Dr. Giggles is more of a discredit to the medical profession than a conference of homeopaths and is among the least imaginative slasher films you’ll ever see. And that’s saying something for a genre not actually known for summiting the peaks of creative ambition.
The first 30 seconds is a cliché (a quote from Hippocrates), while Paul Rodgers caterwauls the awful “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)” over the closing credits, bookending a malpractice suit of a movie.
For some reason, it’s set in an average college town, which features a creepy local house and a carnival, eschewing the claustrophobia, terror and discomfort frequently experienced say, at a hospital or doctor’s office.
Why bother having a killer physician then?
The titular character, Dr. Evan Rendell AKA Dr. Giggles (yes, he emits weird giggles when he murders), whose father was killed by a town mob decades earlier, is confined to a mental hospital. The facility’s upper management says this about him: “They call him Dr. Giggles. Nobody knows his real ID.” What kind of operation do they run over there? They better not be the first line of defense against Ebola.
Dr. Giggles frees his fellow mental patients, goes nuts in the operating theatre, escapes and then goes to town on the fine citizens of Moorehigh, exacting revenge, medical bag in tow.
If the clichés weren’t enough (“everything’s fine, you just had a nightmare”, the barking dog scare, the chase that results in a character sliding down a hill, the backlit trees, the misguided exploration of a creepy house), the doctor cracks wise like a Catskills comic:
If you think that’s bad, wait until you get my bill!” and “Trust me, I’m a doctor.
It’s like the old line “My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said ‘okay, you’re ugly too.'”
This slasher doesn’t get any respect from us at all — self-satisfied, slick, clinically brain-dead but we grudgingly concede two rather inventive and terrifying killings involving a sharp thermometer and a liposuction pump. Make no mistake, Dr. Giggles really sucks.
**1/2 (out of 5)