Dr. Giggles

The 90’s were so fucking weird for mainstream horror. Shit like Sleepwalkers, Child’s Play part whatever and Freddy’s Dead were in the theatre for a week, then shot to the newly born “budget” theatre where little teenage punks like me went to catch whatever movie would cause some teenage cutie to snuggle me. The term “Horror Comedy” hadn’t even been coined by the time 1992’s Dr. Giggles hit the cheapo theatres yet; I was laughing my ass off the whole time. Well, it only took 15 years, but FINALLY this piece of 90’s-chic has hit DVD shelves…and at a hell of a price too!

So, in case you didn’t already know, here’s the scoop…

Dr.Giggles (Larry Drake) is a giggling psychopath who after killing off his psychotherapist, escapes from the mental hospital that houses him. After Dr.Giggles hits the highway to his hometown (in hopes of re-opening his practice/slaughterhouse) we meet Jen Campbell (Holly Marie Combs) a teenage girl who has a heart problem and a slew of her unlikable friends… …(mostly-throwaway-never-do-anything-again-thirtysomethings-playing-teenagers…except the lovely Zoe ”Night of the Demons 2” Trilling and some other “that guy/girl looks familiar folk”…oh, and Doug E. Doug…weird casting…seriously). Anyway, it seems that our man; Dr.Giggles watched his father (formerly a prominent Dr in the neighborhood with questionable practice methods) get murdered by the locals…he was locked up and is now a ghost story for the teens of the neighborhood ala The Boogeyman, and his former residence is local fuck spot for underage partiers. After Jen won’t party with her douchebag boyfriend, Max (Glenn Quinn), he hooks up with one of her friends, and the good Dr goes on a killing spree. Dr.Giggles finds out that Jen has heart problems (just like HIS mother did, and since Mama Giggles’ death is what started him and his dad’s murderous ways) he takes a liking to her. Giggles kills anyone who comes across his path with silly things like jumbo bandages and super reflex mallets while kidnapping Jen to take her back to his dojo of death so he can “fix” her broken heart. A rookie cop (Keith Diamond-son of Sally Ford!?!) saves the day and we, as the viewer are left wondering HOW Dr.Giggles was NOT made into a franchise.

Dr.Giggles is like the drunken uncle to Wes Craven’s Scream who throws up in your Aunt Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s (the movie) party. The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously; if it did it would fail on ALL accounts…that said…it’s not perfect…and often does border on the “What the fuck?” side of things with all the random After School Special scenes like a five minute condom scene, a kid playing “Dr. Mario” who is considered “terminal” (Dr.Giggles doesn’t bother killing because he is obviously fucked up for playing Nintendo all night) and an ongoing “woe is me” subplot about Jen having to deal with her dead mom and the fact she needs to wear a heart monitor.

Dr.Giggles is the direct result of Freddy Krueger becoming a one-line killer/comedy act as opposed to the nightmarish figure he began as. I mean really, the movie has some cool scenes, and is all around a fun movie if you are in the right mood (and have seen this before) but one thing Dr.Giggles isn’t is a “nightmarish figure”. There is virtually no gore (except for a really fucking out of place “birthing” scene), the “scary” scenes are jump scares that wont make you flinch, and EVERY cliché is used…the rookie cop who believes in the girl and the legend of Dr.Giggles, flashback scenes every 20 minutes, every sentence Drake spouts reeks of shitty Krueger-esque one-liners and the score is comparable to a ride at Disney. All that said, if you have fond memories of seeing this in ’92 then I guarantee you will have fun upon another viewing, but I warn you if you haven’t seen this before I could see it being wildly boring/laughable to a 2008 audience.

It seems weird to me that I would only recommend this to someone who has seen it before…I am giggling…Just like Dr.Giggles…ok maybe not…

(possessed?)

‘til next time..

Charlie “It’s a good thing I make house calls” Brown

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~ by exploitnation on April 16, 2008.

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