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In 1972, the patients and doctors at Stephens Sanitarium were brutally murdered. Over forty years later, the only known survivor returns only to find the ghosts of the past have not been resting in peace.
A young woman arrives at her grandmother's house, which used to be a funeral home, to help her turn the place into a bed-and-breakfast inn. After they open, however, guests begin disappearing or turning up dead.
Sardu, master of the Theatre of the Macabre, and his assistant Ralphus run a show in which, under the guise of 'magic', they torture and murder people in front of their audience. But what the punters see as a trick is actually real.
Nurse Charlotte Beale arrives at the isolated Stephens Sanitarium to work, only to learn that Dr. Stephens was murdered by one of the patients and his successor, Dr. Geraldine Masters, is not very eager to take on new staff. Charlotte finds her job maddeningly hard as the patients torment and harass her at every turn, and she soon learns why Dr. Masters is so eager to keep outsiders out. Written by
This film was shot in 12 days on a budget of less than $100,000. See more »
When the people are chopping someone up with axes, one of the heads of the axes fall off. See more »
Dr. Geraldine S. Masters:
You're upset, Allyson. I, I think you'd better go to your room. I'll, I'll get you something to help you sleep.
No. I'm not going anywhere. You're not going to touch me. We know all about that sleep. Your little doctor bit's over. Yeah, that's right. I told Miss Beale. She knows.
Dr. Geraldine S. Masters:
What does she know? Does she know how I worked? How I trained? To be the best? And I could have been. Except for one, insignificant life. One mistake. I could have saved thousands. And I will. I'll help everyone. I'll ...
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The characters in the film are shown as the actor/actress' name appears at the end of the film, including the murdered characters! See more »
There's not much I can add to the positive reviews of the film, other than I agree completely - this weird little movie has a unique atmosphere all its own. Brownrigg creates a very effective atmosphere of obsessive madness; the movie breathes down your neck! It's amazing that a film so well-lit and full of bright colors can be so unsettling. As someone mentioned, the film looks like a retitle because there's a strange title card inserted, but I have seen a televised version of the film that had the original titles superimposed on-screen - they were orange and read "Don't Look In The Basement" - with quote marks around them, just like that. Why they were taken out and replaced by that garish title card is a mystery to me, but the originals did exist. Another interesting note: I read in an old horror magazine that during the climactic massacre, Brownrigg wanted to make things ultra-gory and so he used a lot of slaughterhouse entrails (sheep, I think), and they were kept in a bag with fake blood. Well, when it came time to film that scene, it was hot in the room, and the entrails had begun to rot, so when the actors tore the bag open, they all nearly vomited at the stench! If you look really closely around the edges of the frame, you can get little glimpses of some entrail... but, to my knowledge, they aren't graphically shown in any prints. In any case, check this movie out... it proves that a low budget can be made up for with a lot of imagination. There's no other film like this... I also recommend Brownrigg's other movies.
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