a small Californian town conveniently located near to a hospital inhabited by voluptuous candy stripers ready to host the parasitic invaders. Once invaded the intruders then need to breed with hormonally charged human males to expand their race in a bid for world domination. It just so happens that a basketball team and their cheerleaders are in town and in need of medical and sexual attention. It sounds like low-budget trash cinematic gold yet it is all played so safely that it soon becomes a chore to watch. It is expected that there will be a fairly low standard of acting in a movie such as this (especially when the top billed cast includes Playboy Playmates and there is the need to emphasise this aspect of their fame in any and all related advertising). Many a film has shone through when inflicted with this handicap but Candy Stripers does not. The characters have no character and the staid stereotypes used for slasher films are used with little effect, even when the actors utilise their ability to "over-emphasise with hand gestures" to try and seem more convincing. The gore is there but feels like it is included just because you have to in a horror, it is not used originally or in any significant way to amplify any aspect of the plot. There are titties but they fail to titillate. In the hands of some of the more adventurous low-budget film makers this would be a hit but Kate Robbins doesn't take any risks with any of the plot devices that are so ripe for risk taking and this has resulted in a fairly insignificant film.

This would be the ideal platform to have an opinion about gender differences when directors are trying to appeal to a certain type of audience but to base an opinion of a film on anything but the merits of the film would be about as patronising as dedicating a period of time to praise a certain gender in a certain genre. Tits and gore are touted as the merits of this film. The audience for a tits and gore movie expect absurdity, outrageousness and political incorrectness. If tits and gore are to be used as the oil in the promotional machine then they need to be utilised in a way that cloaks the bad acting and the premise-over-plot storyline in order to deliver something trashy yet memorable. Taking cash cows that have worked before and repackaging them in shiny packaging rarely makes it into the history books and is usually destined to fail.

The story is not thought through and contains plenty of irrational behaviour to keep the movie happenings within the boundaries of the hospital. Once again this flaw is easily overlooked when there is something to distract from the gaping plot holes. The aliens don't seem to be very committed to their motives and are content to stay in the hospital seductively eating cakes and pastries. In some scenarios this could be portrayed as sinister but not here. The heroes don't seem that intent on escape either so there is no real desperation expressed from either party.

Candy Stripers tries to be a good movie but doesn't try anywhere near hard enough. The lackadaisical approach to making the film makes it feel like there is no passion for the genre and while many a film has succeeded based on an unoriginal concept there is usually something that went really wrong or really right to make it stand out. Candy Stripers isn't terrible, it's just too formulaic, too predictable and lacks the talent to make it anything more than a forgettable waste of 89 minutes.
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Categories: Slasher Movies
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