Sunday, May 17, 2015

Doom Asylum (Richard Friedman, 1987)

In a movie that boasts an all-girl goth-industrial band (with a drummer named "Rapunzel") and an utterly clueless Patty Mullen running around an abandoned hospital in a red bikini, you would think that one would be hard-pressed to come up with anything that could possibly top these two things. Well, I have two words for you my friend: Hips and baby-makers. Specifically, the hips and baby-maker attached to Kristin Davis (Couples Retreat). That's right, in Doom Asylum, the high concept, artfully crafted horror extravaganza about, um, I'll get to that in a minute (the plot is too complex to describe in a single sentence). As I was saying, Kirstin Davis' hips and baby-maker manage to steal the spotlight away from gothy industrial chicks and Frankenhooker! And, no, I'm not referring to one of the lovely ladies who played one of the many prostitutes who appear in Frank Henenlotter's Frankenhooker, I'm talking about the actual Frankenhooker! Wanna date? (Didn't you find it somewhat ironic that Kirstin Davis spells her first name the same way Kristin Hersh from the Throwing Muses does?) Uh, no. (Think about it. Kristin Davis is best known for starring in a movie that glorifies the shapely splendour that are her curve-tastic hips and the glide-worthy fuckitude of her slithery baby-maker and Kristin Hersh is best known for her album, 'Hips and Makers.') You're insane.

On that note, let's get back to a more pressing issue. (The blue one-piece bathing suit that presses oh-so tightly against Kristin Davis' mouth-watering crotch for the bulk of this movie?) Exactly.

Clearly aware of the power that her mighty undercarriage possesses, Kristen saw that Doom Asylum was severely lacking in one key area, the hips and baby-maker department, and stepped in to fill the void by–you guessed it–presenting her hips and baby-maker in a manner that was both aesthetically pleasing and... yeah, well... I gotta go shovel the snow... be back in a second.

Where was I? Let me see. Ah, yes, Kristin Davis' squishy petunia. It's true, I never watched Sex and the City on a regular basis, but I guarantee Kristin's groin wasn't on display as much as it is in this movie. I think the point I'm trying to make is this: I'm just nuts about the area between Kristin Davis' legs.

Despite there being a legend about a crazed palimony attorney turned coroner who murders trespassers with autopsy equipment, four teens decide to drive through the wilds of New Jersey to have a picnic on the grounds of an abandoned hospital.

(How does a palimony attorney become a coroner?) Excellent question, Billy. You see, ten years ago, a successful palimony attorney named Mitch Hansen (Micheal Rogen) was driving with Judy LaRue (Patty Mullen), his lover/client, when all of a sudden, he loses control of the car and crashes into... something (a tree, perhaps?). Unfortunately, budget constraints prevent us from seeing the accident in graphic detail. However, no expense is spared when it came to depicting the grisly aftermath (we see Judy's severed hand lying in the grass).

While Judy dies at the scene, a not quite dead Mitch is taken to the morgue of a nearby hospital. (Wait, if he's not quite dead, why did they take him to the morgue?) I have no idea. Either way, a naked and badly deformed Mitch wakes up on a slab and proceeds to murder the two medical examiners who were about to perform his autopsy. No doubt grabbing one of the dead coroner's lab coats, Mitch is doomed to wander the halls of this hospital for an eternity.

And by "an eternity," I'd say about ten years. And by "wander," I mean watch old movies in the basement near a shrine to his beloved Judy (her severed hand is surrounded by candles... aww, how sweet).

We flash-forward ten years to find a Judy's teenage daughter, Kiki LaRue (Patty Mullen), Mike (William Hay), her indecisive boyfriend, Dennis (Kenny Price), an avid baseball card collector, Darnell (Harrison White), "the black guy," and Jane (Kristin Davis), a smart brunette who wears glasses, driving along the very same road Mitch and Judy did ten years ago.

