Don’t take any drinks from suspiciously friendly surgeons before today’s episode of the Video Archives Podcast!
Quentin & Roger escape from the hospital just in time to discuss 1978’s Michael Crichton medical thriller Coma. Then they spend a fateful evening with two petty criminals for Elaine May’s underappreciated masterwork Mikey & Nicky….before hightailing it out of Lost River, chased by Joe Dante’s Piranha! This is a heavy-hitting triple feature, and I’ve got film facts and video covers galore on today’s Counter Talk…
Just like Jaws kept wary vacationers away from beaches a few years earlier, Coma was so convincingly terrifying, hospitals reported a drop in organ donations and other elective medical procedures in the wake of its release. Going under while doctors cut your body open is already plenty scary, but Crichton (adapting Robin Cook’s story) adds a layer of histrionic conspiracy that makes the film mesmerizing. Some hospitals even had to stop performing surgery in rooms numbered 8, like the room at the center of Coma’s diabolical plot.
This MGM Coma cover lingers on the image of bodies suspended in midair – eerie even if you haven’t seen the film, but especially chilling if you have: