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Asylum

4.3 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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(Jul 25, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Studies in madness: a wife dismemberer, a grieving father, a schizophrenic, an inventor of killer robots.

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

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 (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FC2GFK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,598 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Asylum" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 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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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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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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2 Comments 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Wow, this movie was fun. I never saw it before and, because I've been on a big Hammer and Amicus kick lately, took a chance on it. I was not disappointed.

Like other Amicus productions, what we get here are several horror stories in one, all centered on "incurably insane" patients in a British asylum. There are some great stars here that make it work oh so well, including Patrick Magee (A Clockwork Orange), Robert Powell (Tommy, Jesus of Nazareth), Herbert Lom (Phantom of the Opera-1962), Peter Cushing (Do I need name all of his great horror films?), Richard Todd (Stage Fright)Barry Morse (Gerard from the 1960s TV series classic The Fugitive), Geoffrey Bayldon (The House That Dripped Blood), the scrumptious Britt Ekland (The Wicker Man-1973), beautiful Charlotte Rampling (The Fury), and lovely Bonnie Parkins (The Mephisto Waltz).

The transfer from Dark Sky Films is fantastic; it looks like a brand new film. It's presented in anamorphic widescreen and looks great when played in a progressive scan DVD player on a HD television.

Looking forward to the upcoming release of "From Beyond the Grave" from Image. Never saw that one before, either, but am looking forward to buying it just the same.

I'm hopeful other Amicus classics, including "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors," "Tales from the Crypt (1972)," and "Vault of Horror" will be released on DVD soon. There are rumors abound that Vault and Tales will soon be released by 20th Century Fox in England, but that won't help those of us living in the states much. Dr. Terror was released in England on DVD, but never in the U.S. There is a demand for these films here. Let's get with it, whoever owns the rights.
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