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

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Cast

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")
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Storyline

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 <wclark@uspto.gov>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The doctor makes his last house call. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 November 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

House of Crazies  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in 24 days. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Walter: [Having placed Ruth's dismembered body in the freezer] Rest in pieces.
See more »

Connections

Follows The House That Dripped Blood (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Arguably Amicus's Best Film
2 February 2007 | by (California) – See all my reviews

From the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s the British-based film studio Amicus was a rival to the more famous and productive Hammer Films. Amicus didn't go in for Gothics, as a rule, but they mastered the art of the so-called "portmanteau" film, where four or five short stories are presented within a linking framework. They also mastered the art of hiring noted(and often very fine) British actors for only a day or two's worth of shooting, so that the final product ends up with an all-star cast. "Asylum" followed 1965's "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors," which was immensely fun, if incredibly cheap; 1967's "Torture Garden," 1970's "The House that Dripped Blood," and 1972's "Tales From the Crypt," and one can argue that it is the best of the lot ("The Vault of Horror" and "From Beyond the Grave" followed in 1973, and the mini-genre wrapped up in 1980 with "The Monster Club," but all of those were somewhat inferior to the earlier films). The success of "Asylum" is not simply due to it's terrific cast -- Peter Cushing (who appeared in nearly all of Amicus's portmanteau films), Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Richard Todd, Britt Ekland, Barbara Parkins, Charlotte Rampling, Sylvia Sims, Robert Powell, Barry Morse and the undersung Geoffrey Bayldon -- or its intriguing stories by American author Robert Bloch (who also scripted "Torture Garden" and "House that Dripped Blood"), but also the down-to-earth direction by Roy Ward Baker. Baker manages to keep his, Bloch's, and his actors' tongues all out of their cheeks, and the film is all the better for it.

The framing story concerns a new doctor (Powell) interviewing at a remote asylum, and being challenged by the doctor in charge (Magee, a brilliant Shakespearean actor who all too often ended up doing inferior horror films) to identify the former director of the place, who is now an inmate. As Powell interviews the various inmates, the different stories ensue. For horror film fans, the best story is the first one (which was not the first one in the script, but was elevated to that position over Bloch's objections); while not giving the plot away, suffice to say that it takes a story device that could have been rendered very cheesily and makes it wonderfully effective and creepy. Amicus buffs, meanwhile, will recognize the linking story as probably the most effective and logical of any in the portmanteau series of films. The remaining stories are all fine, with the most outré being the one that Cushing stars in.

"Asylum" is definitely worth, uh, checking into.


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