Vital Signs (1990) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Vital Signs is a soap opera about third year medical students. You know the drill. When off duty, the dedicated doctors have romances with one another. When on duty they scream, "Live, damn you!" as they pound furiously on their patients' chests.

There is one great mystery surrounding this film. Perhaps you think of yourself as a rational and skeptical person who believes that time travel is impossible. Well if that is so, this film will test your confidence in that belief. Somehow, a 1982 genre parody called Young Doctors in Love managed to parody Vital Signs almost scene-for-scene even though Vital Signs was released in 1990.

I can only offer two possible explanations:


1) Vital Signs represents the only case in history where a serious movie was created by stripping the humor from a parody, thus allowing itself to be pre-satirized for your protection. It would be the exact equivalent of taking the script from Blazing Saddles, removing every bit of humor and the silly modern day epilogue, thus creating an inspiring, cliché-ridden Western.

Or, and this seems to me the more likely explanation:

2) The writer and director of Young Doctors in Love journeyed into the future, watched Vital Signs, and wrote a parody of it.

I guess I could stop being a smart-ass and admit that there is undoubtedly a far more rational explanation available. I must be unaware of or have mercifully forgotten at least one and probably several pre-1982 films which are completely indistinguishable from Vital Signs. I will wager that this particular version of the story is distinguished from similar earlier films only by the graphic and sometimes bloody detail in the surgery scenes and other medical emergencies.

That paragraph alone should tell you whether you want to see it.

Anyway, that's all I'm going to write. If you want to see Young Doctors in Love minus the jokes, plus Diane Lane's breasts, this is your movie.



  • There are no features, but
  • It is a beautiful widescreen anamorphic transfer, and the other side of the disk includes a full screen transfer!



Diane Lane is seen topless in a sex scene with Adrian Pasdar in the hospital laundry room.

The top of Pasdar's bum can be seen ONLY in the full screen version.

The Critics Vote ...


The People Vote ...

  • It did get a theatrical release, but grossed next to nothing ($1.2 million)
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even 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. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). 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. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a low C-, a film not significantly different from watching any one of the television medical dramas, roughly equivalent to watching ER's 90 minute pilot. The film is not incompetent, but it is trite, predictable, and formulaic.

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