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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "House of Crazies" )

 

directed by Roy Ward Baker
UK 1972

 

Psychologist Dr. Martin (Robert Powell, MAHLER) has been given a bizarre challenge in his job interview as new administrator at an asylum housed in a gothic mansion in the stormy British countryside. He must identify which one of the inmates is his insane predecessor Dr. B. Starr by listening to their stories. In "Frozen Fear," Bonnie (Barbara Parkins, VALLEY OF THE DOLLS) describes how her lover Walter (Richard Todd) killed and dismembered his wife, storing the body parts in the basement freezer only for the bits and pieces to come back and terrorize them. In "The Weird Tailor," Bruno (Barry Morse, TV's THE FUGITIVE) is a tailor in a failing business who is hired by Mr. Smith (Peter Cushing, THE BEAST MUST DIE) to make a suit out of material capable of reanimating the dead. In "Lucy Comes to Stay," Barbara (Charlotte Rampling, THE NIGHT PORTER) is just out of an institution when imaginary friend Lucy (Britt Ekland, THE WICKER MAN) pops up for a little deadly fun. Finally, in "Mannikins of Horror," Byron (Herbert Lom, THE PINK PANTHER) creates little dolls that are capable of movement and murder. James Villiers (REPULSION), Megs Jenkins (THE INNOCENTS), and Patrick Magee (AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS) co-star. Although none of the tales - adapted from short stories by Robert Block (PSYCHO) - really stand out, ASYLUM is good old English Amicus fun with a fine cast put through the horror-exploitation motions. Roy Ward Baker's direction is classy, as usual, and Denys Coop's photography is diverse (from the cool florescent colors of the basement in "Frozen Terror" to the expressionistic angles of "The Weird Tailor"). Douglas Gamley's score borrows "Night on Bald Mountain" for the main titles but the rest of his brassy score rises to its model.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 17 November 1972 (USA)

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DVD Comparison:

Dark Sky/MPI (The Amicus Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Image Entertainment (The Euroshock Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Dark Sky/MPI (The Amicus Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Image Entertainment (The Euroshock Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Dark Sky/MPI

Region 1 - NTSC

Image Entertainment
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:28:48 1:28:18
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.30:1 Open Matte format
Average Bitrate: 5.95 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Dark Sky/MPI (The Amicus Collection)

 

Bitrate:

 

Image Entertainment (The Euroshock Collection)

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono

Subtitles English, none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Dark Sky/MPI

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director Roy Ward Baker and camera operator Neil Binney, moderated by Marcus Hern
• INSIDE THE FEAR FACTORY featurette (4:3; 19:56)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:26)
• Trailers for AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS (16:9; 0:56) and THE BEAST MUST DIE (4:3; 0:58)
• Poster and Stills Gallery
• Cast & Crew Filmographies

DVD Release Date: 30 October 2007
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.30:1

Edition Details:
• none

 

DVD Release Date: 20 June 2000
Snapper Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Dark Sky's single-layer transfer is anamorphic and progressive and is derived from a new MonstersHD master. Dark Sky has ported over the audio commentary and documentary from the UK set. The only audio is the film's original 2.0 mono track (the UK version added reportedly unimpressive Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS mixes).

 

The Dark Sky disc features the film's original title card. Image's ten year old disc was packaged in one of their older snapper cases and featured no extras. It was rumored that the master for the Image disc (which looks the same as the old Prism cassette) had its title card replaced to remove outdated copyright information (it is also missing the "Harbor Productions, Ltd. presents" card) but it may have been a retitled HOUSE OF CRAZIES print. Dark Sky's disc of ASYLUM was released separately (along with the other discs in the collection) the previous year (HERE) but the boxed set allows you to have all three titles for under $20.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(
Dark Sky/MPI (The Amicus Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Image Entertainment (The Euroshock Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 
 

 

 

 


Screen Captures

(Dark Sky/MPI (The Amicus Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Image Entertainment (The Euroshock Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Dark Sky/MPI (The Amicus Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Image Entertainment (The Euroshock Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Dark Sky/MPI (The Amicus Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Image Entertainment (The Euroshock Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Dark Sky/MPI (The Amicus Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Image Entertainment (The Euroshock Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Dark Sky/MPI (The Amicus Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Image Entertainment (The Euroshock Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Dark Sky/MPI (The Amicus Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Image Entertainment (The Euroshock Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Dark Sky/MPI (The Amicus Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Image Entertainment (The Euroshock Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Dark Sky

Sound:

Dark Sky

Extras: Dark Sky
Menu: Dark Sky

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Dark Sky/MPI

Region 1 - NTSC

Image Entertainment
Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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