(Don't you mean a smart brunette who wears glasses and has a mouth-watering crotch that doesn't know the meaning of the word quit?) Actually, no. We haven't seen Kristin's crotch yet, so I cannot classify it as the type of crotch that is unaware of its quit-like status with any confidence. Sorry.

Entering the grounds of the abandoned hospital, Kiki and her friends can't help but hear a loud racket emanating from inside the hospital.

It turns out that the racket is actually the music of Tina and the Tots, New Jersey's only, at least to my knowledge, all-girl industrial goth band, who use the abandoned hospital as a rehearsal space. Oh, and when I say "industrial," I'm not talking about wimpy VNV Nation-style synthpop, we're talking Throbbing Gristle and early SPK up in this hornet's nest. We're talking Industrial with a capital 'I.' We're talking, well, you get the idea.

Since they don't want to spend the day listening their "music" (which, in all honesty, sounds like Cranioclast meets Smersh), Darnell sneaks inside and unplugs their sound system. This, as you might expect, irks Tina (Ruth Collins), the band's leader, who vows to get back at these non-Goth troublemakers.

In the meantime, all Tina can do is laugh. When I first heard Ruth Collins' comically evil laugh, I thought to myself: Wow, now that's a comically evil laugh. After laughing like this a third time, I decided to keep track of how many times she laughs in this fashion. And, boy, was that a mistake. While I might have missed a few sinister chuckles long the way, I would say that Tina laughs a total of sixteen times over the course of the movie. Which might not sound like a lot, but trust me, it is, especially when you consider the fact the film is barely eighty minutes long and is stuffed with filler (entire scenes from the old movies Mitch watches in the hospital basement are shown periodically).

You could also call the two fantasy scenes where Darnell and the Tot's drummer, Rapunzel (Farin), fantasize about running towards one another in slow motion as filler. But I wouldn't do that. Any scene that features Rapunzel doing anything can't be declared as filler. You want to know why? It's simple, really. Look at Rapunzel's feet. See what she's wearing? Well, now you know. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I love pointy buckle boots. And while I've seen this particular style of boot worn in a number of different movies over the years, the type Rapunzel wears in Doom Asylum are pretty much perfect. 10/10 on the Goth-o-meter.

Sadly, the same can't be said for Godiva (Dawn Alvan), the Tot's keyboard player. Don't get me wrong, her self-righteous pontificating does have its moments. But it's nothing compared to Tina's exaggerated laugh or Rapunzel's chic footwear. In light of this, I'm afraid can only give Godiva 4/10 on the Goth-o-meter. :(

However, as I overly implied earlier, I'm all about Kristin Davis' hips and baby-maker. I like how the film makes a big deal about the scene where Patty Mullen first appears in her red bikini, yet my eyes were transfixed by Miss Davis, who was lounging in the background in her blue one-piece bathing suit.

To the surprise of no-one, the characters are eventually killed off one by one by Mitch. Roll the end credits. Hold up, there's got to be more to it than that. Uh, let me see. Tasty crotches, pointy buckle boots, industrial music, sixteen exaggerated guffaws, gory kills, exhaustively long clips from old movies and... No, that's pretty much it. That being said, if you're at all interested in the things I just mentioned (especially tasty crotches and pointy buckle boots), you should do yourself a favour and watch Doom Asylum.


  1. I found this stinker on VHS some years back and couldn't make it through the whole thing. I stopped watching right when the Kristin Davis character was offed (yes, she was my sole reason to keep watching, too).

    1. Yeah, I don't see any reason to continue past that point.

  2. Lack of a visible baby-maker makes me mad. Especially because I love the glasses.

  3. It always makes me laugh when I see people miss the point of movies like this and go on little semi-rants about all the things that they 'caught' that didn't make sense, or things that they thought were stupid.

    Give me a fuckin' break, people. This movie is way more entertaining than all that new crap you get out of your little greasy redbox.