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Theatrical Release Poster
|Directed by||Manny Coto|
|Produced by||Stuart M. Besser|
|Written by||Manny Coto and
Holly Marie Combs
Cliff De Young
|Music by||Brian May|
|Edited by||Debra Neil-Fisher|
|Distributed by||Universal Studios|
|Release dates||October 23, 1992|
|Running time||96 minutes|
Dr. Giggles is a 1992 slasher/medical horror film directed by Manny Coto, and starring Larry Drake as the titular antagonist and Holly Marie Combs as the protagonist. The film co-stars Cliff DeYoung and Glenn Quinn. It was released on October 23, 1992.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (December 2011)|
In the town of Moorehigh in 1957, the patients of Dr. Rendell kept disappearing. After some investigation, the citizens of Moorehigh found that he and his son, Evan, Jr. (nicknamed "Dr. Giggles" for his hideous laugh), were ripping out patients' hearts in an attempt to bring back the doctor's dead wife. The townspeople stone Dr. Rendell to death, but Evan, Jr. disappeared.
Thirty-five years later, the now-adult Evan, Jr. escapes from an insane asylum by murdering two doctors, and heads back to Moorehigh for revenge. The reputation of the Rendell family has been immortalised in a poem used by local children to keep rhythm when skipping;
- This town has a doctor and his name is Rendell
- Stay away from his house cause he's the doctor from Hell.
- He killed all his patients, every last one,
- And cut out their hearts...purely for fun.
- So if you're from Moorehigh and you get sick
- Fall on your knees and pray you die quick.
In Moorehigh, 19-year-old Jennifer Campbell, her boyfriend Max Anderson, and their classmates are all planning their spring break. Jennifer, having lost her mother recently and put out that her father is dating again so soon after her mother's death, is further angered because she has been diagnosed with a heart condition, and is forced to wear a heart monitor to determine if she needs surgery.
Meanwhile, Dr. Giggles breaks into his father's abandoned office and starts going through the doctor's old files, gathering a list of names.
Jennifer's friends decide to do an expedition into the Rendell house, to search for the bodies that an urban legend says are hidden in the walls. As a prank, two of them are locked in one of the abandoned rooms, and are left behind, becoming Dr. Giggles' first victims.
Dr. Giggles proceeds to stalk and kill several of the town's residents, through a variety of bizarre methods loosely based on medical treatments.
Jennifer comes home from a party and, deciding she's had enough of her heart monitor, dumps it in a fish tank. While she is lying down, two of her friends sneak into another room to have sex, only to be ambushed and killed by Dr. Giggles. After Jennifer decides to go back to the party, her father sees the heart monitor and runs out of the house after Jennifer, leaving his girlfriend behind to also be killed by Dr. Giggles.
Jennifer returns to a carnival and finds Max kissing another girl. Distraught, she runs into a house of mirrors. Dr. Giggles follows and kills the girl, but Jennifer manages to see him coming and escapes. She finds the police and tells them what has happened, but only two officers believe her story - Reitz and Magruder. Magruder, the elder, tells of how, the night after Dr. Rendell was killed, he came across the body of Dr. Rendell's wife and saw the seven year old Evan, Jr. cut his way out of the body with a scalpel, revealing how he escaped the mob all those years ago.
Magruder goes to investigate Jennifer's house, and finds her father there, lying in a pool of blood. Giggles attacks and kills Magruder, but not before Magruder seriously wounds him in the side with a bullet. Reitz arrives soon after, finding his partner dead and Jennifer's father wounded but alive. Meanwhile, Giggles returns to his hideout, performing surgery on himself to remove the bullet.
The traumatic experience has made it necessary for Jennifer to be checked into the hospital for an EEG. While she is being examined, Dr. Giggles appears, killing the doctor and knocking Jennifer unconscious with a syringe full of sedative. Jennifer awakens later to find herself in the operating room beneath the Rendell house, as Dr. Giggles tells her that he plans to replace her "broken" heart with one of the ones he took from the bodies of her friends. However, just as she falls unconscious, Reitz and Max burst in. In the struggle, Reitz is killed, but a fire started during the fight ignites a set of oxygen tanks, causing an explosion that destroys the Rendell house (and presumably Dr. Giggles with it). Max and Jennifer barely manage to escape.
Jennifer is taken to the hospital, where she is told that the traumatic events of the evening have damaged one of her heart valves, and she is going to need surgery to replace it. While she is being prepped, Dr. Giggles reappears, having survived the explosion, and cutting a bloody path through the hospital staff to get to Jennifer. He chases her to a janitor's closet, where she spills a bottle of cleaning fluid onto the floor and hits him with a pair of defibrillator paddles, electrocuting him. She finally kills him by stabbing him through the chest with two of his own instruments. Dr. Giggles then breaks the fourth wall, staring at the camera and asking, "Is there a doctor in the house?" before dying.
Recovering in the hospital, Jennifer is visited by her also-recovering father, and by Max.
|Larry Drake||Doctor Evan Rendell Jr. (Dr. Giggles)|
|Holly Marie Combs||Jennifer Campbell|
|Cliff DeYoung||Tom Campbell|
|Glenn Quinn||Max Anderson|
|Keith Diamond||Officer Joe Reitz|
|Richard Bradford||Officer Hank Magruder|
|John Vickery||Dr. Chamberlain|
|Nancy Fish||Elaine Henderson|
|Doug E. Doug||Trotter|
|Nick Joseph Mastrandrea||Young Evan Rendell Jr./Stu's brother|
Dr. Giggles earned poor reviews from critics and currently holds a 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Variety gave the film a negative review calling it a "wildly uneven horror film" noting that "More care in scripting and fewer cheap yocks could have resulted in a viable new paranoid horror myth" Vincent Canby also criticized the script in his review for The New York Times stating "The screenplay is stitched together from variations on cliches used by or about the medical community." The Washington Post noted that "Manny Coto turns to co-writer Graeme Whifler time and again for punch lines in a desperate attempt to revive a script that begins in critical condition and ends up DOA."
- The New York Times
- "BC Brings 'Dr. Giggles' Back To The Big Screen".
- "See Dr. Giggles at LA's New Beverly with the Good Doctor Himself!".
- Cohn, Lawrence (October 25, 1992). "Dr. Giggles". Variety. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
- Canby, Vincent (October 24, 1992). "Dr. Giggles". New York Times. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
- Harrington, Richard (October 26, 1992). "'Dr. Giggles'". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 29, 1992.
- "Metzger Park History".
- Dr. Giggles at the Internet Movie Database
- Dr. Giggles at AllMovie
- Dr. Giggles at Rotten Tomatoes
- Dr. Giggles at Box Office Mojo
- Good Bad Flicks review