Sunday, March 28, 2010

Where inmates run the asylum

The Mansion of Madness (aka Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon) (1972)
Starring: Claudio Brook, Arturo Hansel, David Silva, and Monica Serna
Director: Juan Lopez Moctezuma
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Gaston (Hansel) visits a remote mental hospital and finds a bizarre place where the chief doctor (Brook) has instituted the very unusual approach to curing mental illnesses described in "The System of Dr. Tarr."

"The Mansion of Madness" is based on one of Edgar Allan Poe's creepiest stories, "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether", and unlike so many films supposedly based on Poe's works, the originating story is still at the heart of this film. However, "The Mansion of Madness" is far bigger than the story, and far creepier. The insanity that permeates the sprawling mental hospital--which seems to be the size of a small city--and the haunted woods that surrounds it, is felt in every second of the film... and along with that madness is an ever-growing sense of surreal horror and dread.

This is probably one of the creepiest and strangest movies I've ever seen. If you like offbeat, low-key horror movies, I think you'll enjoy this one. (It drags at a couple of places, and Gaston has got to be one of the densest people on the planet that he doesn't realize that something is wrong with the asylum AND his host, but the good far outweighs the bad here.)

No comments:

Post a Comment