The Clinic Movie Review
Written by TGM
DVD released by Universal Pictures UK
Written and directed by James Rabbitts
2010, 93 minutes, Rated 18
DVD released on October 17th, 2011
Tabrett Bethell as Beth
Freya Stafford as Veronica
Andy Whitfield as Cameron
Clare Bowen as Ivy
Sophie Lowe as Allison
Boris Brkic as Hank
Marshall Napier as Officer Underwood
Elizabeth Alexander as Ms. Shepard
Marcel Bracks as Duncan
Adrienne Pickering as Jane Doe
Slava Orel as Boris
The premise of The Clinic is, quite simply, every pregnant lady's worst nightmare. It’s the stuff that the Lifetime Network for Women thrives upon. Waking up in a grubby bathtub full of ice, Beth finds that her once occupied uterus is now empty with only a hastily sewn, eight-inch vertical incision as the only remaining evidence of a once healthy full-term pregnancy. Sometime during the night, she was abducted from the seedy motel room that she was sharing with her boyfriend while en route to her parents' house to celebrate Christmas ‘79. After composing herself, and slipping on a fancy set of jammies with Roman numerals on it, she wanders the creepy isolated complex looking for her baby and a method to escape. Beth quickly stumbles upon a group of similarly gutted women, all in matching numbered attire, and all desperate to find their newborns.
Eventually this post-partum posse finds a room full of babies locked in cages, each wearing a different colored wristband. Since all of the women are white (racist!), trying to figure out whose baby is whose is nearly impossible. As part of the twisted game, the women soon realize that buried within their abdominal cavity is a matching colored surgical clip that could ultimately reveal the identity of each mother’s child. Complicating matters further, another captive, who clearly already went off her rocker, has figured out the color matching scheme and has begun to hunt down the others with the sole intent of ripping open their sutures and yanking out the clips so that she might identify her offspring. Since 1979 is six years prior to the advent of genetic testing, twisted shit like this couldn’t easily be solved on the set of the Maury Povich Show.
My biggest gripe with The Clinic is that the story completely wastes the talent of the late Andy Whitfield. Whitfield, the star of the first season of Spartacus: Blood & Sand, just recently died at the obscenely young age of thirty-nine — a mere eighteen months from being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. His screen presence on Spartacus was overwhelming and he was clearly on the verge of becoming a superstar. Unfortunately, in The Clinic he is relegated to being nothing more than a reactive frustrated simpleton, an afterthought, whose idiotic choices set this whole avalanche into motion. Who gets up at 2AM, leaving their pregnant girlfriend alone in a shady motel on the outskirts of nowhere, run by a greasy pervert who openly ogled her milk-engorged breasts during check-in just hours before? The answer: NOBODY. I despise conveniently moronic plot points that exist primarily to set-up or propagate an otherwise strong storyline, knowing full well that no one would ever act that way in real life. It’s lazy writing and subsequently tarnishes everything worthwhile that follows.
With that said, forgetting that first moronic domino to fall, The Clinic is good. Very good in fact. The acting is strong, the refined gore is well done, and the story puts a rather unique spin on the torture porn genre. So the next time your significant other bitches to you because you never watch movies about topics that she is interested in, reach for The Clinic. If it doesn’t completely send her into a morose tailspin it might actually conjure you up some sweet frenzied empathy sex.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.