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Visiting Hours

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Ironside, Lee Grant, Linda Purl, William Shatner, Lenore Zann
  • Directors: Jean-Claude Lord
  • Writers: Brian Taggert
  • Producers: Claude Héroux, Pierre David, Victor Solnicki
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Release Date: April 18 2006
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000EDWLW8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,387 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
i really enjoyed this movie.the pace is frantic at times(in a good
way)there's lots of suspense.the villain is definitely menacing,to say
the least.even better is the fact that this movie contains no stoned or
drunk,easy target teenagers.the victims are all adults and the killer
is not just some faceless murdering machine.he has a personality(not a
good personality,but at least he has one)the other thing i liked is
that we are shown some insight into why this particular psycho kills
women.this is a Canadian movie,which may surprise some people,given how
good the movie is.William Shatner is in this movie,but thankfully his
role is small enough not to torpedo the movie.others in the movie
include Michael Ironside,Lee Grant and Linda other thing i
should say is that 'Visiting Hours' is a "smart" horror flick.easily 4/5
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Format: DVD
I wasn't sure what to expect from this "video nasty". But what I encountered was a truly excellent thriller/slasher. It is no doubt a slasher film; however the acting, production, and story make it so much more. It shares the seriousness of Silence of the Lambs, while adhering to many of the conventions found in the sub-genre. Michael Ironside, who plays the villain, is absolutely stunning. This film is awesome. Go watch it. I cannot believe anyone could ever ban this piece of celluloid, especially in a democracy. It is totally indefensible that someone would censor this movie considering its realism and its ability to provoke thought around issues of domestic violence.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Ensemble Cast Aug. 12 2009
By Dayna Newman Slasher Diva - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I see a lot of negative reviews about "Visiting Hours" saying it's a rip off of Halloween 2 .Not the case,it's quite different and it's a good movie,the only similarities is most of it takes place in a hospital.

The cast is great,Michael Ironside is very believable and frightening as the stalker and Linda Purl is at her best as the nurse who is also a single mother trying to get by,if I see any similarities it would be with the film "When a stranger calls".Visiting Hours isn't a hard core slasher flick but it is a thriller filled with white knuckle moments and violence.This movie works because you care about the people that are being terrorized so when they are threatened and hurt you feel it too.Lee Grant does a good job as the outspoken TV Journalist "Deborah Balin"who is very vocal about anti violence but when confronted with the choice of kill or be killed will she be so docile and anti violent? watch and see.

All in all it's an entertaining thriller "not horror" that is not forgettable but one you will want to see again one cold night tightly tucked under your blankets..
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "He's making himself a death mask" -Gary Jan. 18 2008
By HorrorMan - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
By way of preface, I should point out that many people curiously view "Halloween II" as an average or even below average horror movie. Alas, I am not one of those people. I thought "Halloween II" was terrific and it picked up at the most logical place to have the setting for the sequel, the hospital. Despite what many people maintain, "Halloween II" was a very successful film and it is one of the greatest horror movies of all-time. So, the hospital setting must be a great place to have a slasher flick, right? Well, after viewing "Visiting Hours", I'm not so sure that is the case.

To their credit, the creators of "Visiting Hours" realized the effectiveness of "Halloween II" and tried to rip it off, at least on some levels, although it is original enough to survive on its own credibility I believe. In "Visiting Hours", an insane killer, played well by Michael Ironside, attacks a controversial talk show host played quite well by Lee Grant ("Damien: Omen II"). However, Grant's character, Debra, survives the attack and is taken to the hospital. However, is she safe in the hospital from this crazed killer? Watch "Visiting Hours" to find out! Expect a little bit of cat and mouse in this one, but it will undoubtedly test your patience at times.

"Visiting Hours" is definitely a run of the mill slasher flick without much more, but it does an effective job at leaving the audience in the dark about the killer's motives. This creates some suspense and causes tension in the audience because the audience does not know or understand what is driving the killer, at least until the end of the movie and even then the motive behind the killer is somewhat obscure.

