A modern exploitation film, “Nurse 3-D” is an unapologetic grindhouse gem that ends on a high after hitting all the lows of a long forgotten sub-genre.
Exploitation films were all the rage in the 1970s through the 1980s, but seemed to die off with the grindhouse cinema era. Gone were the days of the women in prison films, the sexualized and/or killer nun films, and even films which focused on the exploits of the local pimp/drug dealer. By the time the 1990s came around, everything felt sanitized, including the horror.
Films were dedicated to attracting the teen market with movies starring heartthrobs like Josh Harnett and Usher Raymond. Everything was pretty and stylized with a demographic specific soundtrack and little to no risk. Gone were the days of exploitation — at least until 2013 with the release of Nurse 3-D.
This hyper-sexualized film about a candy striper who seduces married men into cheating on their wives and then murdering them brutally is about as exploitative as the genre can get.
The majority of the film takes place in a hospital; all the nurses are basically wearing the generic, naughty nurse costume that is sold at Party City, and all the men in the film are extreme with their sexual harassment. The film is narrated by the antagonist, Abby (Paz de la Huerta), who delivers all of her lines in the film in an over-the-top, sultry way.
I am unsure if this film is supposed to be taking itself seriously, but all of De La Huerta’s lines sounds like Jessica Rabbit got a job working for a 1-900 phone sex hotline. Most of the time, it’s as comical as it sounds. And if this were a serious film, it would distract. However, Nurse 3-D is not a serious film.
What’s interesting is that De La Huerta actually sued the creator of the film for ruining her acting career. I found this absolutely shocking upon finding this out because of what played out on screen.
It seemed clear that Nurse 3-D was intended to be an absurd, exploitative film.
For instance, there are numerous naked nurse shower scenes, one of which includes explicit narration about sexual acts with other women. I felt as if someone should have asked her: “Are you sure you want to do this movie? Seems like it might ruin your chances at a serious acting career?”
Add that together with the fact that she is bottomless for at least thirty percent of the movie, engages in at least five sex scenes, and the finale of the film includes her running through the hospital on a murderous rampage where she kills at least six cops, four doctors, and about six or so hospital patients while they are in their bed, all while wearing absurdly high heels.
After the murder, of course she goes home and takes a shower, because exploitation film logic dictates that. Even though the cops know her name and address, they don’t go to her apartment. Between the script read — or even a quick skim of the plot synopsis — and months of filming, something should have indicated this might not be the film to make if one is worried about their credibility as a serious actor.
However, all these potential negatives for an actor worried about her future career prospects are positives for fans of old school, exploitation horror films.
This film has everything we love about the grindhouse cinema days of old: gallons of blood, scantily-clad or mostly naked women behaving badly, and a wonderfully campy good time.
Nurse 3-D may have landed about 40 years too late for its own good, but it’s a real treat for anyone looking for an absurdist horror film full of blood and breasts. Check out this sexy, fun film streaming for free on Tubi TV today.