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Dark Asylum
Dark Asylum
Actors: Paulina Porizkova, Judd Nelson, Larry Drake, Jürgen Prochnow, Jake Eberle
Director: Gregory Gieras
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
R     2002     1hr 23min


Movie Details

Actors: Paulina Porizkova, Judd Nelson, Larry Drake, Jürgen Prochnow, Jake Eberle
Director: Gregory Gieras
Creators: Gregory Gieras, Morris Ruskin, Patrick Ewald, Randy Manis, Robert Bernacchi, Vicky Pike, D.B. Smith
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/05/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 23min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Dark Asylum is ridiculous and unbelievable
S. Simon | Seattle, WA USA | 08/30/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I was stunned when I saw that this terrible film was rated 2 1/2 stars on my TIVO. This film was so bad that it was actually humorous to watch at times. The entire movie depends on countless bad decisions and unbelievable events to make the story work.

If you would like to save your time from seeing a bad movie read on. However, please note that some of this information will reveal the storyline which can ruin it, so if you plan on seeing this movie, I suggest you do not read any further.

The basic plot is that there is a mad man called the thrasher who kills people. He is caught early on in the film and is sent to a temporary holding facility at an old asylum which will be closed down at the end of the month. In addition, the movie has two other main characters, a female psychologist and a janitor (who is also a patient of the facility).

The movie has absolutely no character development. We never learn anything about the life of the thrasher and why he kills. We never learn anything about the janitor (a patient of the facility) who has been locked up for 16 years and only let outside twice during that time. Worse, we know very little about the psychologist and why she is so obsessed with an old case she handled there.

Now the story is totally unbelievable. They lock up the thrasher in a facility for one hour with a security guard, 4 police officers, and a host of psychologists. The thrasher is locked in a padded room, cuffed on his ankles with a straight jacket. The padded room has another viewing room on the other side with a one way mirror.

You would think that with someone who is so dangerous, the facility would post at least 1 to 2 officers at all times within the viewing room (considering this is an old facility not equipped to handle this person and we are only talking about a 1 hour holding time). But no, the police spend their time assembling a cage far away from this area and the security guard is no where to be found.

While the thrasher was left unattended, he was able to chew off the straight jacket and break the mechanism locking his feet to the chair. Mind you, this was all done while under heavy sedation.

After freeing himself, the psychologist tries to communicate with him through a one way mirror. She had a co-worker with her who wished to enter the padded cell to interview the thrasher as the one-way mirror communication wasn't working. Against all good judgment and regulations, this co-worker is allowed to enter the padded room. While in there, you would think the female psychologist would keep a close eye on her co-worker, but no, she immediately turns her back on him and makes a 3 minute cell phone call. She is in the viewing room but is facing away from the window during the entire time the co-worker is interviewing the thrasher allowing the newly freed thrasher to kill her co-worker. It would have been no effort to make her call and face the window at the same time (but in Hollywood, this would not work as it would have given her time to summon help while the thrasher kills her co-worker).

The thrasher than takes a chair and smashes the one-way window with one swipe. Keep in mind that later in the film, the psychologist shoots about 5-6 rounds of bullets in a similar window at a control room without even damaging it. There is no explanation as to why this particular window was not reinforced like the others (completely unbelievable).

Now the thrasher is running amuck in the asylum and this gets the attention of the 4 cops. The thrasher lays a trap to kill them by filling a light bulb with butane to make a bomb. Now this is really stupid. Here you have a facility that allows its patients to roam freely to do janitorial work and they just happen to have such dangerous items as a can of butane laying around for anyone to grab. Why do they even need a can of butane to begin with?

The thrasher kills all four police officers and the security crew while under heavy sedation and unarmed. By now you have a good idea how ridiculous this film is. The thrasher spends the remaining hour looking for a key to open the gates as the cops locked it down before being killed.

The psychologist and janitor struggle to find a way out as well. One idea would be to set off the sprinklers to get the fire departments attention, except that the fire sprinkler suppression system was turned off (why, I have no idea, no facility would be allowed to have patients locked in their rooms with a non-functioning fire suppression system).

During the next hour the thrasher spends his time chasing the psychologist and janitor through one ridiculous and unbelievable chase after another (I will spare you all the details).

