‘You have nothing to fear… until they operate!’
X-Ray – also released as Hospital Massacre and Ward 13 – is a 1981 American slasher film directed by Boaz Davidson and produced by The Cannon Group (Schizoid, Lifeforce). The plot pits Playboy cover girl Barbi Benton against a psychopath who has been haunting her past for 19 years. The shooting title was Be My Valentine …or Else!
A girl named Susan Jeremy was adored by all the boys at her school. However, there was one boy, Harold, who took it way too far. He sent Susan love notes constantly, asking her to be his girlfriend. Finally, when he was turned down for another boy named David and mocked on Valentine’s Day, Harold decides he’s had enough. After breaking into Susan’s house, he kills David by breaking his neck on a coat hanger and running away, laughing maniacally.
Now, 19 years later, Mrs. Jeremy (Barbi Benton) seems to have forgotten the murder and, more importantly, Harold. However, Harold has not forgotten about Susan.
When Susan is sent to her local hospital for a “routine checkup”, she discovers someone does not want her to leave. A masked killer disguised as a surgeon is stalking her and murdering anyone that gets in his way…
“The kills are fairly inventive but, with a few notable exceptions, the film is fairly light on gore- many taking place just out of view of the camera resulting in a ‘tasteful’ splash of blood. And you don’t really care about anyone in this movie apart from Benton. People are just wheeled out every ten minutes or so to be disposed of with bone-saws and the like.” Retro Slashers
“Now I’m not saying that I didn’t like this obscure effort. I actually think that it’s a whole lot of fun if you’re in the right mood (or heavily drunk). But everything from Arlon Ober’s score (which at times sounds like a cat sharpening his claws on a violin) to the performances (not so much bad actors trying to be good as bad actors trying to be…well, bad) makes this come across as rather comedic.” A Slash Above…
“Davidson doesn’t miss a cliché and amps the scares to a level that encourage mocking. Still, I haven’t had so much fun with a film in ages and if you’re in for more unintentional laughs than scares and are seeking out a movie to mock, X-Ray is exactly what the doctor ordered.” Ain’t It Cool
“X-Ray is so resolutely silly, with a series of such patently ridiculous sequences that it seems like perhaps the film was meant as a comedy. I know that I couldn’t stop laughing.” Jeffrey Kauffman, Blu-ray.com
Barbi Benton replaced Jill St. John – courtesy of Temple of Schlock: