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Asylum (I) (1972)

PG  |   |  Horror  |  17 November 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 3,376 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 76 critic

In order to secure a job at a mental institution a young British psychiatrist must interview four patients inside the asylum.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bonnie (segment: "Frozen Fear")
Walter (segment: "Frozen Fear")
Ruth (segment: "Frozen Fear")
Smith (segment: "The Weird Tailor")
Bruno (segment: "The Weird Tailor")
Ann Firbank ...
Anna (segment: "The Weird Tailor")
John Franklyn-Robbins ...
Stebbins (segment: "The Weird Tailor")
Lucy (segment: "Lucy Comes to Stay")
Barbara (segment: "Lucy Comes to Stay")
James Villiers ...
George (segment: "Lucy Comes to Stay")
Megs Jenkins ...
Miss Higgins (segment: "Lucy Comes to Stay")
Byron (segment: "Mannikins of Horror")
Patrick Magee ...
Dr. Rutherford (segment: "Mannikins of Horror")
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Max (segment: "Mannikins of Horror")
Dr. Martin (segment: "Mannikins of Horror")


A young psychiatrist interviews four inmates in a mental asylum to satisfy a requirement for employment. He hears stories about 1) the revenge of a murdered wife, 2) a tailor who makes a suit with some highly unusual qualities, 3) a woman who questions her sanity when it appears that her brother is conspiring against her, and 4) a man who builds tiny toy robots with lifelike human heads. Written by Wes Clark <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See what the author of "Psycho" is up to now! See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 November 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

House of Crazies  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Richard Todd has stated in interviews that he regrets making this film. See more »


In the first story, when the parts of the dismembered corpse are moving around, two right hands appear, one crawling on the floor and the second reaching down for Bonnie's face. See more »


[Barbara's imaginary friend Lucy has just stabbed Barbara's brother and nurse to death]
Lucy: There, Barbara, now you're free. Free of all of them.
See more »


Referenced in Stepfather II (1989) See more »


A Night on Bald Mountain
Music by Modest Mussorgsky
Arranged by Douglas Gamley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Creepy and diverge horror stories in an appropriate setting. Great Amicus-fun!
4 May 2004 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Guided by a genuine musical score, a young doctor is driving towards an asylum for the `incurably insane'…This is the fourth horror omnibus by the specialist production company Amicus. `Asylum' is determined and effective horror, done without too much humor or decoration elements. Fairly new and definitely creative about this anthology is the narrative. The so-called wraparound story involves a young applicant-psychiatrist put to a test by the director of the asylum. Through listening to the stories of 4 patients, he has to make out which one of them is the previous director gone mad! This little extra, interactive elements gives more tension to the film and, as a viewer, you're automatically searching along. The stories themselves vary from simple to ingenious, climaxing in a cheerfully gruesome finale. The first story isn't exactly original and covers the well-known matter of adultery and revenge. Some nice over-the-top scenery in this tale, as well as some pretty good acting. The second tale is a lot better already and features Peter Cushing! Cushing often shows up in these Amicus productions and this time, he plays a mysteriously occult man who approaches a tailor with a strange request. This chapter is very atmospheric, stressing the poverty and the desperate need for money by the tailor (Barry Morse). The premise is silly and not well worked out, but the tension and chills triumph. I didn't care at all for the third story as it's just a lame variant on the `schizophrenic'-theme. It's obvious from the beginning and I wonder why they even bothered to show it as a mystery. The only aspect that made this chapter even bearable was the presence of England's fines female beauties! Charlotte Rampling was rather gorgeous around the time Asylum was shot and the absolute siren in this film is the ravishing Britt Ekland. If you're not familiar with her, run out to the nearest videostore and get yourself a copy of `The Wicker Man' now!! The fourth and final story is close to brilliant and actually takes place IN the wraparound story, which is pretty unique. Veteran actor Herbert Lom stars in this tale that enlightens a whole new kind of `voodoo'. It has blood-thirsty, lifelike manikins and it's bloody good fun. A creepy highlight and an appropriate closure to a good film. Sure as hell recommended for the British horror fans amongst you! Asylum is well written by Robert Bloch (who adapted his own stories) and solidly directed by Roy Ward Baker, who also did some good work for the famous `Hammer' corporation.

If I may proclaim some shameless promotion: Asylum recently got re-released in a worthy Amicus Box Set! The set is uniquely shaped like a coffin and contains – besides Asylum – other highlights such as `The House that Dripped Blood', `The Beast Must Die', `And now the Screaming Starts' and `Dr. Terror's House of Horror'. Trust me, it'll look great in your collection.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Rate each segment michael_myers_II
Needed a touch more blood edwstraker
DVD? antimusick
Does anyone no who did the music for this film please deathsyndicate
I'm amazed how people in the comments area credit Douglas Gamley Mikel3
Scary memories (might be spoilery for those who've not seen it) obigrrl
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