Blu-ray Review: Doom Asylum (1987)

July 17, 2018

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

A lawyer gets into a car accident (after an over-the-top display of hysterics) that leaves him horribly disfigured and his girlfriend a corpse. As such individuals do, he now stalks the halls of an abandoned asylum, just waiting to put the murder biz on anyone foolish to enter the putrid place. As if on cue, a bunch of fools (including some teens and an all female noise rock band…the leader of which must have a diet that consists of nothing but scenery for the amount of it she chews through the film’s run time) do indeed decide to pay the asylum a visit resulting in gore, popped tops (well one top to be more accurate), and one liners!
The first thing you have to realize about Doom Asylum is that it absolutely refuses to take itself seriously. Once you get past that lil’ tidbit you can just kick back and enjoy the intentionally over-the-top acting, wise crakin’ killer, scenarios, and gore…I mean your’s cruelly can always enjoy these things, but I know some of you get a wild hair when things tip over into the camp category. Adding to the frightful fun is a great location (an actual abandoned asylum no less…go figure), excellent cartoony make-up and gore effects, and performances that will actually make you laugh for all the right reasons! And for all of you Sex and the City fans in my audience (all none of you) this film marks the acting debut of Kristin Davis…yeah, whoopie-shit.
What’s that you say? Who is putting out this Blu of Doom Asylum? Glad you asked…and if you didn’t, who cares…I’m fixin’ to tell ya anyway! It’s Arrow Video, so as in most cases you can expect an ass-load of totally rad special features! First up is an interview with Ruth Collins who played that out of control rocker, Tina by name, mentioned above. This is a great conversation that covers Collins’ anecdotes about the film, as well as her time in the horror biz. Following that comes interviews with director of photography Larry Revene, special make-up effects artist Vincent J. Guastini, archival interviews with producer Alexander W. Kogan, Jr., director Richard Friedman and production manager Bill Tasgal and a stills gallery. Also included are audio commentaries featuring screenwriter Rick Marx and The Hysteria Continues podcast crew.  The former is a lively conversation (moderated by Howard S. Berger who worked on the film as well) where Marx details not only his involvement with Doom Asylum, but his time toiling in the adult industry as well as working for the legendary Cannon Studio, while the later is personal reflections on what the film means to each of the commentators with some production trivia thrown in.
If you have your heart set on seeing one of the singular most ludicrous slashers the genre has to offer than you should look no further than Doom Asylum; it’s campy, filled with gore, makes less than zero sense, and ultimately ends up being completely entertaining!


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