A Twentieth Century Fox Film
Original Theatrical Release Date: May 28th 1982
Plot: A journalist (Lee Grant) reports on a series of crimes against women, attracting the attention of a crazed misogynist killer (Michael Ironside). After unsuccessfully finishing his attacking on her, Mr. Ca-ray-zee targets the reporter while she's in the hospital recovering. Nurse uniforms and slashing abound.
Halloween II raised the bar pretty high for Slasher Films set in a hospital in 1981, but that didn't stop filmmakers like Boaz Davidson and Jean-Claude Lord from making likewise set Slashers that fully intended to ride high on that film's success in 1982. The darkly humorous Hospital Massacre (AKA: X-Ray) was first out of the gate with an April release. Visiting Hours quickly followed in May. There was also some substantial set pieces in the hybrid Action-Slasher Chuck Norris vehicle, Silent Rage (released in April of '82) and later that year in October the supernaturally tinged The Sender, which is set in a mental hospital, was released.
Visiting Hours is by far my favorite of the bunch released that year. In addition to it being a super tense Film, the Picture doesn't stretch credibility in lieu of atmosphere. The hospital setting in Visiting feels pretty real, not the empty, completely darkened corridors like a lot of the other films have. Visiting Hours' atmosphere is one made more from the traditional mode of suspense. How will Lee Grant survive with this lunatic hunting her? Can Captain Kirk (co-star William Shatner) get over himself (and his toupee) in time to save the day? Will Michael Ironside spare the crunchy haired prostitute (Lenore Zann of My Bloody Valentine) from meeting their doom? Visiting Hours is also canadian. And how I love a good Canadian Slasher.
Speaking of Michael Ironside, has there ever been a Slasher Movie villain as creepy as this one? There's just something about this weirdo that induces chills for me every time I see this film. Ironside goes for a no holds barred performance. His woman hater psycho has some deep, deep issues, and Ironside plays the crazy both intelligently and with white knuckle fervor. He's hypnotic. Even if that image sometimes includes mesh shirts, nose rings, pearl necklaces and sloppily applied lipstick. What a creep. What a movie!