DR. GIGGLES (1992) Reviews and overview

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Doctor Giggles is a 1992 American slasher horror feature 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 De Young and Glenn Quinn.

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There was a two-issue limited comic book adaptation published by Dark Horse Comics that was released in time for the movie. The comic books contain numerous differences from the film, since they were based on earlier drafts of the script.

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The psychopathic Evan Rendell fancies himself as a misunderstood medical genius. Rendell performs a bit of impromptu surgery on his keepers at the asylum (who had given him the title nickname due to his fits of nervous laughter) and escapes to his hometown to set up his “practice.”

This medical mania seems to run in the family, as we are shown in flashback: Evan’s daddy once butchered several local women in his search for a replacement heart for his wife, and although he was unable to save her, Pops managed to spirit away young Evan and keep him safe (in a very, very nasty hiding place) before being lynched by the locals.

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Hiding out in the abandoned family home, “Doctor Giggles” begins a random killing spree in town with his bag of medieval-looking surgical instruments… but he finds new purpose when he sees the medical records of young Jennifer, who is in line for a heart transplant, and vows to “cure” her himself.

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“It moves at a frantic pace, but there’s just no creep factor with a wisecracking killer who makes doctor jokes constantly. Doctor Giggles has accrued a lot of fans along the way, and it’s a fun, memorably fluffy piece that’s inventive with its kills.” DVD Verdict

Dr Giggles is an absurd and campy affair, the premise is not original, and at first glance it would appear a hokey and lame send-up of the slasher genre, and I guess it is. However, I came to it with low expectations and was pleased to discover what a fun watch it is, the film definitely rises above its novel elements.” McBastard’s Mausoleum

Doctor Giggles is a fun thrill ride. It has some great scenes, including one memorable and unique scene with circus fun mirrors. The film has a lot of one-liners that will remind you of those great ’80s horror and icons like Freddy Krueger and Ash from Evil Dead. Larry Drake gives an exceptional performance as Doctor Giggles.” Pop Horror

Choice dialogue:

Doctor Giggles: “Time to do what doctors do best…” [he then reaches for a golf club]

Filming locations:

Portland, Oregon

Film Facts:

  • Both Jennifer Aniston and Ashley Judd auditioned for the role of Jennifer.
  • On episode #72 of Killer POV podcast, the director, Manny Coto, revealed that the MPAA told him he had a lot of work to do on the film before they could give it an R rating. They had to cut out a lot of the gore because the MPAA was particularly harsh on them since horror films faced heavy censorship in the early 1990s.
  • Matt Frewer and Ted Danson were also considered for the title role.
  • The official body count is seventeen.

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