Sunday, April 6, 2014

Infection, Icky Green Ooze from Japan

What happens when the portion of the Hippocratic Oath, which says " no harm," is replaced by "..we'll do what we can,"?  When a calling to an almost divine profession turns into a bureaucratic endeavor in which we expect funding and eight hour shifts, a horror story ensues.  In a dark and isolated Japanese hospital, staffed with inexperienced nurses and doctors of questionable ability, running short of basic medical supplies, and decisions of life and death are based on funding and convenience, 2004's "Infection" (aka "Kansen") answers that question.
 The plot: An ambulance radios our unfortunate hospital because they have a 45 year old patient showing icky symptoms.  The hospital answers them to go somewhere else.  Unable to reach another hospital quick enough, the ambulance delivers the infected subject, anyway.  The doctors and nurses look upon this new patient in complete disgust, as his muscles and organs are liquefying into a green ooze.  The patient smiles at his attending staff, nonetheless, perhaps symbolizing our trust in doctors...however human they may be.  Displaying no effort to help this man, a senior doctor declares they should examine and research this case, as that is where funding and fame comes from in today's medical profession.  Unfortunately for most of the hospital staff, the patient deteriorates into a green ooze that travels through the ventilation system, dropping on unsuspecting nurses and doctors, hence infecting them.
   In another sub plot, a patient, dying quickly, with horrible burns over 90% of his body is being attended to by another portion of the hospital staff.  Through incompetence, the burn victim goes into cardiac arrest and the team attempts to save his life.  When the doctor barks out an order to inject him with the wrong drug, an inexperienced nurse complies.  The death of this patient is horrific to this staff, once they realize their mistake, because it could end their medical careers.  The scared doctors and nurses concoct a plan to cover up their malpractice and falsify the death report.  Even dead, wouldn't you know, our burned character finds ways to haunt the staff in this dark setting.
This horror story has plenty for you gore-hounds. Some scenes will make us cover our eyes, and push our bowl of popcorn away.  As horrific as the images are on the screen, the symbolism is so deep, a second viewing of "Infection" may be necessary.  The good looking doctors and nurses, clad in white, symbolizes the purity and idealism that should permeate the medical profession.  The green ooze (...coincidentally the color of modern day scrubs) symbolizes the fate of what will happen to the medical profession if the aforementioned idealism is eschewed.  Scary and icky, "Infection" will scare you, especially if a visit to the hospital is in your near future. 

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