Directed by Arthur Hiller from the second of three Academy Award-winning screenplays by Paddy Chayefsky, The Hospital is a black comedy centering on Dr. Herbert Bock (George C. Scott), a bitter, suicidal surgeon. While patients at the hospital die left and right due to the extreme carelessness and ineptness of the staff that surrounds him, the lonely Bock finds himself falling for Barbara (Diana Rigg), the daughter of Edmund (Barnard Hughes), a patient. Meanwhile, a mysterious killer has begun stalking the hospital, taking out staff members. In addition to Chayefsky's Oscar win, The Hospital garnered a Best Actor nomination for Scott, who lost to Gene Hackman for The French Connection.
The Assassination Bureau has existed for decades (perhaps centuries) until Diana Rigg begins to investigate it. The high moral standing of the Bureau (only killing those who deserve it) is called into question by her. She puts out a contract for the Bureau to assassinate its leader on the eve of World War I.
The darkly comic and sometimes quite gory Theatre of Blood is a vehicle tailor-made for its star Vincent Price, brilliantly capitalizing on his reputation as a master of period horror drawn from "literary" sources. Price portrays Shakespearean actor Edward Lionheart, who becomes enraged after losing a prominent acting award and decides to seek revenge on the critics responsible. Fittingly, he using the works of the Bard as a guide, basing his killings on violent scenes from Shakespearean plays. Price takes full advantage of his meaty role, ominously reciting classic Elizabethan monologues while rigging particularly nasty torture devices. This hilarious turn is assisted by a colorful supporting cast, including Robert Morley, Richard Coote, and Michael Hordern as critics and Diana Rigg as Lionheart's devoted daughter and partner in crime. The end result is a wonderfully evil lark that, in its own way, proves surprisingly faithful to the often bloody spirit of Shakespeare; certainly the full implications of Shylock's demand for a "pound of flesh" have rarely been made quite as explicit.