Doom Asylum (DVD)
Directed by Richard Friedman
Distributed by Code Red
It is almost a fact that many horror fans can admit that there are some films that are so bad, so totally useless and embarrassing, that they come out on top as being crowd pleasers. Budget cinema is usually where you find these rare creatures. There's just something about throwing a film together in an abandoned asylum that causes magic to happen.
Doom Asylum is the story of a disfigured madman who has taken up residence in a rundown mental hospital. He's lost his wife, his sanity and a good bit of his face. These sort of people should just be left alone but what becomes of the young and foolish folks who just have to explore his rotting abode?
Oh man! I was ready for a bad movie, but this reviewer was in no way ready for a hilarious and awkward movie. There is something special about a script that seems to be written by someone who isn't afraid to just throw sentences together that have nothing to do with each other, then watching that dialog being preformed by the best worst actors in the history of our genre.
Doom Asylum is far more a comedy than it is a horror flick. Each character suffers from severe stupidity and it can be argued that they all escaped from the short bus to have a sunny holiday at the local nut house. How does this opinion get backed up? By their actions! When you are confronted by a madman, covered in blood and wielding a buzz saw most intelligent people run. Not these kids! They are ready to walk up to the miscreant, secure a seat and anticipate the painful outcome. Never struggle, never run and always make as little noise as possible. In the middle of all the action it is also a grand idea to pray in a dark room while a killer is on the loose.
There is a story buried in the mess somewhere but at the end of the day it doesn't matter in the least. Hearing a girlfriend ask her boyfriend if she can call him “mom” followed up by a nerd chasing after baseball cards demand your attention more than some tainted love story. Oh, was it mentioned Kristin Davis of Sex and the City is in this as well? I figured it was worth a mention since it seems to be the selling point plastered all over the DVD case. If you were annoyed with her character on the HBO series then you will be happy to see her chopped up. If not then you can marvel at about how well she filled out a bikini in 1987. Her career has gone so far …
The film will entertain the viewer enough that a bare-bones disc would have probably gone over quite well, but regardless we do get two special features. First is an interview with director Richard Friedman, Bill Tasgal and producer Alex Kogan Jr. The information on the making-of and location are interesting bits of trivia but one could get distracted by the sub-par visual quality of the interviews. Not only is the video grainy, whoever edited it decided it would be a good idea to zoom in, changed the color and contrast for no reason at random moments. The eyes will burn and the brain will bleed a rainbow of unicorn piss thanks to this B.S.
The commentary track featuring director and producer stomps all over the grainy interviews. It's always a good sign when filmmakers can laugh at their film's own ineptitude and stupidity. Knowing you've made crap, pointing out the crap and laughing at the crap makes for a highly pleasing re-watching. “If I knew who directed this, I'd kill him.”
All of these things add up to one enjoyable experience. Everything from the insane dialog, continuity errors and laughter inducing situations insure that Doom Asylum is guaranteed to confuse and amuse all at the same time.
Feature commentary with Richard Friedman Alex Kogan Jr.
Interview with director Richard Friedman, Bill Tasgal, and producer Alex Kogan Jr.
3 1/2 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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