Friday, July 13, 2012

Asylum Of Satan (1972)

I remember the first time seeing this loony-bin, devil worshipping cult flick. I was with a bunch of drunken friends and everybody in the room hated it. That is everyone except for me of course. I have always loved asylum movies even though this one barely fits into that category. Now I realize why I liked this one so much. The reason being that it was directed by the great William Girdler.

Girdler has a way of making some very unpolished and many times inadequate films but for some reason his work always appeals to me. Even movies like Day Of The Animals which most would consider unwatchable, seems to drag me in and hold my attention.

I like everything I have seen from the director. Sheba Baby, The awesome blaxploitaion exorcist rip Abby and of course 3 On A Meathook. William Girdler is an important name in the exploitation world as far as I am concerned and while he may not have a body of work as big as Herschell Gordon Lewis : The Godfather Of Gore or David F. Friedmen his brand of art still needs to be seen. I always relate William Girdler to Jeff Lieberman (Squirm, Just Before Dawn, Blue Sunshine) as far as the feel that their films give off and the fact that they just haven't done as many movies as they should have.

Asylum Of Satan is in fact William Girdler's first film and I think it has much more replay value then some of his later stuff like Day Of The Animals.

A woman wakes up in an Asylum. The last thing she remembers was falling asleep at general hospital and now here she is. The asylum is filled with weirdo's, cripples, mutes and a blind woman who some might remember from 3 On A Meathook. The doctor is a weird controlling kook and his right hand man... I mean woman... well his nurse seems to be a man in drag. Nobody will let our main character know why she is being held in the asylum but she starts to put things together when she sees "patients" in white cloaks praying to Satan, hence the brilliant exploitation title Asylum Of Satan.

And speaking of Satan, This movie is one of the few in the genre where Satan is actually present. That's right guys, we actually have the privilege of seeing the devil first hand in Asylum Of Satan.

The film is of course filled with plot holes and it all could have been resolved easily if there was a character with half a brain in their head but lucky for us its not a very long movie. It clocks in at 80 minutes which really is the perfect runtime for a movie like this. If they cut out the filler which comes in the form of driving scenes I suppose the film would have fell somewhere around 70 minutes which is borderline to short. During the 80 min. of Satan-action we are treated to a grizzly severed head, death by poisonous gas, death by spiders which will remind you more of This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse rather then Lucio Fulci's gory-as-hell The Beyond. We also have a weird monster roaming about the asylum. We see a man fall to his death and my personal favorite scene shows a woman in a pool who meets her fate by killer snakes. The snakes bite into the woman's face (complete with gore) and it really makes for a creepy scene. All these murders are of course sacrificial rituals in the name of Satan and when the devil appears lets just say he is not very happy.

This one is for the real exploitation-freaks. Quentin Tarrantino "Grindhouse" kids should stay away. P.S. the grain is real, Yuck!

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