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Ladd Ehlinger Jr.
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Work, family, relationships, deadlines, terrorism, information overload... When modern life is getting crazier and crazier, day by day, who wouldn't think about getting out? Leaving it all behind? Wouldn't that be the only sane response to this mad world? "Asylum Seekers" is about escapism, about feeling the pressure and deciding on a radical solution. Our six characters can't take their various stresses any more and are heading for the door marked EXIT. It leads to a deluxe, exclusive, luxuriously-appointed mental asylum, an adult funfair where they can let it all go and be waited on hand and foot for the rest of their carefree lives. Or so it seems... The first twist is that there are limited places. Only one free bed remains. The competition is on. And there are many other surprises lying in wait for the unwary, would-be-insane patient... The ride out of the world they know has only just begun! Written by
I'm not sure what to think of Asylum Seekers. This was truly one bizarre movie experience. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it before. There is a lot that works in the film, however, it sort of loses it's way (and the audience) part way through. I was genuinely interested in all of the characters and was knee-deep in the story and about 40 minutes in, the movie took a completely different turn and went all off-the-charts nuts on me.
After a pretty funny opening sequence in which a so-called doctor (Irizarry) gives a rather inappropriate dinner blessing, he is taken to an insane asylum where he's classified as a virgin nymphomaniac. Other people are also arriving: Maud (Binkley) the trophy mouse-wife, Paul (Wilkof) the evangelical nihilist, Miranda (O'Sullivan) the introverted exhibitionist, Alan (Dawes) the gender bender refugee and Alice (Maeve) the cybernetic lolita. They are taken to a room and greeted by Dr. Beard, a voice coming through the intercom. He introduces them to their tour guide, Nurse Milly (Hawking), who in turn introduces them to her helpers, Mickey (McKenna) and Minnie (Jennings). They are informed that there is only one bed left and that they'll have to compete for it through a series of tests. Plenty of bizarre things happen as some help others, others try to sabotage others and others fall in love with others. I'm serious here when I tell you that you really have no clue as to what's going to happen or why. The movie doesn't follow any particular path and you'll be hard-pressed to find answers in what you just watched. I'll admit I was completely lost when they all woke up and were wearing animal heads and in a forest. Yes, I know they were strapped to a machine unconscious in a laboratory and they weren't actually in the forest, but damned if I still wasn't confused as all hell. Who will win the one spot available? What will happen to the rest? Those questions are answered by the way, so it won't feel like a total loss if you decide to watch.
It started out just fine for me. It was edgy, funny, unique and something different to wrap my head around. But, then it started to just go completely batsh*t fruity loops and totally lost me. I decided to stay with it and for the most part, I'm glad I did. They do wrap up some loose ends, so you're not left wondering what the hell just happened and who won and who lost. It even shows us after the fact. This movie is filled with such craziness, it belongs in it's own asylum. It's probably one of the only films that you'll ever see and wonder to yourself, "What did I just watch?" The production vales are good and the acting is good, so there's no issues there. It all just boils down to the fact that it suffers from too much of it's own uniqueness. I enjoyed the story aspect of them coming in and having to compete for a bed, I even enjoyed the "performance art" that each potential inmate had to perform in front of an audience of 3... but, as I said... it's filled with too much what-the-f*ckery for my poor brain to handle. I wish they had dialed it down a notch and the final reel made a bit more sense to me.
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Final Grade: C-
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