When a group of horny teens wind up on the grounds of a creepy abandoned asylum, they think they’ve found the perfect place to party. Little do they know that inside the building’s crumbling walls lurks a freakishly deformed maniac, driven to madness by the tragic loss of his fiancée in a car accident. With an array of grisly surgical tools at his disposal, it’s only a matter of time before the youngsters begin meeting various splattery ends at the hands of the ghoulish Coroner.
Doom Asylum opens with a terrible car accident, followed by a corpse awakening in the morgue, murdering two doctors, and escaping to, for whatever reason, hide inside of an abandoned asylum and off random late-twenties teens. It doesn’t have much of a narrative to follow, if we’re being honest. I don’t think a lot of thought went into the plot. Why did this corpse reanimate? Why is he so pissed off? Why is he hiding at an abandoned asylum, and why the hell is he killing these old teenagers? These questions and more will be completely ignored in favor of some scenery chewing acting, some sequences that are so goofy it’s hard to believe someone filmed them and thought they were a good idea.
Doom Asylum is what I would assume would happen if you had access to some cameras and a cool filming location, but no acting talent or technical know-how. At an hour and twenty minutes, Doom Asylum feels like a lifetime, which isn’t a good thing. Sure, there are some practical effects, and a couple cool kill sequences, but does that make the rest of the nonsense worth sitting through. I’ll say it right at the top, Doom Asylum is a tough watch, as I was warned before I even pressed the play button. I can’t tell sometimes if the filmmakers thought they were legitimately making a great horror movie, or if they sat out to intentionally make a terrible movie. Whichever the case may be, the latter is what was accomplished. It’s not even so bad it’s good, it’s just bad. I’m glad to have seen almost any movie one time, but Doom Asylum is not something I will ever watch again, even if it were to be for the purpose of showing off how terrible it is. It’s just a bad time. I can’t recommend Doom Asylum to those looking for a hidden gem, but if you’re into terrible obscure movies, this one might be for you.
Arrow’s Blu-ray release of the film, however, is a different story. The film is presented in two different aspect ratios. For the purpose of this review, I opted for the 1.78:1 presentation. The reason for this, as far as I can tell, is that when the film was released to VHS, some additional video information could be scene at the top of the screen. I skipped back and forth comparing the two, and believe me when I say, you’re safe to watch the widescreen version. The picture quality is fantastic fort he type of film this is. It’s hard to believe that there were elements in good enough condition to perform a restoration at all. The grain is healthy, the details are meat, and the colors pop as much as can be expected for a film of this type and age. The audio isn’t fantastic, but it’s an LPCM Mono, so it does its job, has no errors or noise, so it gets a golden star from me. On top of the presentation, the disc comes stacked with new interviews from cast and crew involved with the film.
- 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