Image Entertainment will close out 2013 with the Dec. 31 DVD debut of Sanitarium, a three-tale horror anthology — from three different directors — that is very much in the spirit of those classic Amacus gems from the 1970s (The House That Dripped Blood (1970), Tales from the Crypt (1972), Asylum (1972), Vault of Horror (1973), etc.).
The connecting theme with Sanitarium involves Dr. Stenson (played to the hilt by Malcolm McDowell), who is the psychiatrist overseeing the three patients whose stories comprise the bulk of the narrative. Of course we begin to suspect that he is as nutty as the people locked up there.
The first story in this horror trip through the halls of hell is from director Bryan Ramirez (who previously wrote and directed the multi-award-winning Mission Park) and involves none other than John Glover as Gustav in the segment titled “Figuratively Speaking.” It seems that he’s a designer and model maker of up-scale dolls and, well, they have more or less taken over his life by ordering him about.
In a nice spin on this first creepy tale we have horror icon Robert Englund doing a sweet turn as his manager who sees a multi-million dollar payday if he can convince Gustav to part with his “friends.”
Next up is filmmaker Bryan Ortiz’s segment titled “Monsters are Real” (Doctor S Battles the Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies: The Movie), we have the case study of Steven (David Mazouz — as Jake, Kiefer Sutherland’s son, in the Touch TV series), a school kid who is convinced that he is being stalked by a mysterious hooded stranger.
But, it all could just be him acting out as a result of his father’s abuse (played by Chris Mulkey — The Purge, Boardwalk Empire, Little Chenier, etc.), which his teacher Ms. Lorne (Lacey Chabert — Mean Girls, Lost in Space) begins to suspect and decides to pay a visit.
We all know what paying a visit to a crazy person’s house involves … hiding your eyes!
The last segment, “Up to the Last Man,” from director Kerry Valderrama (Garrison), gives Lou Diamond Philips free reign as James Silo, a nut job who is convinced that aliens are taking over the planet that has something to do with a Mayan prophecy. In any case his initial solution to the invasion is to dig out an underground bunker in his backyard and go full-tilt survivalist.
Somehow, since we are dealing with patients under the care of the good Dr. Stenson, that little plan didn’t work out all that well — took quite the toll on his family (if you know what I mean). But you know, Mr. Silo might be right … maybe THEY ARE taking over!
Image Entertainment’s Sanitarium will be a great way to ring in the New Year come the last street-date Tuesday of 2013 (Dec. 31).
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