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Asylum (1972)

Barbara Parkins , Richard Todd , Roy Ward Baker  |  PG |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Parkins, Richard Todd, Sylvia Syms, Peter Cushing, Barry Morse
  • Directors: Roy Ward Baker
  • Writers: Robert Bloch
  • Producers: Gustave M. Berne, Max Rosenberg, Milton Subotsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Dark Sky Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FC2GFK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,037 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Asylum" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Roy Ward Baker and cameraman Neil Binney
  • "Inside the Fear Factory" featurette
  • Cast and crew bios
  • Liner notes
  • Trailers
  • Still gallery

Editorial Reviews

When Dr. Martin (Robert Powell) arrives at the Dunsmoor Asylum for the incurably insane, he expects to be interviewed by asylum director Dr. Starr. Instead he is met by Dr. Rutherford (Patrick Magee), who explains that Dr. Starr had suffered a mental breakdown and now is one of the patients. Dr. Rutherford decides that if Martin can deduce which one is really Dr. Starr, then he will be given the position. Is it Bonnie (Barbara Parkins), whose affair with a married man turns murderous? Is it Bruno (Barry Morse), a hardluck tailor visited by a mysterious stranger (Peter Cushing) with a blueprint and very special fabric for an unusual suit? Is it Barbara (Charlotte Rampling), accused of murdering her brother and her nurse but insisting that her friend Lucy (Britt Ekland) was responsible; Or is it Dr. Byron (Herbert Lom) who claims the ability to transfer collecting.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amicus horror gem!! December 1, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
During Hammer's Hay-day, they had competition with from Amicus. Amicus' productions tended to be lush productions with an eye to detail and costumes, with solid directing, scripting and acting. This one is no exception.
You have the marvellously talented Robert Powell (Jesus of Nazareth) coming to an old Gothic mansion that has been converted for a home for the criminally insane. He is applying for a job there as a doctor, and he soon find himself proving his worth in a test. He is presented with three different patients. He most go in, interview them and learn why they are there. One of them is a former doctor at the institute, but has flipped out and has been confined. Powell's task is to determine which one is the former doctor.
It's the frame works for some nifty horror tales, with fine directing by Roy Ward Baker and script by Robert Bloch.
A great fun evening with a super cast of Powell, Peter Cushing, Patrick Macnee, Herbert Lom, Barry Morse, Barbara Parkins, Charlotte Rampling, Richard Todd.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Amicus gem back in circulation April 20, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Long out of circulation (except in an inferior bad transfer and print) "Asylum" finally reappears on DVD. One of Amicus' finest efforts is told anthology style much like "Tales from the Crypt" and "The House That Dripped Blood" from a screenplay by Robert Bloch (the novel Psycho among many other genre offerings)most fans of the film know the story but I'll briefly recap it here after I mention the new stuff on the DVD.

For this edition from Dark Sky Films has struck a new print from the 35mm negative, transfered it in high definition and presents it in an anamorphic widescreen presentation. The extras include a commentary track by director Roy Ward Baker and Director of Photography Neil Binney, biographies for Baker, Cushing, Lom, Britt Ekland and producers Milton Subotsky & Max J. Rosenberg. There's also a featurette on Amicus entitled "Inside the Fear Factory" as well as liner notes and a still gallery. The only thing I could have asked for that isn't included is a appreciation in the form of a featurette for some of the deceased stars such as Peter Cushing.

