A young man fakes insanity in order to get information about his
mentally ill sister, who has been confined to a high security asylum
with tightly closed communication. Once he gets into the institution,
he realizes that the head of the asylum (Peter Stormare) is a cross
between Dr. Mengele and Dr. Frankenstein. The doc is experimenting
with radical drugs that ... well, I don't know what the hell he was
originally planning to accomplish with his drugs, but the bottom line
is that his treatments are turning all of the patients into cannibals
who cannot control their taste for flesh. Since they were all mental
patients to begin with, and some of them were particularly violent
maximum-security types, the patients transmogrify into a horde of criminally
insane cannibals. Various circumstances allow them to break free
from their cells and bonds, whereupon they attack the staff and each other. In
this midst of this chaos, the faux-crazy young man must figure out how
to escape with his sister.
Insanitarium is a wildly over-the-top gorefest in the same general
vein as the Robert Rodriguez zombie/vampire films. There are scenes of
medical amputation, decapitation of humans and animals, severed limbs,
explicit cannibalism, demented sex, crazy killings, and anything else
you might imagine in the bedlam created by a couple dozen insane
cannibals and a sadistic doctor. There is so much blood that it covers
the walls, the floors, everyone's clothing, the requisite crazy naked
chick, and sometimes even the camera lens! The lurid bloodletting is
balanced by some comic relief from a nervous patient who befriends our
hero, and an assortment of puns in the James Bond mode:
Violently insane and topless nymphomaniac stalker: "Don't you
find me pretty?"
Our hero: "I think you're a knock-out." (Whereupon he punches
her in the face.)
The director obviously told the actors not to hold anything back.
Makes sense. I mean, c'mon, how can you overact the part of a
criminally insane cannibal nymphomaniac stalker? Just let it loose.
Lisa Arturo is particularly wacky in the nympho role, but she gets
plenty of competition in the crazed overacting department,
particularly from Peter Stormare as the mad doctor. The most frenetic
action is punctuated by a hard-driving rock score and a constant
barrage of irritatingly noisy background sounds like alarms, buzzers,
screams, and electro-shock equipment.
Laid-back it ain't.
You shouldn't expect the details of the plot to make any sense, and
don't set your sights on character development, but if you just want
to see a lot of sadistic splatter accompanied by nerve-jangling noises
and puns, here ya go.