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Madhouse

3.5 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

THE CUNNINGHAM HALL MENTAL FACILITY HOUSES THE MOST PSYCHOTIC AND DANGEROUS MENTAL PATIENTS IN THE COUNTRY. WHEN A STAFF NURSE IS MURDERED, CLARK, A NEW PSYCHIATRY INTERN STARTS DIGGING FOR ANSWERS AND SOON REALIZES THERE IS SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE AT THE ASYLUM - BUT IT'S NOT JUST THE PATIENTS.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lance Henriksen, Jordan Ladd
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006ZXJ2U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,598 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Schtinky VINE VOICE on September 1, 2005
Format: DVD
'Madhouse' is a visual treat for those who love horror flicks. It begins with a flashy, fleshy kaleidoscope of images that hooks you even during the intro; surreal, insane images that tease your madness.

Young Clark Stevens (Joshua Leonard) arrives at Cunningham Hall, a Mental Health Facility, for his internship. He is full of clever ideas to make the facility cleaner and more functional. Dr. Franks (the talented Lance Henrikson) doesn't receive Clark's ideas pleasantly. He informs Clark that things are fine just the way they are, and that Clark will be expected to do his job and nothing more.

Clark meets Dr. Morton (who reminded me of Henry Gibson but is played by Leslie Jordan), an absentminded, likeable guy who's been at Cunningham Hall for 25 years. There's Head Nurse Hendricks (Dendrie Taylor), who is a little like Nurse Ratchett in 'Cuckoos Nest'.

Showing Clark around the facility is pretty co-worker Sara (Jordan Ladd) who has an easygoing temperament and shrugs off Hendricks gruffness. When Sara's tour takes Clark to the basement, you, the viewer, are in for a treat. This is a spooky place. It's lockup time down here, where the "patients everyone wants to forget about" goes.

Right about the time Clark begins to witness some pretty unsavory events happening around Cunningham Hall, people begin to die. For the aficionado, there is a lovely, grisly tongue-severing scene not to be missed. The patient in Cell 44, down in the basement, begins to talk to Clark. He has some unsettling things to say, and seems to know an awful lot about the gruesome events upstairs. About the time Clark decides he's had enough, it's too late.

Lion's Gate Films has been putting out some very good films lately.
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Format: DVD
Madhouse proved to be quite a pleasant surprise for this horror fan. I really liked a lot of what first-time writer-director (not to mention former horror actor) William Butler tried to do here. It was also something of a kick to see Joshua Leonard of The Blair Witch Project fame once again (he's left the woods outside Burkittsville far behind, trading up to a rather geeky new look for this film). There's a fair share of gore, a nicely claustrophobic feel to the whole experience, quite effective ghostly manifestations, some wickedly deft plot twists, and a really cool, darkly surreal opening montage to start things out on the right foot. Jordan Ladd is a delight, and the intimidating presence of Lance Henriksen is put to pretty good use. I also found the plot to be surprisingly complex and methodically laid out. I for one had my expectations altered a time or two when the final scenes rolled around. Some people talk about the ending being obvious (I disagree) or the film trying to do too much, but Madhouse, in my opinion, succeeds admirably in setting itself apart from other lunatic asylum-based horror films. This thing has a look and feel all its own, and I honestly don't see how any horror fan could not enjoy this film.

Joshua Leonard plays Clark Stephens, a super-smart student doing his internship at a mental institution. He is sort of a know-it-all who is less than impressed by the condition of Cunningham Hall and the way its patients are treated. The man in charge, Dr. Franks (Henriksen) doesn't really care about making improvements, though; as a matter of fact, he doesn't even seem to care about curing anybody. The other two doctors are friendly enough, but the head nurse is something of a battleaxe.
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Format: DVD
Madhouse (William Butler, 2004)

An hour into William Butler's Madhouse, a thriller that should have been much, much better than it is, I was ready to sing its praises to the moon and back--it's just the right combination of weird characters, weird situations, and outrageous mystery to press all my buttons. Then, after a bit more meandering, we get to the Big Reveal and, well, the movie has set so many traps for itself that it would've taken an immortal director to sidestep them all. Which is not to say it's not worth watching, but it sets the viewer up for some unreasonable expectations.

Plot: Clark Stevens (The Blair Witch Project's Joshua Leonard) is a new intern at an asylum being held together by spit, duct tape, and the indomitable will of Dr. Franks (Lance Henriksen), who runs the place with both an iron fist and an iron Girl Friday, Nurse Hendricks (The Fighter's Dendrie Taylor). As soon as Clark bunks down for his first night, weird things begin to happen, and pretty soon, he's seeing the ghost of a small boy roaming the halls, striking up a friendship with Ben London, the scariest guy in the psycho wing, and embarking on a friendship-which-could-end-up-being-a-tentative-romance with a fellow intern, Sara (Grace's Jordan Ladd). The last of those may be the weirdest of all. But when Nurse Hendricks is discovered the next morning murdered in the basement, Clark seizes the opportunity to investigate as a way of trying to uncover what he suspects to be corruption in the Franks regime.

It's all quite wonderful until we get to the Big Reveal, which kind of falls flat before immediately going as far over the top as it can. But I still had more fun with this movie than I expected to, which in the end is what it's all about, as far as I'm concerned. Good acting, good pace, and a well-earned atmosphere for most of the film gets a recommend from this camp. ***
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