Thursday, February 16, 2017

Asylum of Satan (1972)



Mildly enjoyable in that familiar so-bad-it’s-good sort of way, schlocky supernatural thriller Asylum of Satan marked the directorial debut of William Girdler, whose later output includes the fabulously silly shockers Grizzly (1976) and The Manitou (1978). While this first effort lacks the gloss of those subsequent pictures, Asylum of Satan has Girdler’s usual attributes of far-out situations and zippy pacing. Put less gently, the movie is fast and stupid but without the compensatory quality of slick production values. The shaky premise goes something like this—after beautiful Lucina Martin (Carla Borelli) suffers an emotional episode of some sort, her doctor inexplicably transfers her to an asylum run by Dr. Jason Specter (Charles Kissinger). Populated by zonked-out patients wearing white-hooded robes, the asylum is a staging ground for Specter’s weird medical experiments and torture sessions. For reasons that defy understanding, Specter occasionally kills patients in ridiculous ways, such as releasing a vicious snake into a swimming pool so it can kill a patient in the water, or trapping a woman in a room full of bugs. (The image of cheap-looking plastic bugs “moving” across the patient’s body by way of stop-motion animation is particularly laughable.) While Specter terrorizes Lucina, her boyfriend, Chris Duncan (Nick Jolley), tracks her down, only to get rebuffed when Dr. Specter somehow disguises his asylum as abandoned building. One idiotic scene follows another until the climax, when Dr. Specter reveals his ultimate goal of sacrificing Lucina to Lucifer, played by a woman wearing the least convincing devil costume in movie history. Crap-cinema connoisseurs will relish Asylum of Satan, but mere mortals are advised to steer clear. In fact, here’s the best part, just to save you the trouble: During his search for Lucina, Chris learns from a cop that Dr. Specter “was picked up several times for devil-worshipping.”

Asylum of Satan: LAME

2 comments:

Guy Callaway said...

Satan torturing his love slaves to blood dripping death seems counterproductive.

By Peter Hanson said...

Revealed! The true reason why Lucifer was consigned to the underworld: He's shoddy middle management.