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For devoted trash fans only!,
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This review is from: Asylum of Satan/Satan's Children (DVD)
Shot in 1972 ASYLUM OF SATAN was director William GIRDLER's debut movie. He would later helm the animal horror flick GRIZZLY, which made quite an impression on me, when I watched it on TV as a young boy.
ASYLUM OF SATAN's plot concerns Lucinda MARTIN, a young woman who is hospitalized after a nervous breakdown and trasferred to a weird private clinic. Her mental and physical health however is at risk there since the rundown medical facility is in fact run by devil worshippers. While the few other patients are killed one by one, Lucinda's fiance despairingly tries to save her, as Lucinda awaits her fate as human sacrifice in a black mass. I don't want to give away the ending, but you can expect a not so unusual twist ending.
ASYLUM OF SATAN clearly shows its shoe-string budget, but is entertaining in a trashy way with its cheap thrills and ridiculous make-up effects. The Devil himself appears toward the end of the film - likely you fall out of your chair laughing when you see this basement make-up "effort". However some scenes manage to be effective, my favorite being the scene with the blind female patient being killed in an indoor swimming pool by snakes.
The second film of this devilish double feature is much better. SATAN'S CHILDREN is a very grim and bad taste movie from the glorious 1970ies, when nobody cared about political correctness.
The plot revolves around runaway teenager Bobby, who flees his sexually teasing stepsister and his tyrant father, only to bump into a vicious homosexual. He holds Bobby at knife-point and phones his equally depraved gay friends for a "hell ass party"(!) They throw Bobby out of their car after they had gang raped him. Bobby is found hurt and naked by some satanists, who resemble more a bunch of hippies than a group of devil worshippers. To put it briefly, problems for Bobby ensue, as the female second in command develops a crush for him, much to the annoyance of other satanists and to the group's leader. Bobby's love interest finds herself buried up to her neck and tortured with ants (!), while Bobby is kicked out of the group, because "Satan hates queers". Will he gain the respect of the satanists?
Without wanting to give too much away I assure you that the end is very mean spirited and cruel - just the way I like it. It involves quicksand, shotgun mayhem, dismemberment and a human sacrifice. Very satisfying ending indeed. I highly recommend SATAN'S CHILDREN, however the squeamish should not apply.
The extras on this DVD are a mixed bag. I urge you to skip the short feature THE SOUL SNATCHER. Despite the brief running time it seems to last forever, is pointless and boring beyond belief. The trailers however are great. Aside from the quite effective trailer for ASYLUM OF SATAN I particularly enjoyed the trashy but fun HORROR HIGH trailer and the trailer for DR. TARR'S TORTURE DUNGEON, which is weird and has a certain arthouse feel to it. My favorite however is the trailer for MANSION OF THE DOOMED, where people are held captive and get their eyes removed. Watch if you dare!
Another cool extra feature is the large gallery of horror comic artwork. I also enjoyed Patty BREEN's extensive liner notes regarding William GIRDLER's ASYLUM OF SATAN. Full of interesting details, it provides entertaining insight into B-movie making.
Conclusion: An essential purchase for fans of trashy horror flicks, all others approach with extreme caution.