The Possession of Nurse Sherri (1977) from Tuna

The Possession of Nurse Sherri (1977), according to the producer, was released theatrically, on video, on TV, and now on DVD both in the US and internationally. Maltin says 2 stars, IMDB readers say 3.4/10 and I was about to award an F before I started exploring the DVD. The idea for the  film started with a Corman film called The Student Nurses, which was very successful. Sam Sherman, uncredited producer, was impressed, and decided to make a nurse movie. Then he saw Carrie, and decided that the idea of a possessed woman was a great (and marketable) plot element, and set out to create a nurse film about a head nurse who becomes possessed and kicks some ass. The original script was for a tittie flick that included several sex scenes. The film was completed and ready for release, when Sherman suddenly decided to change it into a pure horror film, so they shot several new sequences, and created his pure horror version. When he showed it to his own sales team, they laughed him out of the building, and he had to re-cut and shoot even more footage.
The version that he finally released was the non-sexual version. After watching that version on the DVD, I was prepared to tear it apart for such reasons as terrible dialogue, stupid plot, cheesy effects, atrocious sound track, minimal exposure, and fairly poor transfer.  


commercial version - none. alternate version - see the main commentary
Then I decided to scan through an alternate version on the DVD, which turned out to be the tittie  flick version, which has never been seen anywhere before. It is a pretty good tittie flick, with three sex scenes. Jill Jacobson in the title role shows breasts in a girl/girl scene, and buns/gyno cam from the rear and breasts in a sex scene with her boyfriend, and a brief peak at public hair in the ghost rape scene. Marilyn Joi showed breasts and buns in a dressing scene, and a sex scene. The quality of the alternate is far worse than the release version, which was already bad. Seems the film was shot on 16 mm to save costs, then enlarged to 35 mm.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • two versions of the film

The plot is simple. A cult leader is operated on against his will, and dies during surgery. His ghost rapes, then possesses, head nurse Sherri, and through her starts killing everyone who participated in the surgery. 

In the commentary, Sherman explained that the way movies are conceived is to take something that is commercially successful and use the elements that  were commercial to create their own film. This goes a long ways towards explaining why there are so few original films made in Hollywood. They added Marilyn Joi and Prentiss Moulden to appeal to both black and white audiences. This is a rare chance to answer the question, "What would the movie be like without the nudity/sex?" 

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin 2/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 3.4 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this PG-13 release version is F as a horror film or anything else, the alternate version is C as a titty film, but the quality of the print is poor.

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