Review: Doom Asylum
Blu-ray: Doom Asylum (1987)
Despite its relatively short 78 minute running time (which includes lots of clips from old movies, and the repetition of many shots), Doom Asylum packs in more than enough (cheap) gore, belly laughs, and absolute sheer insanity that puts many of its low budget rivals to shame.
Mitch (Michael Rogen) is high on life after having come into $5M and is driving along a country road in an open top car with his girlfriend Judy (Patty Mullen). Keeping his lips locked on Judy instead of his eyes locked on the road, he has to make a last minute swerve to avoid oncoming traffic.
The inevitable car crash leaves him horribly injured, but not as much as Judy, who has lost part of her arm…and also got a nasty rip in her dress.
Thought to be dead on arrival at the coroners, Mitch comes back to life, horribly disfigured and on a quest to be reunited with Judy, while killing everyone who gets in his way. Well, killing just anyone to be perfectly honest.
Skip forward 10 years and a car full of teens arrive at an abandoned asylum, where tales of a crazed killer have been circulating all these years.
Also at the asylum is a 3 piece all girl band, who are practising their latest opus. Although we all know that they are only there to up the body count by another 3 people…and get a flash of boobs off one of them later on.
In a nutshell, Doom Asylum is 78 minutes (minus the aforementioned clips from old movies and repeated shots) of a group of teens/20 somethings trying to avoid being killed by a disfigured maniac in an abandoned building.
So what makes Doom Asylum stand out from any other of the multitude of movies which are thematically similar? I’ll make a few bullet points for you, and then leave you to discover the rest when you buy this. Because, trust me, if you love low budget schlocky movies, you have to buy this.
- The acting is hilarious and infinitely quotable. This is one of those movies which will have you annoying friends as you drop in lines from its mad script into normal conversation. And don’t even get me started on the insane cackle that Tina (Ruth Collins), the lead ‘singer’ of the band, emits at regular intervals…think the evil witch in Snow White crossed with Tommy Wiseau.
- 1980’s clothes are always good for a laugh while watching a movie like this. Jane (Kirstin Davis…who later went onto to find fame in Sex and the City) wears a one piece swimsuit that is cut so high at the crotch, that I swear I could almost see her uterus at times.
- The gore is bargain basement, but DAMN does it elicit cheers whenever the next bloody kill happens. The box art shows one scene, but the way that this is implemented onscreen will surely have you replaying it immediately to fully appreciate exactly what you have just witnessed.
- Continuity is not one of its strong points. Witness a scene where the girl band is on the balcony of the asylum looking down upon everyone else and having a conversation with them. In the shots of the band it is pouring down with rain, yet when it cuts to the people they are talking to it is bright sunshine. Hairstyles change and even the killers make-up varies from scene to scene.
- “How did they do that!?” is a question you’ve probably asked yourself while watching many movies over the years. Fear not, as Doom Asylum lets you know exactly how they did everything, from the opening gore scene where Judy has lost part of her arm…which is quite clearly underneath a lump of grass, to one character hanging off the side of the asylum…while the safety harness is clearly visible, to…many more which I won’t spoil for you.
Doom Asylum rates high on the list of ‘beers and mates’ movies which includes the likes of Samurai Cop, Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Miami Connection, and many more. So if those titles mean anything at all to you, order this immediately (preferably from the link below) and be prepared for an experience that you definitely won’t forget.
Also, when you watch Doom Asylum and wonder why the hell they don’t really try to run away, then one of the many great special features explains this.
- Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- 1.85:1 and 1.33:1 versions of the feature
- Original uncompressed PCM mono audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary with screenwriter Rick Marx
- Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
- Tina’s Terror – a brand new interview with actress Ruth Collins
- Movie Madhouse – a brand new interview with director of photography
- Larry Revene Morgues & Mayhem – a brand new interview with special make-up effects creator Vincent J. Guastini
- Archival Interviews with producer Alexander W. Kogan, Jr., director Richard Friedman and production manager Bill Tasgal
- Still Gallery
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourne
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Amanda Reyes
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