Some scenes in "Visiting Hours" will leave the viewer scratching his/her head, and some scenes will leave the viewer wishing he or she had taken a nap instead. However, I think there is enough to keep the slasher movie lover satisfied for the most part, although "Visiting Hours" is an inconsistent ride to say the least.

That being said, Michael Ironside does a pretty good job as the psycho killer in this movie. Strangely enough, the creators of the flick did not feel the need to conceal the identity of the killer, but his motives and overall strangeness about him will keep the audience a little on edge. In my opinion, the more mystery one can assign to a killer, the better as this is almost always a good thing for a horror movie because it creates an eerie feeling for the audience. I would say that "Visiting Hours" did a decent job in this respect, but could have done more.

The kills in "Visiting Hours" are not that good as there is a little bit of blood, but no gore. There is a lack of atmosphere for most of the movie, and there are some scenes in this movie that are entirely unnecessary which causes the viewer to become bored and lose interest. These flaws definitely hurt the "Visiting Hours" as a horror movie. What music this movie did use to establish mood and theme was done sparingly and at least somewhat effectively. Perhaps the strongest assets that "Visiting Hours" has to offer are its cast (Lee Grant, William Shatner, Michael Ironside) which is surprisingly strong for a slasher flick and the movie's blatant simplicity. Indeed, the acting was good in this flick and the director did not try to do too much with the script.

While watching "Visiting Hours", I really wanted to like it, and I struggled with my feelings about this movie. After sleeping on it, I turned into Santa Claus the next morning and realized that I did not really like it or dislike it, which is actually kind of strange for me. There was some entertaining scenes among many boring scenes. Everything seemed to cancel itself out. There are some "jump out of your seat" scares, and some unexpected events that occur. Overall, "Visiting Hours" is a flawed yet somewhat effective slasher flick that attempts to use the hospital setting a la "Halloween II".

While "Visiting Hours" is nothing special and completely failed to achieve anything close to the level of horror that "Halloween II" was able to produce, you may enjoy "Visiting Hours" if you are in the mood for a slasher flick with a hospital setting, but do not expect too much or you will come away disappointed.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In this hospital your next visit may be your last... April 20 2006
By cookieman108 - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
So what happens when you mix four parts of an overly long Lifetime Channel movie with two parts slasher film? You get the feature Visiting Hours (1982). Written by Brian Taggert (Of Unknown Origin, "V", Poltergeist III) and directed by Jean-Claude Lord (The Vindicator, Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives!), the film stars Academy Award winner Lee Grant (In the Heat of the Night, Shampoo, Voyage of the Damned), Linda Purl ("Port Charles", Mighty Joe Young), and Michael Ironside (Top Gun, Highlander II: The Total Recall, Quickening). Also appearing is William `The Shat' Shatner (Big Bad Mama, Kingdom of the Spiders, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan) and Harvey Atkin (The Incubus, Speed Zone!), who I remember best as the hapless summer camp proprietor Morrie from the Bill Murray comedy Meatballs (1979).

Grant plays Deborah Ballin, a television personality and outspoken women's rights advocate. After a particularly controversial interview, she returns to her home only to find a knife wielding, homicidal manic has gained entry into her abode (I hate when that happens), which, by the way, sure has a lot of empty liquor bottles scattered about (either Deborah's recently had a party or she's a real booze hound)...the guy, who we later learn is a real piece of work named Colt Hawker (Ironside) appears nekkid, wearing all Ms. Ballin jewelry for some reason (I especially liked the pearl earring in the nose as it's a good, pirate type look), sporting about the largest switchblade I've ever seen. Deborah manages to escape (not before Colt gets in a couple of good swipes), and is taken to County General Hospital, which, in retrospect, may have been a bad choice as the facility has some of the worst security measures I've ever seen. At the hospital she meets a pretty young nurse named Sheila Munroe (Purl), who takes a personal interest in Ms. Ballin out of admiration (the two become quite chummy), I suppose, because Ballin is presented as a strong, self actualized, independent figure...or something like that. Shortly after Deborah's admittance Colt begins sneaking into the hospital (as a delivery person, an orderly, and a doctor no less), kills a few patients in an effort to get to Deborah (his fixation for her is very strong), and eventually focuses some of his attentions on Shelia, stalking her and her children (Shelia's a single mother of two). Some flashbacks are dumped in our laps in an effort to clue us in on the source of Colt's nuttiness (it's always the parents fault) leading up to Colt admitting himself (sort of), in an interesting and wacky way, in an effort to get at both Shelia and Deborah, both of whom have not only survived his attacks but also have seen his face and therefore can identify him. Once in, Colt proceeds in full-on homicidal mode, increasing the mortality rate of County General considerably...

