Monday, February 13, 2017

Day 105: Asylum

Anthology horror is becoming popular once again with movies like V/H/S and Southbound. However, the first glory days of this mini-genre took place in the 1970s with flicks like Tales From the Crypt and Vault of Horror. Asylum fits nicely in this boom period with a decent framing story to boot.

A young Dr. Martin has come from far away to gain a job at an asylum. When he arrives, he finds that B. Starr, the former director, has been replaced with a wheelchair bound Dr. Rutherford. Rutherford explains that Starr went insane and had to be locked in his own asylum. Martin says he could figure out which patient is Starr so Rutherford makes a wager: If Martin can figure out who is Starr, he can have a job. If not, adios. So Martin is turned over to the upstairs orderly who takes him to four patients rooms where he hears tales that sound quite mad in an attempt to deduce who is the former director of the asylum.

The first tale is all about a woman sleeping with a married man who convinces him to murder his wife. The husband chops her into pieces and wraps her in super crinkly butcher's paper, storing her in the freezer. Things then go very wrong.

The second story is from a man who was once a tailor until Peter Cushing came to him and asked him to create a suit from an odd fabric that constantly changes colors. Being desperate for money, the tailor accepts the job. When he goes to deliver the suit, things go very wrong.

The third story is about a woman who was recently released from a mental institution returning home to live with her brother. When her "friend" comes to visit, things go very wrong.

The fourth story kind of dovetails into the framework as we meet a surgeon who has created perfect tiny robot versions of himself and people he knows. When he tries to transfer his own mind into the robot body, thing go very wrong.

I'm not entirely sure the solution to the frame story works but the whole thing is pretty fun. You will be ahead of all the stories, probably, but that doesn't mean there isn't enjoyment in the journey.

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