Friday, March 25, 2011

Britannia Hospital - 1982

This is the third in the “If…” series. The second movie (which Robin was NOT in) was “O Lucky Man!” (1971) where Malcolm McDowall reprises his role of Mick Travis. I’d seen it before, but decided to watch it again before I went on to Britannia Hospital. When you first see Mick in it, he is an ambitious coffee salesman touring the north of England trying to make sales. He seems like a completely different person than his “angry at authority” self in “If…”. He travels around, meeting up with one unfortunate incident after another. At the end, he stumbles into an audition for some movie directed by Lindsey Anderson. He is told to hold a machine gun, as he did in “If…” You see another guy who played a schoolboy from “If…” sitting there waiting to audition. Ahhhh! So is this actually a PREQUEL? Everything that led up to “Mick Travis” playing a role as an anti-authority schoolboy? Interesting…

So…on to the third installment in this trilogy…In Britannia Hospital we catch up with Mick Travis again 10 years later. He’s some kind of reporter now. He’s been to America and has brought back a couple of guys (including Mark Hamill!) to help him uncover what’s going on with a crazy doctor at Britannia Hospital – who is harvesting body parts in order to sew together a Frankenstein monster sort of creature. I am thinking this may be the same crazy doctor he ran into in “O Lucky Man” who was trying to do similar experiments? Which would make sense for Mick to be interested in going back to pursue that as a reporter. Unfortunately, Mick gets caught by the doctor and killed. Head taken off and used as the creature’s head. Rather gruesome moments there.

Meanwhile, the rest of the staff is getting ready to celebrate the hospital’s anniversary which will be highlighted by a visit from the queen. Except, there’s social unrest outside, by the masses who are upset that the hospital gives private-paying patients preferential treatment.

Robin reprises his role of “Ben Keating” from “If…”. He’s now a union leader, head of the striking hospital kitchen staff, angry because they have to cook “special request” meals for the private-paying patients. He has quite a few good scenes of being outraged. This is now a good ten years after “Horror Hospital” but his hairstyle is right back where he had it in that, which is a good thing. My fave part is when he is wearing a suit and primping in front of a mirror in preparation to meet the queen. Definitely has an “older Brian Jones” look in this scene. I took a little videoclip of this so I’ll post it to YouTube and share it.

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