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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polished Amicus Anthology Film Featuring Murder, Insanity And Magic
As all true lovers of British horror undoubtedly know the production companies of Hammer and Amicus ruled the horror scene for most of the 1960's and early 1970's with their stylish horror films and tales of the macabre. While the product of Hammer Studios, especially their well known Gothic horrors, are well known and loved world wide the output of Amicus often receives...
Published on 29 Aug 2010 by Simon Davis

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Once You're In...
This is a '70s, very traditional Horror.
Dr Martin is assigned as a new Doctor at an Asylum for criminal mental patients. After meeting his "Guide" he is shown around the Asylum and hears the disturbing, maybe even supernatural reasons why they're there in the first place as he meets them, one by one, trapped in four walls of their own insanity. Whilst there Dr...
Published on 23 July 2010 by Ms. L. J. Braisby


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polished Amicus Anthology Film Featuring Murder, Insanity And Magic, 29 Aug 2010
By 
Simon Davis (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
As all true lovers of British horror undoubtedly know the production companies of Hammer and Amicus ruled the horror scene for most of the 1960's and early 1970's with their stylish horror films and tales of the macabre. While the product of Hammer Studios, especially their well known Gothic horrors, are well known and loved world wide the output of Amicus often receives less acknowledgement and is often confused with those films produced by Hammer. Amicus won its main fame from the tremendous "Anthology" films it produced where a linking story allowed three or four seperate mini tales to be told. In this wonderful Dark Sky DVD release we finally have one of the later and most polished efforts of the Amicus production company to enjoy in a beautifully prepared DVD release. "Asylum" has first rate credentials having been directed by veteran horror master Roy Ward Baker and written by acclaimed horror writer Robert Bloch. If that was not enough the film boasts a superb international cast including Barbara Parkins, Patrick Magee, Britt Ekland, Charlotte Rampling and of course horror legend Peter Cushing in an intriguing set of tales framed around the main story of the arrival of young Dr. Martin (Robert Powell) for a job interview at an isolated and suitably eerie looking asylum for the criminially insane. Dr. Martin soon finds out that Dr. Starr who was to interview him has had a breakdown and is now confined to one of the upstairs rooms. Dr. Martin is then challenged by Dr. Rutherford (Patrick Magee) to work out which one of four patients is the mysterious Dr. Starr and during the course of his meetings with each of the four patients their individual stories are unfolded.

The four stories while varying in quality are all well produced and very well acted by the talented performers who bring them to life, they are:

"Frozen Fear"
Starring Barbara Parkins, Richard Todd and Sylvia Sims.
A cheating husband and his mistress get more than they bargained for when they do away with the chief "obstacle" to their new life together with suitably grizzly results.

"The Weird Tailor"
Starring Peter Cushing and Barry Morse.
A financially troubled tailor receives the unexpected offer of a high paying job from a mysterious man wanting an unusual suit made for his son. However the suit is not intended for the usual purpose of such an item and has very sinister consequences for all who come into contact with the strange garment.

"Lucy Comes To Stay"
Starring Charlotte Rampling and Britt Ekland.
A young girl returns home to live with her brother after having suffered a complete mental breakdown. However her happiness is soon complicated by the arrival of her strange "friend" who seems to have an overpowering influence on her, or does she?

"Manniikins Of Horror"
Starring Herbert Lom and Geoffrey Bayldon.
A doctor confined in the asylum creates strange little robots with faces resembling his former collegues which are not as innocent as they first seem with the one modelled after himself created for a very deadly purpose which belies its small size.

While I can't say that "Asylum" is my favourite Amicus Anthology story,(that honour goes to the superb "The House That Dripped Blood" which was also written by Robert Bloch), there is much to recommend here for fans of British produced horror and mystery. We have a suitably sinister looking main setting of the mist shrouded asylum complete with a main staircase lined with nightmarish etchings of victims of insanity, the terrific cast in all four stories, and best of all the very disturbing feeling that almost every character and setting is not exactly what they first appear to be. A grand viewing experience is guaranteed in a multi story film the type of which is rarely produced nowadays. Dark Sky DVD here have continued their first rate DVD presentation efforts and have gone all out with a deluxe presentation of this film. Presented in its correct widescreen and aspect ratio the film has never looked or sounded better having been restored with great clarity and vivid rich colour. On top of this Dark Sky have really put the icing on the cake with some wonderful extras including commentary by the film's director Roy Ward Baker and cameraman Neil Binney, cast and crew biographies and a terrific featurette "Inside the Fear factory", which details the history of the famous Amicus Productions with input from many of those who helped create this great company. In short the whole DVD is a horror fans delight and cannot be faulted. I know this Dark Sky release is now a treasured part of my Amicus horror DVD collection and I highly recommend this release as an example of how classic horror should be released onto DVD. Enjoy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better Amicus portmanteaus, 12 May 2013
This review is from: Asylum (1972) ( House of Crazies ) (DVD)
A very good envelope, two good stories, one less good and only one really substandard.

