Action flick scripted by Sylvester Stallone, starring Jason Statham stars as a retired lawman whose past catches us with him
Four asylum inmates tell their stories in this chiller from the Amicus studios. Robert Powell, Peter Cushing, Charlotte Rampling, Britt Ekland and Herbert Lom star
With screenwriter Robert Bloch back on the payroll after his work on The House That Dripped Blood, the fourth of Amicus Productions' portmanteau horrors turned out to be somewhat more enticing than usual. Unlike most of the other omnibus chillers the studio churned out during the 1960s and 1970s - films such as Dr Terror's House of Horrors (1965) and Tales From The Crypt (1972) - the linking storyline here is better than the individual segments themselves, which is a real bonus since it drags the story through its less compelling scares.
Young psychiatrist Dr Martin (Powell) arrives at a mental institution to start his new job, only to find that his boss (Magee) wants to test out his new employee's psychiatric skills by setting him a sinister challenge. Martin must interview four of the asylum's inmates and decide which one used to be the hospital's now-deranged superintendent. Each interview comprises the film's four stories: in the first, a man (Todd) tells how he murdered and dismembered his wife, only to watch her come back to life; in the second, bereaved father Peter Cushing asks a tailor to make a special suit; in the third, Charlotte Rampling and Britt Ekland play schizo and in the final segment, Herbert Lom builds several strange little robots.
While the original tagline - "You have nothing to lose but your mind" - was rather over-ambitious, this rough-and-ready horror collection delivers an unexpected frisson. Gleefully poised on the border between silly and scary, Bloch revels in the ridiculousness of it all while managing to keep things vaguely disturbing (the scene in which Richard Todd recoils in horror as the dismembered remains of his wife, wrapped in brown paper, jerk back to life is a perfect example). He also manages to keep the linking narrative's sadistic conclusion gripping till the last.
An above-average entry in Amicus' horror series, Asylum benefits from Robert Bloch's screenwriting and a gleefully demented approach.
The follow-up to the UK¿s most successful comedy film of all time reunites the hapless Jay, Neil, Simon & Will in Australia. The Inbetweeners Movie 2 will start shooting in Australia on 7th Decemb
Film4 correspondent Simran Hans reports from the Underwire Festival, an annual celebration of short films by women... Underwire Festival (19-23 November) has just had its fourth birthday. Developed i
Film4.com looks over the best chases, fights, shootouts and stunts to grace the big screen and pick the 25 greatest ever action movie sequences.
Film4.com's pick of the best films that have made that toughest of transitions: from comic book page to the big screen