July 29, 2013

Movie Review: Doom Asylum

I am sure you are all familiar with the phrase "so bad it's good", right? It is pretty common among movie fans. I think you could make an argument that if a movie can be perceived as good in any fashion that would then make it a good movie. Most movies are intended to entertain, correct? So, of it entertains, it did its job and is by default good. Right? Then, I guess you could then discuss whether the reason the movie was good on purpose, or of the film makers lucked into it. That brings us to the movie at hand, Doom Asylum.

I would hazard a guess that most, if not all of you, have never seen this movie. Many have probably never even heard of it. That's all right. Just believe me when I tell you that it is so bad it's good. Technically speaking, this is about as far from a good movie as you can get. The funny thing is that I absolutely loved every mind numbing, sense altering moment. This is a seriously goofy movie that has to be seen to be believed.

It is a comedic horror film from 1987 by director Richard Friedman and writer Rick Marx. It is notable for a couple of reasons. One cool thing about the production is that it was shot at an actual abandoned asylum (a shoot that only took 8 days). More notable is that it was the acting debut of 1987's Penthouse Pet of the Year Patty Mullen (who would go on to star in cult classic Frankenhooker). Most notable to the mainstream is that this was also the acting debut of Melrose Place/Sex and the City star Kristen Davis.

The movie opens with a hotshot palimony attorney and his client/lover Judy (Patty Mullen in one of two roles) speeding down a country road enjoying their victory. A lapse in judgment later and they are in a horrible car accident. Judy is killed, but the lawyer survives, a fact not discovered until his head is half autopsied. He was off the table and kills the doctors.

The hospital must have closed shortly thereafter as the story picks up ten years later and the place is rundown and abandoned. It also turns out that the lawyer fellow is still alive, living In the abandoned halls. No explanation of why he is still there or what he is doing. I guess it doesn't really matter, you could say he has been there working on his anger and killing techniques.

Anyway, a group of young folk are heading out to spend some time at the old hospital. They stop along the way for Kiki (Mullen) to visit the place of her mother's death. A few odd moments/insensitive lines later, they continue along their way. Once they arrive at the old building, they have a run in with a few other trespassers, a rock group using the location to practice.

The two groups go and do their thing. This is where the standard stalk and slash begins. The deformed lawyer kills whoever enters his domain. Upon seeing Kiki, his dementia is deepened by seeing someone who looks just like his lost love. He is determined to have her.

The horror stuff is typical stuff, nothing you haven't seen before. The gore is actually pretty decent, but it isn't what you will take away for, Doom Asylum. You will be more focused on Patty Mullen's accent, Kristen Davis' sexy bookworm, the boyfriend who wants to play mom, the rocker chick who gives a melodramatic laugh after saying anything, and don't forget the nerdy fellow upset over his wet baseball cards. How about the black dude in the bright yellow clothes, who you'd swear is gay, and his daydream fantasies with one of the girls in the band. Oh yeah, and the guy who cannot make any decision, seriously, he waffles on everything. mmmmm.... waffles. Sorry, momentarily distracted.

There is not one bit of this that is not ridiculous. I loved it. I couldn't get enough. This thing held my attention all the way through. I mean, Patty Mullen is quite easy on the eyes, but it is more than that. It is very much a DIY sort of movie, like they just got together, wrote in the spot and just had fun. There is nothing serious or deep about the story.

You probably have to have an affinity for low budget filmmaking to really like this, or have some some sort of warped sees of humor. It is terribly silly, ridiculous, the characters each have their own quirks, and they are never subtle.

I am no sure what else to say, but go watch Doom Asylum. You'll thank me later... Maybe.

Highly Recommended.

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