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Review Dr, Giggles (1992): Good bad flick? I don't think so!

genre: horror, comedy, drama









Normally I can appreciate these kinds of horror flicks. You aren't supposed to take them seriously. Sure you will be confronted with some gore and blood but that usually is the appeal. However much more is needed to give you a full and satisfying viewing experience and in a lot of ways Dr. Giggles is just lacking.

For starters Dr. Giggles wastes no time in showing you the main character and what he is about. It's a big mistake since it destroys all the suspense and tension that could have been. You just know that if he is near something terrible will happen soon enough. If they tried to keep up the mystique of Doctor Evan Rendell (Larry Drake) or had made him more mysterious and then made him deadly all the events involving him would have had more impact. Or perhaps they could have made him target specific people so that you would wonder who he would kill or not. The predictability is one of the elements that makes Dr. Giggles boring. It doesn't help that Larry Drake feels uninspired. He doesn't do anything extra to make his character more interesting. 

Now I realize that some people would disagree wholeheartedly with me as Dr. Giggles does have some creative and entertaining moments. Especially one in particular was spectacularly out of this world. But see this emphasizes my argument concerning the predictability. It's something you never see coming and therefore makes it have impact. The film does try to give you more background on Evan but it only confirms what you already know. That he is a very sick and deranged individual. If they had shown him slowly losing it or made more clear that he is like this due to childhood trauma then perhaps he could have been considered a tragic figure. That way it could have balanced out his character and made him more compelling. Although in hindsight I kinda can see why at one point he is so hell bent on "helping" the girl with the heart condition.

But apparently writer and director Manny Coto isn't that interested in character development or any kind of characterization. Even when he clearly spends time on the girl with the heart condition named Jennifer Campbell (Holly Marie Combs). She also has suffered trauma and is terrified of what could happen to her when she has to go through surgery. Her mother went in for a routine operation and died because of it. Naturally that makes her distrusting of doctors and hospitals. Apart from some nightmares I don't think Manny Coto exploited this effectively. Another example of where the film could and should have shown some contrast. So that it becomes plausible that her fear could be seen as justified and unjustified. If both you (the viewer) and Jennifer can't rely on what is being depicted on the screen is true or not then it adds terror.

One could argue that the comedy elements are what makes Dr. Giggles so amusing. I personally thought that most of the jokes were not funny in the slightest. It was pretty obvious that they were trying real hard to give you specific oneliners . And to me apart from a few all missed their mark. Let's put it this way. Long before he said it I could tell you what Evan would say and nine of the ten times I was right. Predictability is a bitch!

Maybe in the right mood Dr. Giggles will be entertaining. But overall it's quite boring. And with all the blood and gore being shown that should say something to you.




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