My Rating : ***.5
The grisly and debauched film PATHOLOGY is a juiced-up medical thriller that plays like FLATLINERS with a mean streak and a broken moral compass. Writers Mark Nelvedine and Brian Taylor have created a premise allowing for CSI-like forensics along with heaps of sex and violence, truly making the most of the film’s R-rating.
A high-end exploitation film with good performances, PATHOLOGY is strong enough for horror fans and should go down smoothly for non-squeamish viewers with a taste for the dark side. Gifted med student Ted Grey (Milo Ventimiglia, HEROES) arrives at a major Washington, D.C., as an intern, where he is met with suspicion and resentment by the tightly knit group of fellow young pathologists-in-training. Soon, though, Ted is accepted into their circle—where they each take turns committing a murder so that the others may prove their mettle by figuring out the cause of death and celebrate with drug-fueled orgies among the dead bodies in the hospital. Things change for Ted, though, when his law student fiancée, Gwen (Alyssa Milano), moves to the city and helps to scare him straight. Soon, crazed Wallace Stevens-quoting leader Jake Gallo (Michael Weston) turns on Ted, putting both Ted’s and Gwen’s lives in serious jeopardy. The film opens with the Hippocratic Oath, and it’s easy to tell that PATHOLOGY is going to show us doctors behaving badly, and the film is in fact almost gleefully immoral, with an attractive young cast that engages in almost any kind of forbidden behavior one can imagine. Showing that he isn’t afraid to take on risky roles, Ventimiglia may surprise his young fans. Director Marc Schoelermann’s taste for realism extends to several convincing corpses dissected in close-up, and could prove too much for some viewers, but for others this is the kind of film for which unrated releases were invented.