TERMINAL CHOICE (aka: DEATHBED)
(director: Sheldon Larry; screenwriters: Neal Bell/story by Peter Lawrence; cinematographer: Zale Magder; editor: Murray Magder; music: Brian Bennett; cast: Joe Spano (Dr. Frank Holt), Diane Venora (Anna), Robert Joy (Dr. Harvey Rimmer), Don Francks (Chauncey Rand, lawyer), David McCallum (Dr. Dodson), Nicholas Campbell (Henderson), Ellen Barkin (Mary O;Connor), Clare Coulter (Nurse Barton), Teri Austin (Lylah Crane); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Gary Magder; Vestron; 1985-Canada)
“A disturbing overlooked gory medical thriller.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A disturbing overlooked gory medical thriller that’s tautly directed by Sheldon Larry (“I Want to Marry Ryan Banks”/”Keeping the Promise”/”Christmas in Paradise”). It’s set in a high tech clinic (Dodson Clinic) in the near future, as it uneasily blends together a sci fi rubbish tale involving the misuse of computers and a tale of human criminal activity. The superb cast keeps a straight face over the nonsense, which increases the fun. It’s based on a story by Peter Lawrence and is written by Neal Bell. It was shot in Montreal. It also includes real footage from an autopsy.
At a computer-run clinic patients who shouldn’t die are dying. It seems the unethical hospital staff are placing bets as to who will be the next patient to die and are not above rigging the results. Dr. Harvey Rimmer (Robert Joy) and Dr. Dodson (David McCallum), the clinic head, are the suspicious clinic doctors. The hard-drinking Dr. Frank Holt (Joe Spano), our ‘everyman’ hero, previously lost a job due to a malpractice suit over a mysterious death under his watch. Therefore when one of his patients again dies unexpectedly, he is investigated by his former lover (Diane Venora), the clinic’s computer expert, and the hospital attorney (Don Francks).
Ellen Barkin has a small part as the clinic coroner, who throws up at work.
REVIEWED ON 6/1/2015 GRADE: B