I had to get mine from e-bay Germany to get any sort of a decent price; Amazon now have it, I think, a bit cheaper still, so get it now if you're an Amicus completist or just fancy it. These windows of good prices don't last forever.

One small warning: as is obvious from the cover pic, this is a German DVD. If you watch it in the original English, there are German subtitles which can't be got rid of. Not a big issue - just ignore them - but worth mentioning.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who?, 14 Oct 2008
By 
Mr. Jonathon T. Beckett "vampire lover" (Dracula's Crypt) - See all my reviews
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Another very strong entry in Amicus films long series of portmanteau films, Asylum features stories written by Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho, and is directed by horror regular Roy Ward Baker.
A young psychiatrist Dr Martin(Robert Powell) arrives at an asylum set in the countryside, to be told by acting head Dr Rutherford(Patrick Magee)that in order to get the job he has applied for, he has to correctly identify the previous head of the Asylum, Dr Starr, who has gone native and become one of the inmates after attacking and crippling Rutherford. These scenes are excellent as Martin baulks at Rutherford's antiquated terminology concerning the inmates
Martin then goes up a large foreboding staircase to meet the patients who may or may not be Dr Starr. We then get four stories involving the patients he meets.
In the first story, a cheating husband disposes of his wife, only to face vengeance from beyond the grave. In the second, a tailor facing poverty and eviction from his home, gets an order for a very unusual suit. The third concerns a fragile woman who has a devious friend, who may be real or imaginary, and in the fourth Martin meets a man who claims he has created a race of tiny living mannequins.
All four stories are enjoyable, with a great cast lining up and giving their all. The second story 'The Weird Tailor' has a camp but enjoyable climax, and the story involving the mannequins is wonderfully gory. The aforementioned cast includes Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Barry Morse, Richard Todd, Charlotte Rampling, Britt Ekland and Megs Jenkins to name just a few. Also Geoffrey Bayldon should be mentioned in a small but important role as Reynolds the hospital orderly in the framing story.
So great cast, great stories, great twist ending all add up to make an excellent British horror film that should entertain from beginning to end. Also of note is the music used in the film-Night On Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky- is a wonderful foreboding piece, well suited for this film.
The DVD transfer is perfectly adequate, and also contains a commentary by the director Roy Ward Baker.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably Amicus' best anthology film., 12 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Asylum (1972) ( House of Crazies ) (DVD)
Shamefully Asylum isn't that easy to find in the UK. The only copy up to a few weeks ago was an import, in which some reviewers said the subtitles would not come off. The recent Peter Cushing 4 film box set has finally corrected this. However my review is from the region 1 release.

The Amicus anthologies which spanned from 1966 to 1981, were certaintly filled with interesting moments and eerie stories. Some worked some didn't, but all in all it was a general success story.

Asylum which I think is often overlooked is probably in my opinion the best of the whole series. Starring Robert Powell as a doctor visiting an asylum for a proposed job. I won't give too much of the plot away from here.

Onto the stories which are strong. The first stars the excellent Robert Todd who is having an affair and planning to ditch his wife, only problem is his wife believes in voodoo. Now these type of stories were done to death (pardon the pun) by Amicus, but this is effective, and eerie, and contains a great infamous fridge jump scene.

The second story stars the wonderful Peter Cushing- check out his quite brilliant introduction. Cushing has a special suit that needs tailoring. Its a good segment. The third story may be the strongest, starring a beautiful young Charlotte Rampling, before she was adopted by the French and Britt Eckland- just who is insane and who is the killer?

The final story is part of the wraparound, usually these don't work at all and have very little impact, but this one is a treat and stars Herbert Lom to boot.

