xray3 Stars  1981/X/78m

“You have nothing to fear… Until they operate!”

A.k.a. Hospital Massacre / Be My Valentine…or Else! / Ward 13

Director: Boaz Davidson / Writers: Boaz Davidson & Marc Benim / Cast: Barbi Benton, Chip Lucia, John Warner Williams, Jon Van Ness, Den Surries, Gay Austin, Karyn Smith, Elizabeth Hoy, Billy Jacoby.

Body Count: 10

Like most of the slasher films from this era, X-Ray with all its aliases, the massacre to be is born out of the childhood trauma that opens the film. Gorky Harold gives his neighbour Susan a Valentine’s Card, which she laughs at and her brother David tears it up. Subsequently, Harold (having seen this through the window) sneaks in and murders David while Susan is out of the room.

Nineteen years later, Susan (now played by Playboy model Barbi Benton) stops by at the city hospital to pick up some test results, unaware that said results have been swapped for some really bad ones!!! The hospital staff, all demonstrating as much competence as a first-day McDonalds trainee, practically imprison Suze in the building, telling her she needs an operation now. Now! NOW!!!

Elsewhere, doctors, nurses, receptionists and custodians are being stalked and murdered by a looney-doc, resulting in syrupy blood squirting all over the place. There’s a decapitated head in a candy box, a corridor-sized sheet that envelops a woman, and a murdered administrator rolled hilariously into a closet on a wheelie chair.

Meanwhile, Susan’s doctor skulks about with a couple of slutty nurses, looking like an early Human League video gone askew, and eventually enough people are dead so that only Susan and nice doc Harry remain. Are they seriously trying to fool us with that cunning cover-up? Was that the most subtle clue they had working for them? I kind’ve expected a championing twist but there… just… wasn’t.

As far as Halloween clones go, Israeli-shot X-Ray is hopelessly inept. Everything about it sucks and yet it was so much fun and never got boring, which is always a good sign for these flicks (Visiting Hours take note). That said, the version I watched may have been heavily cropped for the UK release, which was awarded an X-rating and never resubmitted.

Blurbs-of-interest: Kid actors Hoy and Jacoby were two of the homicidal sprogs from Bloody Birthday; Jon Van Ness was in Tourist Trap; director/writer Davidson primarily works as a producer for Nu Image, who make cheaper-than-chips Sci-Fi DVD films with such imaginative titles as Crocodile, Octopus and Spiders as well as crud slasher flick Skeleton Man.


  • Chrys, how on earth do you get hold of these obscure films?! I thought *I* was cunning when it came to region 1 DVDs and the odd charity shop find, but you take the biscuit! (Probably a rare limited-edition Kit Kat from 1991…)

  • I only have this one on tape – copied from somebody else’s VHS at that! I don’t think it’s appeared on DVD yet, which is a shame as it’s absolutely demented!

  • YES, just saw this flick. So bad it’s good.
    I’ve always been a fan of the horror genre but just recently I immersed myself in the early and late 80’s slasher flicks. This is a good blog for keeping track of some of the best and worst, and Hospital Massacre is definetely both.

  • Yeah I liked it despite a veritable tsunami of negative reviews all over the shop. I think it has some real cheesy charm.

  • Thought the twist was going to be that the husband was somehow involved with the killer, hence all the “sinister” cutaways of him lounging around his house, mutilating oranges.

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