Monday, December 13, 2010

Asylum (1972)

Dr. Martin arrives at an asylum for the insane to interview with Dr. Star for a position on his esteemed staff, but he is informed by Dr. Rutherford that Dr. Star has been confined with the other patients after losing his mind. The new director promises Martin the position if he is able to determine which of the patients upstairs is Dr. Star, so Martin must head inside and listen to each of their stories in order to sort out the clues for himself. ASYLUM is another excellent omnibus film from Britain's Amicus Productions that features four short vignettes written by Robert Bloch and directed by Roy Ward Baker. Tales of treachery, murder, and madness fill the halls of the hospital, each one complete with its own ironic ending. Peter Cushing, Robert Powell, Herbert Lom, and Patrick Magee are just a few of the recognizable faces that line the stellar cast. Unlike many other anthology pictures, ASYLUM also ties each of its individual pieces together using an intelligent wrap-around story that is just as twisted and deranged. Roy Ward Baker's dark and somber directing helps to make this one of Amicus' strongest entries.

Rating: 9/10.

If you liked ASYLUM, check out:
TORTURE GARDEN, FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD.

5 comments:

  1. I remember seeing Asylum when I was a child and I also remember that it was pretty scary. Sadly that's all I remember, that's why I definitely have to rewatch it asap.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think story for story ASYLUM isn't quite up there with THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, TALES FROM THE CRYPTY, and FROM THE BEYOND THE GRAVE. But it does have one of the best linking narratives, thanks in large part to Robert Powell. The most enjoyable story is the opener, with its dismembered limbs animated by voodoo. It is also the silliest, but that doesn't matter. I think the others were average. The problem with anthology films is that you rarely get consistency with the stories (especially with Amicus) which is why none of them were wholly successful or satisfying.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoyed each of the performances, though Powell did make for the strongest lead. I have HOUSE lined up shortly, and I hope to pick up FROM BEYOND and TORTURE GARDEN shortly as well. I'm a huge fan of the format, and this one really appealed to me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I saw this once years ago after seeking it out for the longest time. Needless to say it was nowhere near the league of HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD and FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE although a number of people raved about it. Like Shaun, I liked the wrap-around. I should buy it just to have it. It is definitely better than the dire TORTURE GARDEN which I gave away not long after purchasing it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Cant beat the Amicus Collection from Dark Sky with this, AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS, and BEAST MUST DIE for $15!

    ReplyDelete