Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Asylum of Terror (1998)
The negative reviews of Asylum of Terror seem extremely unfair to me. The vast majority of these reviews derides the film for being so poorly made. But poorly made, low budget films are an art form in of themselves. They can be entertaining, funny, and completely accomplish exactly what they intend. If you're looking for Shakespeare, or even Clive Barker, then don't watch Asylum of Terror. If you enjoyed Blood Feast or Color Me Blood Red, you might find Asylum to be worth your time. Personally, I'd much rather watch an H.G. Lewis movie than a Wes Craven movie. Take, for instance, the scene in Asylum where the chubby girl is having sex with a guy wearing a mask. She tells him to keep it on, and, after a bit of moaning, he is killed with a hammer to the face. She nonchalantly walks away, screaming in an unemotional manner, gets turned around accidentally, and is finally drilled to death. If this doesn't bring a smile to your face, you're probably not a fan of low budget horror to begin with. This is a movie that features an awkward killer who is dressed rather nicely, terrible fun-filled acting, a bit of gore, and children getting killed. Accept it for what it is, and you might not be disappointed. Compare it to I Know What You Did Last Summer, and you shame us all.
One Of The Best Slashers Ever
The status of Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning as the least popular film in the series has always frustrated and perplexed me. Masterfully directed by Danny Steinmann, it is a supremely entertaining exploitation slasher film. The most common reasons given seem to be: (a) there's not enough gore (b) the story is stupid/the acting isn't very good (c) Jason isn't in the movie. Of course, none of these explanations is valid. First of all, if gore alone is your litmus test to determine whether or not a film is enjoyable, you should probably steer clear of the entire Friday The 13th series, as well as any movie that has been subjected to the wacky ratings system and experienced a wide theatrical release. Go watch I don't know a Guinea Pig film. A New Beginning has as much gore as any of the Friday films. If a strong plot and acting of the highest caliber is important to you well, let's be honest, criticizing A New Beginning for its silly plot is like dismissing Van Gogh because you don't like the color yellow. You're missing the point. Yes, I sort of understand the complaint that Jason isn't in the movie, as he is my favorite of the classic maniacs. (Cropsy, Marty, Michael Meyers, and Angela round out the top five.) But his absence alone shouldn't ruin the whole movie for you. I'd rather watch an entertaining movie that alludes to, yet doesn't feature the actual Jason, as opposed to a boring movie that completely screws up his mythology. (Here's a clue. It comes after VIII and before X.)
Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning works because it takes the elements that make a good slasher film and completely exaggerates them. All irony aside, A New Beginning is a trashy, sleazy, exploitative masterpiece. The very premise of having "Jason" hack up a group of mentally-ill teens, which includes two nymphomaniacs, an angry sociopath, a chocolate loving man child, a new-wave goth who likes to dance, and a stutterer, is indicative of the sick-minded, oozy greatness of this movie. Jesus, I haven't even touched upon the mother-son hillbilly biker duo or Demon! This movie has more great characters than the entire Halloween series combined! Are you not entertained by Demon in his "sh*tbox" singing "Oooh, Oooh, Baby . Oooh, Oooh, Baby" to his sexy girlfriend before being impaled? How could this be? Are you made of stone? Are you? Do you not enjoy watching Violet, who is the most uniquely attractive female in the entire Friday series, do the robot to Pseudo Echo before being killed? I love her with all my heart. What about Ethel and Junior, the most vile, hate-filled, "loony" hating hicks to ever interact with a stained voyeur-drifter? Junior's decapitation, after being pummeled by Tommy following a prank which consisted of shining a light in his eyes, is a fitting end for the angry dullard. Oh, and Vic? The greatest red herring in slasher history. He violently kills Joey after the overweight stereotype accuses him of being "out of line." Harsh words from a strange man!
The number of kills in this movie dwarf the previous Friday record. (Subsequent sequels had more, but, with the exception of Jason X another unjustly maligned classic not by much.) The fact that most of these kills are peripheral to the story, unnecessary, and hilarious only adds to their quality. Case in point, the hideously obnoxious, cocaine-addicted mental health worker Billy who picks up Lana the waitress at the diner. She who proceeds to get naked while saying "It's showtime!" to herself in the mirror. You don't see the entertainment value in that, my friends? Following this odd display, a cat bafflingly drops from above and bounces clumsily and hard off a booth. It was a cheap shock and laugh at the same time! Shortly thereafter, Billy and Lana are both killed with enough blood to make it all worthwhile. That entire scene is mesmerizing. And let's not forget the two jerks with the broken down car who appear earlier in the film. They're greasers! Greasers!
I watch slasher films not for genuine scares or insightful twists, but to be entertained. And I am usually entertained by their exploitative depths, bloody action, nudity, uniquely stupid characters, and the basest nihilism of it all. I simply cannot see how anyone could argue A New Beginning doesn't contain every single one of these qualities in excess. It's a sleazy, vicious, offensive slasher that epitomizes everything that makes the genre popular. The time has come to re-evaluate this amazing film and give Steinmann the credit he deserves.