Dr. Martin (Robert Powell) arrives at Dunsmoor a hospital for the mentally ill. Martin is challenged by the director of the hosptial Dr. Rutherford (Patrick Magee) to prove his mettle as a doctor; Martin must figure out who of the recently admitted inmates is Dr. Starr the former director of the hospital who's gone insane. Martin listens to the stories of different inmates (played by Barbara Parkins,Charlotte Rampling and Herbert Lom)and tries to determine which of them was the former director. Each has a bizarre story to tell from a reanimated dismembered corpse, suits that bring the dead to life to hand made little "people" that their maker can "will" himself into.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely brilliant horror movie February 3, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
As one who has often panned for gold in the stream of little-known horror delights, I have discovered much more fool's gold than gold dust, but Asylum is a magnificent gold nugget. Produced by Amicus, the British equivalent of Hammer Studios, this classic film features a remarkable cast bringing to life a compelling, delightfully shocking tale which comes straight from the pen of none other than Robert Bloch. I think the whole idea of the movie is brilliant, especially the way everything is put together, meshing four largely unrelated tales into one overall and amazingly successful story. We begin with Dr. Martin's arrival at the asylum in pursuit of a position. He is surprised to learn that Dr. Styles, the asylum director and the man he expected to speak with about the job, is now one of the incurably insane inmates housed upstairs. Dr. Rutherford is willing to hire Dr. Martin, but only if he passes a certain test. There are four inmates upstairs, and he must determine which one is actually Dr. Styles (who has assumed a brand new identity for himself). As Dr. Martin makes the rounds, accompanied by the doctor posted upstairs, we are presented with each individual's story as to how they came to be institutionalized.
The first story, that of Bonnie, is a wholly remarkable one. Her lover, having finally agreed to kill his divorce-denying wife and run off with her, chops his wife into several pieces and stows everything in the freezer, including her voodoo-ish protective bracelet He is quite shocked shortly thereafter to see the head, wrapped in butcher's paper, roll into view upstairs, and he is even more surprised by what happens next. When Bonnie arrives, she finds herself menaced and attacked by the separate body parts of the seemingly undead murdered woman.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Horror Anthology August 24, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of a series of horror anthology movies released by Amicus Studios in the early 70's. (i.e. "Tales From the Crypt", "The House That Dripped Blood", "Vault of Horror").Each anthology is held together by a certain theme.

In "Asylum" a young psychiatrist interviewing for a job in an asylum is told that the head of the asylum has gone crazy and is now a patient. The young psychiatrist must hear the stories of some of the patients and then determine who was the head of the Asylum. If he is correct, he gets the job.

The stories give the feel of old horror comics, which inspired many horror anthologies. The characters are one-dimensional and driven by such deadly sins, as greed and lust. In most cases, with a twist and a touch of macabre, the fates get their revenge on the evil-doers.

The stories are mostly enjoyable and solid entries in the horror anthology genre. The British countryside, where the stories are mostly set, adds an extra chill.

The movie is recommended most to fans of horror anthologies, such as HBO's "Tales From the Crypt" or Stephen King's "Creepshow", and the movies noted earlier. It would also be great for those who remember how much fun these movies were when they first came out.

More general audiences would be entertained, but I don't think this movie should be ranked with 5-Star horror masterpieces ("The Exorcist", "Halloween", "Psycho"), nor would I expect most general audiences to rank it so highly.

The DVD quality is definitely noteworthy, having sharp, rich colors which enhanced the movie's experience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love these old movies
Published 1 month ago by Judy Dollarhide
4.0 out of 5 stars a must see!
This is an old great movie. I bought it for my daughters, who were not around when this movie came out. It's a B-movie, but the ending is terrific!
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Campy
Gotta love campy, ridiculous uneven horror stories. I don't even know where to start how bad this thing is. Read more
Published 8 months ago by stacey Hannam
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
This shows why Amicus Films need to be preserved This is a work of pure imagination with the entire cast giving it's all.
Published 11 months ago by jim crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars asylum
i love these old anthologies. all the stories were great. peter cushing is always excellent. i have watched this many times and it is always wonderful. Read more
Published 15 months ago by lance ramrod
3.0 out of 5 stars Herbert Lom bit worth waiting for but...
These portmanteau (sp) films are often uneven. Above average for the genre though below original Tales from Crypt . 'Suprise' at end not really much of 1.
Published 18 months ago by MICHAEL E BOUTOT
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I saw this movie in the theatre as a kid, and the chills are STILL there! Stuff that comes to life that shouldn't is just creepy:)
Published 20 months ago by IP Freeley
3.0 out of 5 stars Brown Paper Packages Tied Up In String
Once upon a time the local movie theatres actually placed sizable print ads in small town newspapers--and I well remember this one, which showed a paper-wrapped head tied up with... Read more
Published on June 24, 2012 by Gary F. Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars The Aslylum
A classic that I haven't seen since the late 1970's. I grew up watching this kind of movies and have not seen it in decades.
Published on October 15, 2011 by Marco Gallardo
4.0 out of 5 stars Company Did the Right thing.
I ordered this VHS tape and when it arrived it was shattered. It probably happened in delivery. The vendor was WONDERFUL! Read more
Published on September 11, 2011 by Barbara Malloy
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