In the end, the thrasher and the psychologist face off at the exit. The psychologist tries to lay a trap by placing the key that opens the gates in an electrically charged puddle of water. She then rigs the door with 3 hydrogen tanks ready to explode (again, what is this facility doing with these hydrogen tanks????).

The thrasher reaches down and gets the key while being electrocuted for 10 - 15 seconds and ends up fine (yeah right!). Once he has the key, he realizes the psychologist is willing to commit suicide to stop him so he can't use the door. He then tells the psychologist that he studied up on her and her family (she had left her briefcase in the viewing room with her personal information), and he has plans to kill her daughter.

Here is where it gets even more ridiculous. The thrasher tells the psychologist that he doesn't need to bother with the main gate as he will simply go into the basement boiler room and exit through the sewers. OK, so the thrasher wasted an hour looking for a key, electrocutes himself getting it, when all the time he knew or should have know he could escape from the boiler room. Can you see how stupid this movie is?

As soon as he goes down to the boiler rooms, the cops arrive with their sirens on with many units. These cops arrived at their scheduled time. But if they had to come in full force and in such a hurry (remember, no one was able to contact them so they have no clue what is happening), you would think they would have left more than 4 officers there in the first place.

The psychologist tells what happened and they send several teams after him fully armed in 4 by 4 formation. The psychologist believing the cops are inept, grabs a shotgun from a police car (aren't they suppose to have those locked down) and runs inside into the basement boiler room. There she finds 4 dead swat people from one of the 4 by 4 formations. We know the thrasher killed them but we don't know how for a good reason. How can the thrasher kill 4 highly trained, fully armed swat people without even having a weapon of his own on him? Dumb and unbelievable.

The thrasher is able to get to the psychologists home within minutes going through the sewers (it is nice how the director makes her home so conveniently close to the asylum).

I will not tell you how the movie ends except to say that it gets even more unbelievable and ridiculous.

In all, a total waste of time to watch unless you find watching bad movies funny."
Dont waste your time!!!
ragebird19 | 04/08/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)

"At first apperarance this move seemed pretty cool, psychological thriller, deranged killer, mental hospital. But what actually transpired was pure low budget, poorly acted, contrived drivel! The plot was so predictable (ever hear of plot twists guys? thats what most psycho thrillers have!) As for the deranged killer, i thought i was watching one of those old Frankenstein monster movies from the 40's! all this guy need was the bolts in the neck! Lets not even talk about quality of acting, even for a 'B' movie
Dont waste your time buy Memento instead"
Bloody awful.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 01/12/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Dark Asylum (Gregory Gieras, 2001)

Gieras, who was also responsible for the ultimately stupid Centipede! Three years later, makes his most high-profile film to date. And despite having scored the cast of his career by a mile, they're not enough to keep this leaky ship afloat.

Maggie (Her Alibi's Paulina Porizkova, who should have realized she had no future in film a decade and a half ago) is a psychiatrist who works long days, living with her grandmother and raising a daughter on her own. (Why the father is not in the picture is briefly discussed, then dropped when it is revealed to be an obvious red herring.) She gets a call one night to go to an asylum in the process of closing down, where her old acquaintance Conrad (The DaVinci Code's Jurgen Prochnow) is holding a vicious serial killer known as The Trasher (Darkman's Larry Drake) until the FBI can come round to pick him up. Conrad wants to get the Trasher to talk, and get a book deal out of it, since his livelihood, the asylum, is on its way out, and enlists Maggie to help. All well and good, until things go horribly wrong. The only person left that Maggie has to turn to is the janitor, Quintz (brat packer Judd Nelson, whose career basically disappeared after New Jack City).

It may all sound like it could hold a modicum of interest, but, well, it doesn't. While it wouldn't be fair to say Centipede! Is a better film, it's certainly not a worse one, either. A wooden script combines with some truly painful acting, especially on Proizkova's part, to make this one, at best, something you'd have on in the background at a party for people to laugh at. *"
Dark asylum, but not that dark
ragebird19 | Lawrence, KS United States | 07/05/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"one of the reviewers said not be able to sleep if you watch it alone? hahaha umm ok. i got the movie cause i figured it would have some suspenseful parts but there was none really to say the least, maybe a couple of small ones but nothin big. was a very predictable movie for the most part it seemed like but it was also pretty entertaining and fun to watch for the most part. think larry drake played the bad guy and he did a pretty good job of playing the mental patient, good acting all around for a half decent storyline. all in all it is worth checking out."