ASYLUM OF SATAN (1972) Reviews and overview

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‘Love slaves of Satan tortured to blood-dripping death’

Asylum of Satan is a 1971 [released 1972] American horror film written and directed by William Girdler (The Manitou; Grizzly; Three on a Meathook; et al). It stars Charles Kissinger, Carla Borelli and Nick Jolley.

A young woman is held against her will in a mental asylum by the sinister Doctor Specter and his masculine-looking assistant, Martine…

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” …Asylum of Satan is a little unknown gem. The acting in the film is ok at best, Carla Borelli does a pretty decent job as Lucina, and Charles Kissinger is menacing and disturbing as he portrays both the evil doctor and the demented nurse Martine. The music is a fine mixture of creepy, brooding music to upbeat 70s rock which fits great into the movie.” Repulsive Cinema

Asylum of Satan isn’t exactly a film I’d consider “exciting”; it’s more often directionless and frequently dead boring. So why does it remain so watchable? It’s all in the mugs. Much like Mark of the Witch, another occult-themed regional rarity, Asylum floats around on an odd plain of surreal haziness, heavily sprinkled with quirky characters and unique faces.” Bleeding Skull!

” …an awkward, bizarre debut riddled with bad dialogue, clumsy compositions and cheap special effects.” Brian Albright, Regional Horror Films, 1958 – 1990

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“Besides making no sense whatsoever, Asylum is a pretty enjoyable ride. Borelli is a lovely heroine, there are some noteworthy makeup effects (the scarred demon in a rocking chair is a highlight), and the mansion location posing as the asylum is quite eerie and atmospheric. But Girdler can hardly be called an overlooked genius (like, say, S.F. Brownrigg).” DVD Drive-In

“Ed Wood probably would have done a better job. And so would his actors have. The performances in Asylum of Satan are uniformly cringe-worthy, but not in that “fun” or “camp” sort of way: they’re just flat-out listless, unprofessional, and bad. As is the script, As is the uninspired camera work. As is the painful musical score. As are the sets. As is the pacing.” Trash Film Guru

“Just when you are about to nod off into sleep, Asylum of Satan does something entertaining, be it poison gas, a snake attack, a severed head, a zombie, or a Satanic rite. Most of the action is the girl trying to escape and her fianceé trying to rescue her. After its 78 minutes have come and gone you are left with a decent example of late 60s/early 70s exploitation cinema.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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Filming locations:

Louisville, Kentucky

Fun facts:

The film’s working title was The Satan Spectrum.

Michael Aquino, a member of the Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan, served as a technical adviser. A devil-worship costume from Rosemary’s Baby (1968) was used during the finale.

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