20 July 2018

ARROW VIDEO PRESENTS: DOOM ASYLUM. (1987) A SLASHER HORROR REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.

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DOOM ASYLUM. (1987) DIRECTED BY RICHARD FRIEDMAN. STARRING KRISTIN DAVIS, PATTY MULLEN, RUTH COLLINS, WILLIAM HAY AND MICHAEL ROGEN.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

'Slashing with a snicker, slaughter with a smirk...'

This is the kind of traditional classic slasher movie that only the 'Eighties can do really well. It's a fun story with excellent special effects, tons of blood and gore and plotholes you could drive a truck through, but who cares about plotholes when you've got blood and guts and hot chicks running around the place falling out of their bikinis...? Who indeed, lol.

The plot goes like this. Mitch is a hotshot young lawyer and Judy is his hot blonde girlfriend, see? They've just come into some kind of massive windfall that'll ensure that the pair never need to work again. They're celebrating their good news by driving very fast down a lonely 'Murican highway in an open-top car, an equally open champagne bottle adding to the festive atmosphere.

Well, the festivities don't last long, I'm sorry to say. They crash, and Judy tragically dies. Though it's fair to say that they didn't really have a prayer, driving like that while pissed. Mitch is taken to the conveniently nearby hospital, where he proceeds to shock the doctors carrying out his autopsy by sitting up and showing them that he is, in fact, alive, albeit hideously disfigured from the crash.

When a grief-stricken Mitch hears that Judy didn't make it, he murders the two doctors with their own autopsy tools. Talk about shooting the messenger. Ten years later, the long-abandoned hospital, the uncrowned King of this movie, has fallen into spooky disrepair and is haunted, the locals say, by a hideously disfigured character carring a doctor's bag whom they've nicknamed 'The Coroner...'

Okay, so now it's ten years later and a bunch of the world's dopiest horny teens have arrived at the abandoned hospital grounds for, guess what, a spot of sunbathing in the long grass, the world's unlikeliest spot for sunbathing ever, bar none. Think of the rats...! Brrrrr. Just got chills there, thinking of exactly that.

The dopey teens are as follows. Beautiful blonde Kiki is the now grown-up daughter of the deceased Judy, and she's played by the Penthouse Pet Of The Year 1988, Patty Mullen, whom you might also know from FRANKENHOOKER. Her boyfriend is the big blonde vacuous Mike, and his thing is being indecisive. Or is it...?

It's a mystery to me why Kiki would want to sunbathe near the place where her mother was killed. And why would she want to snuggle up to her bland but muscular boyfriend there? She couldn't be getting a kick out of that, surely.

I'm not even sure if she's over the death of her mother yet. She calls Mike 'Mom' with his full blessing, which is well creepy. I mean, what about when they have sex? 'Oh Mom, I'm gonna come now Mom, don't stop Mom, keep fucking me please Mom...!' Eeuw gross. See what I mean?

Kristin Davis (SEX AND THE CITY'S Charlotte!) plays the brainy Jane, the daughter of two psychotherapists. She's ravishingly good-looking and joins the brain-dead Kiki as the group's eye candy for the thinking man. (Disclaimer: there are no thinking men in this film...!) Darnell is the camp but horny-for-girls black guy and Dennis is the 'special' guy who wears a baseball cap and collects baseball cards obsessively.

Unbeknownst to the dopey horny teens, the world's worst goth girl band, featuring Godiva, Rapunzel and the obnoxious, gobby foul-mouthed Tina, have come to the abandoned asylum to 'practise' their so-called 'music.' The racket is literally unbearable.

Put it this way. Simon Cowell won't be calling them up any time soon, offering them a big fat juicy record deal. If the ghoul the locals call 'The Coroner' wasn't pissed-off before, he sure as hell will be after enduring this frightful cacophony of the damned.

As if you haven't guessed, 'The Coroner' gets to work bumping off each of these cretins in true gory slasher-style, each one of whom is a complete and utter waste of skin and organs. They die in ever more inventive and painful ways, some of which are reminiscent of the work of Michael Myers in HALLOWEEN movies.

The special effects are terrific, and 'The Coroner' himself, with his death-ravaged face, is the pièce de resistance. Each death is carried out with a witty quip and a smile. He has plenty
of time to think of these witticisms as he slowly approaches the victims, who obligingly stay in place till he reaches them. None of this charging-around-and-trying-to-escape malarkey. No, they just stand or sit perfectly still while he makes his way over to them and they don't commence screaming till he's looming right over them. Such well-behaved victims, lol.

My favourite thing about the movie is the way that the villain, 'The Coroner,' obsessively watches Tod Slaughter murder movies from the 'Thirties on an old TV in the asylum. Clips from about five of them (THE MURDER IN THE RED BARN, SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET, to name two) are shown throughout the movie and they're so, so old that they really add a nice authenticity to the film, the way you'd add onions and potatoes to a stew to beef it up a bit and make it go a bit further, you know.

DOOM ASYLUM is out now on Blu-Ray from ARROW VIDEO. It comes complete with a ton of special features and it's the perfect way to get in the mood for the upcoming Halloween season. Well, July's nearly over, folks, and the nights are drawing in again. 'Twill soon be time to dig up Grandma and put her on the porch again to scare the neighbours. She'll enjoy that. It gets very lonely down there on her own...


AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger, poet and book-and-movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com








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