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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Possession of Nurse Sherri: SE
The Possession of Nurse Sherri: SE
POPcinema // Unrated // October 9, 2001
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted October 26, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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Highly Recommended
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An exploitation picture where its makers actually CUT OUT the sex!?! It's atypical, but that's exactly what schlockmeisters Al Adamson and Sam Sherman did with their drive-in classic Nurse Sherri* (1978, 89 minutes). The two conceived the picture over the telephone on opposite coasts. Sam was taken with a Roger Corman-produced hit called The Student Nurses, as he thought its gimmick would make an excellent followup to their own stewardess flicks. But despite many hours of brainstorming and writing, their trite mix of violence and hospital lovin' didn't have the sort of umpf Sherman knew the picture needed in order to sell. Then he saw the immortal Carrie and experienced his eureka moment: Nympho nurses + Possession = $$$$$$. Trouble was, their own staff HATED the finished product. Sherman wouldn't give up. He and Adamson opted to "open up" the picture by adding more action staged on real locations. They also took scissors to the Corman-inspired naughty nurse scenes that Sam felt conflicted with the movie's supernatural backbone. Their tenacity paid off with an enormous cult sensation that continues to entertain after nearly 25 years. Now, with its digital canonization, CineSchlockers can judge the first lurid cut of the film for themselves.

The movie: A religious cult has gathered in the California desert to fast and pray over the body of a decaying brother at the behest of Reanhauer their kooky spiritual leader (Bill Roy). After days of futile attempts to summon a miracle, Reanhauer clutches his heart and collapses in front of his flock of mouth-breathers. He's rushed into surgery where he croaks on the operating table surrounded by soon-to-be-doomed doctors. Reany's malevolent spirit then takes a fancy to Nurse Sherri (Jill Jacobson) and follows her home where she diddles away the stress of the day with doctor boyfriend Peter (Geoffrey Land). But when the doc's called away, Sherri is left to her nekkid slumber, and things get especially wacky. A primitive green glob animated by Bob LeBar spills into the room, slimes its way onto the bed, engulfs Sherri's supple body and has its way with her while she writhes in terror. Through this lustful act, the evil Reanhauer possesses Sherri and begins using her bod to exact his revenge against the know-it-all doctors who'd laughed off his refusal of their treatment. Her boyfriend gets all huffy and slightly suspicious when she takes to using a guttural speaking voice, but being a bit of a chauvinist, he tries to dismiss her as merely having hysterical "female" problems. Reanhauer's con buddy (J.C. Wells) is really the first to figure out what's going on, which spawns a lot of zany FX scenes like when the ghost flings objects around Stevens' apartment until its completely trashed. CineSchlockers may have encountered this sucker under one of its many other aliases including Black Voodoo -- meant to capitalize on the blaxpolitation craze. The poster art even gave Sherri an afro makeover. Now THAT'S scary!

Notables: Two breasts. Six corpses. One bat. Football talk. Pitch fork to the back. Grave robbing. Boozing. Sponge bath. Car chase with explosion. Gratuitous double-exposure effects. Bodies hurled into a furnace.

Quotables: Cultists chant over rotting corpse, "Rise! William! Rise!" Street-smart thug won't be hustled, "Don't try and be showing any of that crap to me, Reanhauer. You can fool your high-class Beverly Hills bitches with astrological chants and seances, but as far as I'm concerned, you can take your pentagrams and SHOVE IT!" Sherri tries to cool Dr. Romeo, "Go take a shower in formaldehyde." Peter attempts to quiz an overly friendly nurse, "Beth, you want to put Ed's stethoscope back in his pants? I'd like to talk to you for a minute." Weirdo cult leader knows how the woo the babes, "Don't be afraid. Take my hand, come with me, Sherri. I'll introduce you to the bliss that lies beyond the borders of hell."

Time codes: First appearance of Sherri Martin (14:42). Animated evil spirit enters our starlet's body through wholly carnal means (20:15). Sherri speaks in a growling man's voice (42:42). Hand pops out of the ground like a certain other film (1:20:15). An ode to Norman Bates (1:27:05).

Audio/Video: Presented in its original fullframe format. The majority of the picture was shot in 16mm, while other portions were done in 35mm, so some will notice a difference in image quality. The utilitarian mono track gets a little iffy at times, but this is likely due to source material age.

Extras: Unreleased first cut of the film includes 10 minutes of sex scenes trimmed in favor of the J.C. Wells subplot. This fleshy footage adds four breasts to the count, including a scene with the jugular Ms. Jacobson cavorting poolside with a handsy blonde bimbette. Producer Sam Sherman's laborious audio commentary provides backstory on all aspects of the independent production. He praises director Al Adamson's work ethic and willingness to take out a second mortgage to help cover costs. (With the success of the film, Al's investment was more than recouped). Maddeningly, Sam's track is about 10 seconds out of sync with the movie, so his scene-specific comments make him look like The Amazing Kreskin. Another bit of audio confusion ensues when Sherman's phone rings and he stops to answer it, then returns with a lengthy (but amusing) explanation for the interruption. TV spot. Trailer vault featuring Nurse Sherri, Naughty Stewardesses, Inga, Seduction of Inga, Female Animal, Erotic Survivor, Erotic Ghost, Nude Cardio/College Coeds, Girl Explores Girl, VAMPS: Deadly Dreamgirls, Psycho Sisters, Cremains and Demon Lust. No printed insert or liner notes.

Final thought: Which version is better? The original might have benefited from more skin, but such decisions are best left to the experts. Thankfully, Mr. Sherman has graciously supplied both for rigorous comparison. Highly Recommended.

* E.I. Independent Cinema has seen fit to retitle this feature as The Possession of Nurse Sherri on its packaging and also burned into its opening credits. However, the 86-minute first cut of the film retains the original Nurse Sherri glowing typography. The uninitiated should also note that the buxom model in nurse attire who graces the DVD cover and main menu doesn't appear in the film, as she wasn't even in kindergarten when it was made.

Read producer Samuel M. Sherman's
Secrets of B-Moviemaking!

G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.
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