The Keeper of Underwood Asylum has the mental patients of the wealthiest families in British Columbia. The rest of the family members have been dying under mysterious circumstances, so ... See full summary »
The Keeper of Underwood Asylum has the mental patients of the wealthiest families in British Columbia. The rest of the family members have been dying under mysterious circumstances, so Biggs hires private investigator Richard Driver, who puts his assistant, Maybelline, in the asylum pretending she is his cousin and that they came from a family where the parents were all first cousins to each other and they decided to keep their love platonic for genetic reasons. Then he tries to get Inspector Clarke to check him in as a narcoleptic who didn't wake up with his body. They all know what the keeper has been doing, but it is a matter of proving it, and avoiding the hypnotized Biggs twins and Danny, who he is able to keep catatonic with his machine. Inspector Clarke gives driver a lot of trouble, and the kid giving shoe shines looks down on everybody, knowing more. Written by
Scott Hutchins <email@example.com>
`You are with The Keeper, and The Keeper will keep you alive!,' so says the evil Keeper in this 1975 Lionsgate offering, perhaps the rarest and hardest to find Christopher Lee film. This one is not even catalogued in Leonard Maltin's 2002 Movie and Video Guide. Lee is indeed the keeper at Underwood Asylum, where wealthy patients check in and soon after their relatives begin to die, leaving The Keeper (who apparently had no name) the sole heir of their well-being and bankbooks. Private investigators Dick Driver and Mae B. Jones are hired to get to the bottom of it and almost pay the ultimate cost in doing so. This is where the seriousness of this film ends and the silliness begins. The Keeper could not quite make it's mind up as to whether it is a serious horror film or comedic horror spoof. Some of Lee's scenes show him at a huge control panel torturing his hapless patients electronically and those are truly disturbing. Other scenes, particularly the ones involving exchanges between the police and private investigator Driver, are intended to be humorous but come off as embarrassingly amateurish. Lee, who appeared to phone his performance in, and Tell Schreiber as the male private eye Driver are the only two notable performers here, with the exception of Ian Tracey as the streetwise shoeshine boy. The Keeper suffers from subpar production values, as it appears grainy at times with poor dialogue, and the camera angles are poorly done. At times, one would think beginning film students made this film but then again even beginners could probably do as well or better. In the end, the police and private eyes get their man and they all leave Underwood asylum to apparently live happily ever after. The Keeper is notable only because of it's lack of availability and presence of Lee, whose body of work over the course of his lengthy career is extraordinary.
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