“Another slice of life.”
Director: Lewis Schoenbrun / Writer: Ian Holt / Cast: Costas Mandylor, Ed Brigadier, Chelsey Crisp, Robert Adamson, Ashley McCarthy, Butch Hansen, Chase Hoyt, Deidre Kidwell, Sylvia Zabransky, Benjamin Keepers.
Body Count: 16
Laughter Lines: “I want you to meet someone… My. Inner. Bitch!”
Upon sitting down to watch Dr. Chopper the other day, I was struck by the number of bad omens in the air… It was muggy outside with a threat of thunder and there was laundry on the line; there was a trailer for Mr Halloween on the DVD; no sooner did the credits begin to lumber by, I began to feel like I was sliding down a slope towards a pit of hopelessness… Then ‘the acting’ began.
So it goes, in the mid-80s, super surgeon to the stars Dr Max Fielding and his sexy nurses cut parts off of nubile young folk in an effort to halt the aging process. Cops come, over act, Dr Chopper has ridden away. On his motorcycle. A chopper. Of course.
Twenty years later, moody college brat Nicholas learns of his late mother’s cabin in the boonies at Lake Tatonka (“A friendly place for happy people”) and is convinced by perky girlfriend Jessica to invite a gaggle of their friends up there for the weekend. Without having seen how crap the shack is. It turns out to be, quite literally, a one-room shed.
But before that, oh look, something there’s just not enough of in low-end slasher films, it’s the olde lesbian make-out scene. Seriously, let’s have one film – one - with a couple of hot guys making out.
Meanwhile, a po-faced Park Ranger played by Costas Mandylor, before he became a central player in the Saw movies, growls and moans about life while trying to induct/scare off a junior ranger. Love of his life died because he wasn’t a good chiropractor, apparently. I know… I was like, “Huh? You can die from chiropody?”
The uninteresting teenagers almost get run over by a grey-skinned old man on his chopper (Dr Chopper!!! Look out, teens!) but before that, a quintet of sorority girls on some hazing stunt in the woods are stabbed to death by the two nurses. This scene is bizarre: Two senior sorority chicks make them take their tops off (allowing bras to remain) and make them look for sticks while they smoke a spliff. Then the nurses come and do away with all of them in about 47 seconds and none of it is mentioned again.
Eventually, the Doc and his minions attack the cabin, sending the surviving kids on the run, they mow down one of the nurses (“that bitch is road pizza!”) but she returns later, apparently unscathed.
They’re captured, a completely unsurprising twist is revealed. Even the nominal heroine seems bored by it. Then she’s on the run, collides with Moody Ranger, and they fight off Dr Chopper together.
Plenty of blah around reversing and regenerating cells so “we can live foreeeeever!” is spat out during the exposition, although why the killer permanently wears his motorcycle goggles is never addressed, and the disfigurement of his nurses (who’ve barely aged in two decades – hey, maybe it does work!?) isn’t explained.
Imagine a film held together with a bunch of old band aids, all curled up at the edges, with bits of dirt and hair stuck to them. That’s Dr. Chopper. However, if you’re feeling fiendish and want to laugh at the entirety of a cheap production, then look no further: Fleeing victims run away from the lights of salvation into the woods; a guy’s ear is supposedly cut off, yet still clearly visible attached to the actor’s head…
In short, Dr. Chopper makes Dr. Giggles look like Dr. Zhivago.