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Monday, October 8, 2012

Doom Asylum

Hey gang! This week(ish), I've re-discovered a slasher flick I last watched in the late '80's. Even back then, this one was seemingly made to be mocked. Called Doom Asylum, I've spent years trying to recall the specific details of the plot, and even the correct title....I thought it was called Blood Asylum for many years, which made it even more difficult to track down. But I finally found it, so "yay, me" I guess. SPOILERS ahead!

Our cheese-tastic adventure begins with a terrible cover version of "House of The Rising Sun", and a convertible speeding down a deserted-looking road. The drunk couple in the car, Mitch and Judy, are celebrating because they just won some kind of huge settlement in court. Judy even goes so far as to pour wine or champagne all over the crotch of Mitch's pants, and make out with him while he's driving.

In a mind-boggling shocker, they have a collision with another vehicle. Mitch wakes up face down in the grass, and calls out to Judy.  He locates her several feet away and crawls to her position to hold her hand, only to discover that it's no longer attached to the rest of her. She tells Mitch that she loves him, then dies. No! Somebody lend her a hand!!

A couple of medical examiners begin an autopsy on Mitch when he's brought to the morgue, but one of them sees Mitch moving. He tells his boss, but the other doctor isn't convinced until Mitch sits up on the autopsy table, calling out to Judy. Mitch then stabs them both, and decides to go ahead and kill everyone in the hospital, and live there. Well, that all made sense!

After the opening credits are shown over about 17,000 shots of the exterior and interior of the asylum(an actual closed-down hospital, according to the IMDB....), we see the same road, and the same song is playing as a convertible races toward the camera. Wait, did I rewind this thing by accident? Nope, because a helpful subtitle tells us that it's 10 years later. I never realized how bland the future looked!

This car is filled with our first batch of victims: There's Darnell, the stereotypical jive-talking black guy; Jane(played by Kristin Davis, the only person I recognize in the movie), the nerdy psych major; Kiki, who just so happens to be Judy's now teenaged daughter(and played by the same actress); Mike, Kiki's indecisive boyfriend, who seems to be the only person so far enjoying his role by hamming it up with every line; and Dennis, who hasn't had any kind of dialogue or character moment up to this point, unlike the others.

Mike pulls the car over to the spot where the car accident took place, and he and Kiki find what looks like a mirror or a picture frame from the accident. The accident from a decade earlier. Yeah. Mike offers to nurture and support Kiki, and she asks him if she can call him "Mom". WTF? Okay, either this is supposed to be a comedy, or the movie is messing with me. Nothing is ever this strange by accident.

They get back into the car, and head to the abandoned hospital next. Wow, crash sites and empty psych wards...I'm not letting this group plan MY next vacation. They drive past a handful of signs that remind them not to trespass, so they take that as an invitation. Someone appears to be watching their approach from inside. I wonder who that might be? Oh, and apparently Mitch has murdered enough trespassers over the years to have his own urban legend. These kids know him as "The Coroner".

Then the movie introduces us to a few more potential victims, in the form of an all-female punk band. The group consists of Tina, the lead "singer"; Godiva, a woman with the worst fake French accent since Steve Martin ruined Inspector Clouseau forever; and Rapunzel, their group's representative African-American character.  Wow, so Darnell is officially not the "token" minority corpse in this one. For a slasher flick from 25 years ago, that counts as a bona fide plot twist!

The first group hears the obnoxious music from the asylum, and Darnell runs ahead to unplug the punk group's equipment, which causes a small fire. The 3 performers watch the others approach the building, and decide that a little taste of revenge is in order. Well, Tina and Godiva are up for revenge...Rapunzel is too busy drooling over Darnell(complete with a cut-away daydream of them running through a field toward each other in slo-mo), to be planning any vengeance. Then she talks about how hunky Darnell is, and her bandmates scorn her with sarcastic comments and eye-rolls. As she continues to fantasize and gush, Tina and Godiva create water condom bombs filled with hot water from a coffee maker.

Dennis finally gets some dialogue, but wastes it by gushing over his baseball card collection. After Jane tries to psychoanalyze his fixation over the cards, Kiki asks "Mom" for a kiss, and Mike obliges. Weird-ass movie! Just to contribute to the random wacky bits, The Coroner approaches the group, and compares a newspaper photo of Judy to Kiki.

Then the punk chicks lob their watery weapons at the group. Mitch manages to slip away unseen during the confusion, despite being out in the open during daylight hours. How could they not notice him??? Oh, and Dennis whines about some of his precious cards being damaged. And Tina throws back her head and laughs like Ming the Merciless.

