23 February 2015



German Title:

USA, 1990
Director: Larry Cohen


Man, look at the poster! Awesome, huh? In case you haven't seen it before, it's the German theatrical poster and back in the 90s, it was undoubtedly one of my absolute favorite VHS covers. Almost everytime I've been to the local rental store (a.k.a the playground of my youth), I had to take a peak at this stunningly designed cover... the creepy-looking ambulance car... the hand crashing through the windshield... the frightened face behind the surgical mask... wowsers!

Unfortunately, the movie itself is far from being as awesome as the poster. It's not bad, but it's not great either. "The Ambulance" is a solid early 90s thriller, tense and atmospheric, but a bit too goofy for my taste. Cult filmmaker Larry Cohen ("It's Alive", "God Told Me To") tells the weird story of a mysterious but well-organised group of fake-doctors and fake-nurses driving across New York in a 70s Cadillac Ambulance, abducting diabetics and killing everyone who stand in their way.

Cohen couldn't decide whether he wanted to make an action-comedy or a horror-thriller and so he tried, but failed to combine both worlds. The result is a truly bizarre, but quite unique and decently entertaining flick with a brilliant score by the highly underrated Jay Chattaway ("Maniac", "Maniac Cop 1+2") and gorgeous cinematography by horror legend Jacques Haitkin ("A Nightmare
on Elm Street 1+2").

Main actor Eric Roberts delivers a rather bonkers performance, at times hilarious, at times really annoying. The rest of the cast is way more "bearable", especially Red Buttons as highly amusing reporter, James Earl Jones as cool police officer and the insanely beautiful Janine Turner as Roberts' love interest + cameo by Marvel legend Stan Lee! There's lots of badass chase sequences and an explosive finale, but also lots of cheesy dialogue and a few extremely illogical and/or
quite pointless scenes.

A must-see for Cohen fans. Worth checking out if you're a fan of slightly obscure 80s/90s thrillers.


  1. I enjoy this one. Some mindless fun

    1. Mindless fun indeed, but nothing really special IMO.

  2. Very interesting how exciting covers and artworks looked in those days. Thanks for this review. I saw it in Germany in a small auditorium in 1990. And, yes, because of the poster (from Renato Casaro, British artist Keith Fowles copied the car for the UK video premiere).

    1. Yeah, indeed. This cover looks just awesome. They don't make 'em like that anymore...


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