As a huge fan of Amicus movies I've been slighly let down by the interesting but underwhelming Dr Terrors House of Horrors and Torture Garden to name a few, but with the rest in the series and this cracker, my faith is restored. For me this is genuinely a classic slice of horror from the vaults of Amicus.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amicus horror gem!!, 1 Dec 2003
By 
Deborah MacGillivray "Author," (US & UK) - See all my reviews
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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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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GHOST OF FRIDAY NIGHT AS A KID IN THE '80's, 11 Nov 2003
This review is from: Asylum [DVD] [1972] (DVD)
I absolutely love this film, from the first glimpse of the groovy orange MGB GT to the discovery of which character is the deranged Dr. Starr, it's a corker and has a magnificent soundtrack. The cast too are fabulous and you will instantly recognise some, if not all of the protagonists on display here.
I have rated the movie as a 5, that score is for the movie, but for the picture quality the disc scores 1. I have had a TV recording of this movie for many years, from a BBC transmission mid-nineties, and the picture on it is crisp and clear, but the image quality on this release is more akin to an NTSC 525-Line domestic recording, the picture looks washed out and grainy which absolutely destroys the atmosphere of the film. As we all know the majority of the charm films like this have is due to the lighting, the design and the colours, all subtlety is lost here though in a blurred mess.
To sum up then, this film is fantastic but only buy if you can't wait to see it, if you can wait then wait til they transfer a good quality print to DVD and buy that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asylum VIPCO, 22 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Asylum [DVD] [1972] (DVD)
As with all Vipco dvds the quality isn't the best, but you do get the original film uncut. I saw this many years ago and was impressed by the quality of the cast and Bloch's stories from which it was adapted.
Thoroughly enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of the Amicus horror anthologies, 17 April 2012
By 
Andrew Banks - See all my reviews
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'Asylum' is my personal favourite of the the Amicus horror anthology films. The script was written by Robert Bloch, who is best known for writing the novel upon which Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film 'Psycho' was based, and who also wrote a number of other screenplays for Amicus, including 'Torture Garden' (1967) and 'The House that dripped blood' (1970). Bloch's screenplay is well written and includes a number of effective surprise twists. The cast is also excellent. Peter Cushing gives his usual brilliant performance, and there is some very good acting from Robert Powell, Charlotte Rampling and Geoffrey Bayldon, too. The psychiatric hospital setting is quite atmospheric, and the film benefits from some good cinematography courtesy of Denys Coop, the director of photography. The Digital Versatile Disc features an interesting commentary track from the director Roy Ward Baker and the camera operator Neil Binney, and a fairly good 20 minute documentary about Amicus Films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Once You're In..., 23 July 2010
By 
Ms. L. J. Braisby "leigh" (Doncaster, South Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Asylum [DVD] [1972] (DVD)
This is a '70s, very traditional Horror.
Dr Martin is assigned as a new Doctor at an Asylum for criminal mental patients. After meeting his "Guide" he is shown around the Asylum and hears the disturbing, maybe even supernatural reasons why they're there in the first place as he meets them, one by one, trapped in four walls of their own insanity. Whilst there Dr Martin is introduced to the hopelessly insane Dr Byron, now one of the inmates. Dr Byrons creepy colletion of Robot Dolls he makes are maybe more than meets the eye; and maybe it isn't just the inmates who've lost their minds...
Okay, I'm only giving this 3 stars out of 5 because even though the Film is a really, really good and genuinely creepy idea and it has a great twist, I feel it was poorly executed and the film felt long-winded. The acting is not fantastic either, but what do you expect for a '70s, probably low-budget flick?! I hate to say it, but I think this would make an awesome remake.
Good for any die-hard Horror fan.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely brilliant horror movie, 4 Feb 2003
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Asylum [DVD] [1972] (DVD)
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. Next we have the story of Bruno the tailor. Facing economic ruin, he is offered two hundred pounds to make a suit for a rather strange gentleman named Mr. Smith (played magnificently by Peter Cushing). The suit must be created under the unusual conditions specified by the customer and must be made from the remarkable fabric Smith has provided Bruno. This metallic, strangely glittering coat is actually an instrument of magic, Bruno finds out upon delivering it. Supposedly it has the power to give or restore life to whoever wears it. Cushing’s performance helps make this the strongest of the four stories, in my opinion. Next up is Barbara, who denies having committed the murders that resulted in her institutionalization. It was her friend Lucy, she says. The story plays pretty well until the end, when whatever mystery lingered concerning the truth about Lucy is rather unnecessarily done away with. Finally, we have Dr. Baron, maker of robotic men; actually, he says, the creatures are quite human on the inside, and he claims to have the power to will his own mind into one such creation and essentially make it come alive with his own consciousness. This tale has its weaknesses, but its effect on Dr. Martin is profound and sets in motion the thrilling conclusion of the movie. This conclusion, I must say, is remarkably good, treating me to a wonderful surprise and devilishly good twist.
The plot of Asylum does have a weakness or two in it, but the film’s overall effect on the viewer is so gripping that minor questions cease to matter very much. Frankly, I have never seen an anthologized movie such as this succeed so well. Few movies can combine separate tales and succeed as a unified whole, but Asylum accomplishes this feat quite easily. This is an intelligent horror movie that fans of the genre can point to with great pride.
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Asylum (1972) ( House of Crazies )
Asylum (1972) ( House of Crazies ) by Roy Ward Baker (DVD)
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