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The Kingdom II Reviews

Supernatural suds redux! Four more installments of director Lars Von Trier's made-for-Danish-TV series about a haunted hospital called The Kingdom make up this riotous mix of medical drama and spooky stuff, and trust us: Five hours never went by so fast, even if the element of surprise that made the first episodes such a kick is no longer there. The new segments pick up where the old ones left off, starting with the birth of a monstrous baby who has the head of an adult man (Udo Kier) and a spindly but rapidly growing body. Elderly Mrs. Drusse (Kirsten Rolffes), who helped exorcise the spirit of murdered child Mary (Annevig Schelde Ebbe) in the first installments, is discharged and hit by an ambulance in the Kingdom's parking lot; upon readmission she finds the place more spirit-ridden than ever. Could it be those Satanists conducting Black Masses in the sub-basement? Loathsome head of neurosurgery Stig Helmer (Ernst-Hugo Jaregard), who fled to Haiti to avoid prosecution for malpractice, returns bearing a zombie-making potion that he uses on his nemesis Jorgen Krogshaj (Soren Pilmark). The rest of the gang is back as well: blundering Dr. Moesgaard (Holger Juul Hansen) and his scheming son (Peter Mygind); obsessive Dr. Bondo (Baard Owe), who has a rare cancerous tumor grafted onto his liver in the name of science; splatter-movie-addicted intern Sanne (Louise Fribo), who faints at the sight of real blood; and, of course, the Bretheren, the secret Masonic order of senior doctors dedicated to protecting the Danish medical establishment from such "alternative" threats as chamomile tea and chiropractors. These segments occasionally descend into outright silliness -- Von Trier's two interstitial appearances are very silly indeed -- but the whole business is still great, loony fun. And like the first series, this one ends on a whopper of a cliffhanger.