Directed by Roy Ward Baker
Written by Robert Bloch
Music by Douglas Gamley
Cast: Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Barry Morse, Barbara Parkins, Robert Powell & Charlotte Rampling
1972/89 mins/Color/2.0 Dolby Digital Mono
1.85:1 Anamorphic/English/UK/NTSC Region 0
Review from the Dark Sky Films DVD
Welcome to the Dunsmoor Asylum for the incurably insane. Upon arriving, young psychiatrist Dr. Martin (Robert Powell of JESUS OF NAZARETH) learns that the man who was supposed to interview him for the job had suffered a mental breakdown and now is one of the patients. The new director, Dr. Rutherford (Patrick Magee), decide that if Dr. Martin can recognise the past director, Dr. Starr, he will be given the job.
Soon enough, Dr. Martin listens to the stories of the inmates. Is it Bonnie (Barbara Parkins), who has an affair with a married man who kills his wife, cuts her up in pieces but she can't seem to stay dead. Is it Bruno (Barry Morse), a hardluck tailor who desperatly needs money, who gets a visit from a strange man (the legendary Peter Cushing) with strange instructions and a very unique fabric for a rather unusual suit? Is it Barbara (Charlotte Rampling), who's is the main suspect of murders that she claims her best friend (the delicious Britt Ekland) commited? Or is it Dr. Byron (Herbert Lom) who pretend he can bring to life toys? Four inmates, four very different stories but each one with a tragic ending.
Written by Robert Bloch (of PSYCHO fame), ASYLUM was another big hit for Amicus. A complete print of the film was ready in only ten weeks and it had is world premiere sixteen weeks after the first day of shooting. ASYLUM was awarded the Grand Prix at the Paris Convention du Cinema Fantastique. Distributed by Cinerama, the movie was released as HOUSE OF CRAZIES in the United States in 1974. This was yet another haunting and well crafted horror anthology.
Remastered from the original 35mm, Dark Sky Films released ASYLUM on DVD. The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and it is anamorphic. There is some grains and minor imperfections but the image looks surprisingly good, especially considering the age of the film. The 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono is clear and loud. Optinal English subtitles are available. We get a very interesing and informative commentary track with director Roy Ward Baker, cinematographer Neil Binney and moderator Marcus Hearn. Everyone goes into all the small details behind the making of the movie. This is ported from the previously release PAL Region 2 edition from Anchor Bay UK.
There's a nice photo gallery which consist of posters and lobby cards from around the world. Theatrical trailers for THE BEAST MUST DIE, AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS! and ASYLUM. There's also a very interesting 20 minutes featurette produced by Blue Underground in 2003 called 'Inside the Fear Factory'. Amicus' producer Max J. Rosenberg and others talk about the company, the movies and people that made the studio so successful at the time. This is also a direct port from the Anchor Bay UK edition but a little shorter. Finally we get biographies of Peter Cushing, Roy Ward Baker, Hebert Lom, Britt Ekland, Max Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky. The disc features animated menus, 10 chapters stop, a four page booklet, the MPI Home Video catalogue and comes in a transparent keep case. ASYLUM was previously released on DVD by Image Entertainment.
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2006. ©
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