The past weekend brought us Scorcese's SHUTTER ISLAND, and got me thinking back to some of my favorite other genre flicks that feature asylums. Be they looney bins, psychiatric hospitals, or just plain nut houses, the concept of horror and crazy people go together like kissing booths and cold sores.
So when you feel like the pressures of the week are about to send you postal, check out some of the folks who have really lost it, and feel better about the fact that even though you might snap and take out your boss or that dude that cut you off in traffic, you're far more sane than any of the denizens in these places.
As always, spit those bullets if you've got shite to say!
WARNING - FULL THROTTLE CRAZY BELOW!
5. Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL
It's never good news when you discover that a doctor and his staff used to experiment on the inmates. I mean that's just a massive accumulation of bad juju ya know? So no surprise that the shenanigans at play in this bad boy are largely of the oh no you didn't variety.
4. Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
Given what we know about Hannibal Lecter, it's actually amazing that any institution was able to hold him for more than a week or two, much less years. So they're effective at keeping the smartest man you're likely to encounter down, and on top of that feature a rogues gallery of weirdos, including Miggs the semen tossing suicide-to-be. So yeah, not a place I'd want to spend much time in.
3. Danvers State Mental Hospital, SESSION 9
The concept of an abandoned mental facility is used a lot, but rarely this effectively. The set up is handled great with lots of large empty rooms and daylight slipping through cracks, somehow making everything all the more creepy. To be able to use a space to create this kind of sense of isolation, even though the setting isn't physically blocked from the outside work, is impressive as hell.
2. THE ASYLUM
Can't talk about great asylums without giving due props to The Asylum Films. You know 'em. These are the clever/larcenous bastards that bring us gems like MEGAPIRAHNA, SNAKES ON A TRAIN, and so on. As production companies go this has the enviable asset of being genius crazy, and great at driving the major Hollywood studios nuts as well.
1. Smith's Grove Warren County Sanitarium, HALLOWEEN
How can the top spot not go to the Sanitarium where evil grew up? Here is where Dr. Loomis famously started off trying to reach Michael Myers, and then simply tried to keep him locked up. As important as it is, the place is a largely off screen player in the original movie, but gets moved to the center in Rob Zombie's remake. In fact the most interesting part of the remake revolves around Myer's devolution while locked down. Plus there's the boobies and the killin'.
Got a Top 10 idea? Hit me up at email@example.com