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Aro Recommended Diagnosis: Death

 

aka: Diagnosis Death
New Zealand 2009, 80 minutes
Dir. Jason Stutter
Genres: Comedy, Horror / Splatter

Topics: Mindwarp, Health & Medicine.

 

Aroview: Stand-up comedian and writer Raybon Kan casts himself in this schlocky yet superior horror spoof as a terminal patient who becomes a human guinea pig at a drug-testing facility where the "side-effects" include creepy doctors, crazy nurses and supernatural visions.

Co-writing the script with dir. Jason Stutter, Kan adds sophistication to the generic proceedings with his own brand of existential comedy, while the director handles his comic timing and the scary set pieces with equal aplomb, achieving a quality well above the minuscule budget. Kan's unique, relaxed persona as a neurotic Asian-Kiwi is nicely integrated into the material, and he has an oddly believable screen chemistry with radiant newcomer Jessica Grace Smith. "Conchord" alumni Bret McKenzie and Rhys Darby have several memorably funny scenes, though Jemaine's is confined to a brief introductory cameo.

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