I dug some parts of this Canadian made film, as I thought there was a good deal of overall effort involved, but I think it could have been a whole lot better had they made a few changes. The one main aspect I would have changed is removing one of the two, main female characters, either Deborah or Shelia. With the inclusion of both the story had to spend time on both therefore dragging out the overall runtime to just over an hour and forty minutes. I have no problem with strong, leading female characters but I didn't see the point in having two of them here. Had either one been removed, the story could have been adjusted appropriately and carried on just as well, with a slightly shorter run time and possibly a quicker pace. Both actresses did well enough (I was sort of surprised to see Grant in a feature like this), but neither really stood out all the much for me only because their characters were sort of one-dimensional. As far as Ironside, I'd say he did very well if I hadn't seen him play similar roles in a number of other films. Riding on the crazy train might be fun, but like anything, it gets old after awhile. The reasoning behind his misogynistic and homicidal tendencies seemed a little skimpy in terms of a colorful antagonist back story one would normally expect from a slasher film, but, like I said in the beginning, this felt more like a Lifetime Channel feature with slasher tendencies. The one thing that annoyed me about Ironside's character was the ease of which he could maneuver about, especially in terms of gaining access to areas within the hospital. I'd like to think it wouldn't have been as easy as it was, but who knows? And let's face it, Michael Ironside isn't the type to blend in so easily, as he sports some pretty distinctive characteristics, so it was difficult for me to believe he hadn't been caught for his antics prior to him latching onto Deborah. As far as The Shat, I'm really not sure what the hell he was doing in this movie (he plays a television producer) other than picking up a check between Star Trek films. His character really didn't do much of anything...pull out a phaser, shoot off a photon torpedo, pork a comely far as gore content, there's some, but a lot less than what I would have expected (the broken bottle sequence near the end was nifty). There were some decent scares scattered throughout the film, many of them of the misdirection kind (the focus of a scene might have you looking here, but the scare comes from somewhere else), along with some well developed suspense sequences, but had the filmmakers shaved about fifteen or twenty minutes off the running time (perhaps dumping a few useless characters), I think this would have been a much tighter feature.

The picture quality on this Anchor Bay Entertainment DVD release is very sharp and clean, and comes across nicely in widescreen (1.85:1), enhanced for 16X9 TVs and the mono audio comes through well enough. There is really not much in terms of extras except four television spots, one radio spot, and previews for other Anchor Bay DVD releases like The Anniversary (1968), The Entity (1981), Quicksilver Highway (1997), Ghost in the Machine (1993), and Bad Dreams (1988). Also, I thought the interactive menus not all that was obvious they were going for a psychotic theme to fit in with the film, but they just come off as looking haphazard and sloppy, in my opinion. At the very least the presentation of the film is exceptional, so the rest matters little to me.


I did learn one thing while watching this film, and that is if you're ever being pursued by a knife wielding, homicidal manic, a dumbwaiter elevator probably isn't the best place to hide...
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A slasher classic all by itself. May 15 2008
By Micah - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Film: Visiting Hours
Year Made: 1981

Overview: A man who is still traumatized by events that transpired from his childhood of his abusive dad against his mother, goes on a killing spree. His target is a news anchore woman who speaks out against violence and triggers the killers' inner rage. The hospital should be a place of safety and healing, but visiting hours is about to begin!

The Package: 3 Stars. The outside of the DVD holder has a eerie picture of the hospital with a skull in the windows. The inside of the case does not have any kind of inlay which is disappointing though. The disc itself has graphics of doctors faces on it wearing masks, which although cool, it would have been more creepy to have the killer himself wearing a doctor mask. The disc stays in place in the holder very nice and is easy to pop out of the tray also. There are TV trailers and radio spots on the extras as well as some movie previews for other films which I always like to watch. Overall a good package but could have been better and should have come with closed captioning which is missed greatly.

