The film's obligatory prologue has sad (but creepy) 8-year-old Harold, peeking in the living room window, witnessing a little girl, Susan, and her brother trash his valentine and laugh over it. When Susan goes into the other room to get some cake (in a pointlessly menacing fashion) Harold, off camera, impales the brother's head on a coat rack, leaving poor Susan screaming bloody murder. Harold might have slightly misjudged his reaction to this impertinence but on the other hand, the kid was a bit of a prick.
Susan does a lot of wandering around the hospital to try and find her doctor, getting stuck in elevators (manipulated by the killer), running into three guys in gas masks (gasp!) who are fumigating the 9th floor and generally padding out the running time. Susan suddenly finds herself in the elevator with a corpse! No, wait, it's just a drunk patient who is eating a burger saturated with ketchup. After escaping this harrowing ordeal, she continues to wander, meanwhile a heavy breather in scrubs and a surgical mask knifes a doctor. More wandering. The creepy janitor finds the dead doc only to make an incredibly bizarre squealing after going face first in a sink filled with acid. Apparently we are seeing this from Susan's point of view as there isn't a single non-creepster dude in this entire hospital. Susan's fiancee waits...
The second course of action is to get her into a hospital bed (seriously, this doc Saxon is a pro! Who wouldn't want to tell Barbi Benton to get undressed and get in bed?). Fortunately for Susan, she is not alone, unfortunately she gets to share a room with some of the creepiest old folks this side of THE SENTINEL (1977), who discuss the infections in her blood and generally scowl. For some reason, one of them appears to be a man in drag. This is definitely the most realistic part of the movie, as far as I can tell.
After, understandably deciding to bail from the septuagenarian strangeness, the nasty nurses and the severed head Susan runs around bumping into the most obvious red herrings short of actually dressing the cast members in crimson fish costumes.
|See! The unrelenting terror of the traction room!!|