• Nurse Sherri

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: June, 2017.
    Director: Al Adamson
    Cast: Geoffrey Land, Jill Jacobson, Marilyn Joi, William Roy,
    Prentiss Moulden, Geoffrey Land, Katharine Pass
    Year: 1978
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    The Movie:

    When Al Adamson’s film Nurse Sherri begins, a cult leader named Reanhauer (William Roy) drops dead from a heart attack while trying to resurrect an evil corpse. He’s taken to the hospital but dies there later that night. Reanhauer isn’t going to go down without a fight though. Once his body passes on, he somehow kina-sorta transplants his evil spirit into the nubile frame of dutiful hospital employee Nurse Sherri Martin (Jill Jacobson)! How does this happen? Reanhauer’s spirit takes the form of some weird green laser goop, slips under the door of Sherri’s room while she sleeps, makes its way up the bed and basically has green laser goop ghost sex with her! Shortly after, inanimate objects attached to clearly visible strings start to fly around rooms and Sherri frequently has a crazed look in her eyes.

    Once Reanhauer got his evil powers working in their new home he uses Sherri’s body to kill off the doctors who let him die on the operating room table. Once that’s over with, the possessed Sherri is driven to other odd and extreme behavior. This earns her the attention of some of her co-workers, like Nurse Tara Williams (Marilyn Joi), when she isn’t tending to a football player named Marcus Washington (Prentiss Moulden) who has lost his eyesight – a hero of hers from way back when. Tara, once she starts noticing Sherri’s behavior, ultimately decides that something must be wrong with her. A guy named Doctor Peter (Geoffrey Land) wanders around, understandably confused by all of this and a guy gets killed with a pitchfork. Tara and fellow nurse Beth Dillon (Katherine Pass credited as Mary Kay Pass) decide that the only way to save their friend and co-worker is to dig up Reanhauer’s body and set things right. All of this leads up to a genuine firecracker of an ending, preceded by a pretty cool car chase, some quirky but memorable murder set pieces and Marilyn Joi taking her top off.

    A strange blend of Corman’s sexy nurse films like Candy Stripe Nurses and supernatural movies like Carrie, Nurse Sherri is as poorly made as you’d expect from one of Adamson’s knock off films but it’s not without its low budget charm. In fact, it’s a ridiculous amount of fun. For all of the picture’s many and obvious flaws, it’s nothing if not entertaining and the pacing is nice and quick. The sets are really limited and almost everyone over acts to a pretty severe degree but the movie is a gleefully trashy little picture that is absolutely worth checking out for those with an interesting in this type of material.

    As far as the performances go, Jill Jacobson might not have the most enthusiastic screen presence but she sure does look good. She handles the material well enough and is just fine in the part. Marilyn Joi has an interesting and appealing screen presence that gives the film a bit more oomph than it would have otherwise had. William Roy makes for an unusually goofy villain resulting in some unintentionally funny moments involving his character, he’s never less than a complete blast to watch.

    This would be one of Al Adamson’s last films (he made the lackluster Carnival Magic and Lost after this one, that was it) and his final collaboration with producer Sam Sherman, ending a genuinely prolific collaborative period.


    Nurse Sherri debuts on Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.85.1 scanned in 2k from the original 35mm negative, however that should be prefaced by a bit of information – basically the bulk of Nurse Sherri was shot on 16mm stock. When it was decided that reshoots were needed that additional material was done on 35mm and the 16mm footage was blown up. The 16mm elements are lost, so Vinegar Syndrome obviously didn’t have access to that material. As such, there’s a noticeable quality difference between the 16mm footage and the 35mm footage use in this production. At any rate, it looks decent enough. There's minor print damage throughout, some of which was probably baked into the elements, and the occasional scratch that's hard to miss. Colors are sometimes a bit faded and there's occasional flicker, but detail is pretty solid and the 35mm sourced scenes generally look much cleaner and crisper than the rest of the material.

    The only audio option provided is an English language DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track with optional subtitles in English only. The audio quality here won’t blow you away but it gets the job done. There’s a bit of sibilance in some spots and some occasional hiss but it’s nothing too distracting. For the most par the dialogue is perfectly clear and the movie’s wonky score and sound effects work sounds pretty decent here.

    The main extra on the disc is an audio commentary with Independent International’s own Sam Sherman, who covers pretty much everything you could hope for in this talk. He notes the influences of blaxploitaiton pictures that were popular at the time as well as how they tried to incorporate ‘possession elements’ from Carrie (which isn’t really a possession film at all) and the Roger Corman produced nurses film that were big on the drive-in circuit in the seventies. He also goes into loads of detail about his relationship with the late Al Adamson, how dedicated he was to filmmaking even going so far as to get a second mortgage on his house to help with funding. Other highlights include the use of quirky optical effects in the film, changes that were made to the original cut of the movie (and even more importantly why those changes were made), Sherman’s own thoughts on the quality of the picture, what was shot in California versus what was shot on the east coast, casting the film and plenty more.

    Also included on the disc is a twenty minute long featurette entitled Nurses’ Confessions which is an interview featurette with co-stars Jill Jacobson and Marliyn Joi. Each of the two ladies talks about their involvement in the film, getting along with their fellow cast and crew members, talks up some memorable scenes from their respective performances and more. The Then And Now locations featurette spends three minutes comparing the east coast locations used in the film with how they looked back then to how they look now.

    Rounding out the extras on the Blu-ray disc are a still gallery, a few trailers for the feature, menus and chapter selection.

    Included on a DVD disc (only analogue elements were available, unfortunately) is the alternate feature length ‘exploitation’ version of the picture that Sherman talks about in his commentary. This is the original cut of the film that was never really released theatrically and that made its debut on the Shock-O-Rama/E.I. DVD release a few years back (under the title The Possession Of Nurse Sherri). It’s a pretty interesting variant that excises the subplot involving the cult members and instead includes four fairly graphic softcore sex scenes (including one where Sherri has a Sapphic encounter with a rather fetching blonde) as different characters share with one another their raciest encounters – with Jacobson and Joi (who gets it on with the blind football player in this cut) both getting in their fair share of naked screen time. This version actually also contains a different end credits sequence and runs about four minutes less than the eighty-eight minute long feature version of the movie. It isn’t the better version of the film but it is important that it be included here even if it couldn’t be given a proper HD transfer.

    Last but not least, Vinegar Syndrome has included some nice reversible cover artwork with this release (with the Nurse Sherri title and one sheet image on one side and the Killer's Curse alternate title and poster art on the reverse).

    The Final Word:

    Nurse Sherri, for all its flaws, is a heck of a lot of fun. It mixes in a lot of different exploitation movie tropes of its day to create a delirious mix or horror and sleaze, complete with some startlingly bizarre effects work and some great performances from lovely leads Jacobson and Joi. Vinegar Syndrome’s Blu-ray presents the film in nice shape, given its origins, and with some nice extra features too.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Gary Banks's Avatar
      Gary Banks -
      I have this on a release with Five Bloody Graves and there are two versions of Sherri. Some really nice titties bouncing around on one version but this was a tough film to sit through.