Spook Meter: 4 Stars. Visiting hours is a creepy film. The killer hardly talks at all, yet is shown clearly throughout the film. Brilliant camera work as the killer is walking as well as all the pictures on the walls of his apartment where he keeps photographs of his victims he has killed, really bring the overall creepiness' to life as you watch this. I loved the fact that most of the action takes place in a hospital setting which works very well here. The flashbacks of the killers dad being abusive to his mother and seeing the conflicting hatred he has for his dad and also for his mother for what she did to his dad is brilliant. That is made clearer as he kills women and men as things progress. Michael Ironside played the part of the killer to perfection and he truly fit the roll well in his look as well as acting. William Shater I thought was one character that did not fit well in this film. William Shatner is a superb actor, but he just didn't seem right for this.

Gore/Violence Meter: 5 Stars. In the gore department, I would rate this about average for a slasher film, it's got some blood but it's not excessive at all. Violence is why I drove the meter way high. The visual effect and the slow prolonged death scenes when someone is killed as well as the killer taking pictures while the victim is dying is very intense. The visual/brutal way it's all acted out and captured will make you cringe and feel each and every death scene. Very violent!

Profanity Meter: 5 Strikes. Sadly, this was a huge letdown. Why all the profanity, I really feel it spoils any film and this one had a lot of language throughout. I hope a closed captioned version comes out so at least my editer will work!

Sexual Meter: 2 Strikes. There is not much as far as offensive scenes. There is one scene while the killer has a woman over at his place and begins to get a bit rough with her and pulls her hair. Nothing much is shown overall though and there is no nudity at all, although the woman does take off her jeans and is standing in her panties at one point. One other scene, the killer is shown reaching down with his hand under a woman's shirt, although suggestive, nothing is shown and no nudity here either. I'll bump up the sexual meter to two stars for these scenes but overall this was non offensive in this area for most viewers.

Final Thoughts: Visiting hours is very well done and what I consider to be a highly underrated lost gem in the slasher film genre. When most people think of horror/slasher films, they think of the main ones like Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street. Visiting hours IS that good and even though it stands as a somewhat unrecognized film in the classic time of the early 80s, any true horror slasher fan will love this brutal uniqueness of Visiting Hours. The one single let down of it was all language, if not for the language, I'll stand on my 5 star rating as a horror slasher film and rank it right up their in my list of all time favorite horror films.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just ask my Grandpa at the nursing home, I hate Visiting Hours... Aug. 9 2008
By D. Wilson - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a dud this was, in fact the title of my review is the most tastless thing you'll find involved with this "slasher" film from 1981. For anybody even mildly interested in the usual trappings of the genre (i.e. nudity and gore), I'd recommend clicking the back button now and typing "The Burning" in the search bar at the top of the screen (thank me later). The reason I put slasher in quotes above is because that's what it refers to itself on the back of the DVD, but actually it's more of a mediocre thriller that I could see my parents giving a watch (and they don't like horror so... that's not a good thing!). The story follows a pychopath on the hunt for an outspoken female journalist whose stance on self-defense against abusive husbands links to his past and enrages him. She is also strongly against violence which, of course, will be put to the test when faced with the killer in the film's finale. The movie gets 2 stars on the merits of being well made and acted, and featuring a few nice moments of tension (particularly the first assault from the killer), but it's still a bland piece of cinema that takes itself far too serious and feels like a solid made for TV movie. Even Michael Ironside as the protagonist of the film is wasted here... menacing at times, of course that's only when he's not falling down, having his apartment vandalized by former rape victims, or losing his knife?!?! Beyond the cool cover on the DVD, I was checking this out due to it being on the infamous "Video Nasties" list of banned films in the UK at one time... why it made the list I'll never understand? Literally 3 deaths occur on screen, none of them bloody or graphic in any way, shape, or form. Visiting Hours is highly passable viewing, delivering nothing noteworthy for genre fans... William Shatner does appear though!