The 2 groups yell back and forth at each other, then Tina cackles again and briefly flashes her breasticles(y'know, like guys have "testicles", so women Okay then, moving on...) at the group. That sets off Mike, but Darnell calms him down and offers to confront them himself, mostly to hook up with Rapunzel. Mike picks up one of the soggy condoms to try to entice Kiki into having sex(???with a ripped, used condom???), but she refuses, claiming that sex with "Mom" would be incest.

Darnell enters the building, and hears a metallic clanking sound down the hall. He calls out to Rapunzel, but gets only more clanging. Then he decides to serenade her with an impromptu rap, and Mitch kills him from behind with some steel tongs that pierce his temples. One down...

Tina and Rapunzel pass time on the roof by playing chess, while Godiva is spray painting a wall in the background. When Tina loses the game, she throws the pieces off the board and hisses at her friend. They notice that Darnell is no longer among the group in the grass, and Rapunzel hopes that he's coming to see her. That somehow leads into a scene in the lair that The Coroner has made his home, where he apparently watches clips from random black & white movies all day long.

Godiva leaves the rooftop to find a bathroom, and we see Mitch preparing a sink filled with acid. Godiva wanders to the mens' room, and her accent becomes Australian for a few seconds. Bizarre. Mitch is in the bathroom washing his hands, but he hides in one of the stalls when he hears her about to enter. I think Godiva's accent-mangling days are numbered!

Sure enough, Mitch leaps at her when she opens his stall door. There's a scuffle, and a strange bit involving The Coroner strangling Godiva via her shoulders, but we finally get to see him shove her head into the sink filled with acid. As he lifts her fleshless face back up, he rambles some nonsense about respecting her right to free speech. Then he giggles. Whatever.

The next scene returns us to Mike's group, just sitting around on the grass. Mitch should just get a rifle, and take them all out at once. They all wonder what happened to Darnell, then Dennis gets his panties in a bunch over his soggy baseball cards again. Mike offers to look for Darnell, and the others seem eager to send him on his journey.

The Coroner wanders the dark corridors of his lair with a lantern, and heads to his "bedroom" in the basement. There he has a flashback to the day of the accident, and he remembers his beloved Judy. Awwwww, see? Underneath that scabby shell, he's just a hopeless romantic. Or, he's at least hopeless!

Mike roams around the empty facility, but finds it empty. The Coroner just sits around watching more old movies. Even the camera crew gets bored, because they return to Kiki, Dennis and Jane once more. Dennis sees his Wade Boggs card fly away on the wind, and chases after it. Oh, and every time it blows further away, the wind makes this comical "whooshing" sound. Sheesh, this is dumb. Dennis fantasizes that Wade himself is rounding the bases, and follows the card.

There's a brief glimpse of Mike finding a skeleton, then more crap with Dennis, still immersed in his fantasy about baseball. Mitch discovers Dennis crawling around on the floor, and threatens him with a drill. He bores a hole through the nerd's forehead. Home run for The Coroner! Then Mike roams the halls some more, while Mitch lights candles. After his candles are lit, he picks up the rotten hand of his dead lover, and caresses his own face with it. I bet that must smell nice.

Mike gets to the roof, and demands to know what the punks did with Darnell. He and Tina have a fight, and it mirrors a fight scene in the movie that Mitch is watching. As the brawl is going on, Rapunzel just sits at the chess game, talking to herself about Darnell. Tina kicks the crap out of Mike, to the point that she has him dangling on the edge of the roof by his fingertips.

At that point, The Coroner has a breakdown over a sad scene on the television, and Rapunzel runs into the building to find Darnell. Oh, and Kiki and Jane see "Mom" hanging off of the side of the roof, but decide that he'll probably be fine. Then, more footage of The Coroner walking around in the dark.

Now that everyone is in the abandoned hospital, it's time for Mitch to pick up his pace. Or I hope he does...Rapunzel finds Godiva's melted skull and screams, which distracts Tina long enough for Mom to get back on the roof, and run past her into the facility. Then The Coroner sneaks up behind Rapunzel, and suffocates her with a leather strap around her throat.

More scenes follow, mostly of the characters walking up and down stairways, then Mom finds Kiki and Jane. Tina looks for her friends, and starts to realize that she's all by herself....then The Coroner opens a door directly in front of Mom and the girls, and none of them manage to see it. He swiftly closes it again, as they get closer.

