Asylum of Satan (1972)

“Asylum of Satan” actually has some interesting ideas. The concept itself has been overdone many times, as horror films set in insane asylums really have nothing new to offer (the subgenre peaked with the masterpiece “Shock Corridor”). However, the female protagonist is sympathetic and there’s a certain nightmarish edge to the storyline. Unfortunately, William Girdler at this point in his career has absolutely no idea how to pace a film or build tension (he slightly improved with his later work). Also, the script is pretty ridiculous with a predictable supposed twist ending.

Girdler isn’t the only one to blame for the ineptness of this production. While some of these films feature wooden acting, the “performances” here are overdone. However, they’re not over-the-top enough to ensure some enjoyment as camp. They’re just annoying. However, horror films don’t come to expect great acting from these low-budget efforts. They want some scares or at least entertainment value. “Asylum of Satan” offers neither. In addition to Girdler’s poor direction, the film is so horribly lit its difficult to make out whats taking place on-screen, especially during the climax. The most amusing part of the whole film is the Satan mask at the end (its lousy but laughably so). Unfortunately, its not really worth sitting through just to get to that. The film is available from Something Weird Video as half of a double feature with “Satan’s Children”. Thats a bad movie as well, but at least its a lot of fun to watch. On the other hand, “Asylum of Satan” isn’t really worth your time.