Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hell Asylum (2001)

... aka: Prison of the Dead 2

Directed by:
Danny Draven

Originally planned as a sequel to PRISON OF THE DEAD (a completely worthless film from David DeCoteau released the year prior), this videotaped Full Moon release is an uneven, but OK view. Five young ladies; Paige (Debra Mayer), Amber (Tanya Dempsey), Rainbow (Sunny Lombardo), Stacey (Stacey Scowley) and Marti (Olimpia Fernandez) are selected to take part in a reality TV series ("Chill Challenge") where spending the night locked away in an abandoned asylum could win them a million dollar prize. The place has been equipped with cameras and booby traps to try to scare them off, but murderous ghosts of former inmates eventually show up and do a much better job of it. Parts are atmospheric and reasonably well done given the extremely low budget, but the film is neither original nor interesting enough to entirely overcome its low budget limitations. And the special effects are pretty poor. Why the hell do the intestines look like cooked spaghetti noodles?! Brinke Stevens plays the "head spectre" here, but you will have a next-to-impossible task trying to locate her here. She is in minimal ghost make-up and wears a shrouded costume that obscures her face, but I think I spotted her maybe twice on close-up shots.

Joe Estevez pops up briefly in a pre-credits sequence as a TV investor and the cast also includes plenty of people who will be well-covered on this web-site by the time I finish expanding my index, including Timothy Muskatell (star of THE GHOULS), Paul Darrigo (co-star of WITCHOUSE 3: DEMON FIRE), Devin Hamilton (director of BLEED, BIRTH RITE and DELTA DELTA DIE!), Trent Haaga (who also scripted and served as line producer), Tammi Sutton (director of KILLJOY 2, also the producer) and Jason Paul Collum (director of the documentary SOMETHING TO SCREAM ABOUT and some other films with Scream Queen Stevens). It barely runs over an hour and you'll forget everything about it within 24 hours of watching it. Charles Band was the executive producer and it was originally released through his company Full Moon. It's also available on DVD from Tempe.

★★

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