Jane tells her friends to remain where they are, so that she can bring Tina's group to them, just to prove that they're all still alive and well. Mom reminds her that when characters in movies go off by themnselves, they usually die soon after that. And a wolf howls, for no apparent reason.

As Jane walks away from safety, she nearly collides with Tina. They accuse each other of being responsible for the disappearances, then Jane leaves Tina to wander off alone again. For an intellectual snob, Jane sure does seem pretty dumb.

As luck would have it, she has trapped herself with Mitch. Jane tries to assure herself that he's a delusion, and asks him to vanish. Then she backs into a chair, and more or less waits there to be killed. Using a small surgical saw, The Coroner slices through Jane's cheek and jaw, and removes half of her face in the process.

Tina steps into the room, and quickly realizes that she's in deep shit. The Coroner approaches her, but makes a getaway when Mom reaches the room as well. Mom sees Jane's body, and accuses Tina of murder, which she denies. She starts to tell him about her encounter with the killer, but then Kiki screams, and Mom runs off to rescue her.

This leads into my favorite scene so far, showing him running down the same corridor about a dozen times, shouting "I'm coming!" ever damn time, all while his girlfriend screams her head off. Funny as heck, and worth a point in my rating just for making me laugh. Mom finds his girlfriend staring at a corpse in a bathtub, and he informs her that they're being hunted by a psychopath. Kiki starts slamming him into a bathroom stall door as she cries and screams, then she finally calms down long enough to ask, "What's a psychopath???"

Mitch sits around on his mangled ass watching more movies, and Tina gets lost in the halls. Then the killer falls asleep, and has a nightmare about the car crash. Tina strays into a restroom, and comes face-to-face with her dead band-mates, causing her to vomit.

While Kiki and Mom pray to find their friends, The Coroner sneaks up to them. He hears them praying, and adds a sarcastic "Amen!" when Kiki promises God sex, money or a credit card in exchange for a miraculous rescue. Then he fills a large syringe with liquid from a large bottle he's carrying in his bag.

Tina rips a large metal bar off of a radiator as a makeshift weapon, and tries to be brave again. Then the movie shows her, Mom and Kiki looking for the killer, and jumping at every shadow and sound. The Coroner finds the couple first, and he injects Mom with whatever was in the syringe. Then he abducts Kiki, and straps her down to a stretcher in the autopsy room. Satisfied that she can't escape, he decides to watch more movies. Wait...what?

After the latest movie, The Coroner finds Mom, still alive, crawling along the corridor. He brings him back to the autopsy room, where he makes Kiki watch as he straps her boyfriend to another table. He removes the guy's shoes, and proceeds to cut off the toes on one foot. Meanwhile, Tina gets closer to his location.

Mom either dies or passes out from the agony of his injuries, and that's when Tina arrives. She swings her metal bar around like a bo stick, and Mitch picks up a fire axe. They duel around the room, and when The Coroner drops his weapon, Tina batters him to the floor. After that, she finally notices Kiki.

Tina unties her, and they apologize to each other for the way they acted earlier. Then Tina accidentally slips a conveyor belt on with her foot, and is killed by a machine that compresses and mangles her body down into a messy meat-cube. Freakin' hilarious, man.

Mitch then wakes up, and begins to pursue Kiki. She runs away, while he adjusts his tie and uses some breath spray. Kiki manages to get to a large kitchen, but somehow The Coroner has beaten her to the room first. She runs away again, and finds a way outside.

Mitch wanders through the grass after her, calling her "Judy" the whole time. When he corners Kiki and tries to kiss her, she knees him in the crotch. He limps after her again, then just stops to kneel down and cry. Kiki, being a dumbass, returns to talk to Mitch.

She sees him with the newspaper clipping, and realizes that he loved her mother. Then she remembers that he and her mother were going to put her in a boarding school, so she stabs him in the eye with the mirror she found earlier. Another old movie clip is shown, and Kiki strides away. THE END

Wow, this was one odd movie. I remembered very little of it from my previous viewing, which may have been a blessing. It did, however, manage to be both funny and gory, so I kind of enjoyed it. 3.5 killer trees out of 5.

And what did I learn from Doom Asylum?

-Severed hands are romantic.

-You can murder everyone in a hospital, and there will never be an investigation. Ever.

-Indecisive boyfriends are sexy to young women. Or maybe they aren't. On the other hand...

Next up is an odd-sounding slasher/musical, called Don't Go In The Woods. It's not the first musical slasher I've seen(that dubious honor goes to Slumber Party Massacre 2), but many say it's the worst. Hooray!