This film could have been titled “There Will Be Beef.”
"Aslyum" is a British anthology of short horror stories from the same good old folks who gave us "Torture Garden" and "Tales from the Crypt." I had the opportunity to interview one of the producers, Max J. Rosenberg, when he visited Chicago, and the thing I remember about him is his great devotion to coleslaw. He kept ordering more and more plates of coleslaw, until he had put away about a gallon. With a taste like that, he should live upstairs from a delicatessen.
Anyway, I didn't think much about Rosenberg or the coleslaw until "Asylum" opened. Now I'm wondering. This is a movie about people with obsessions. There's a man who's obsessed with murdering his wife. A tailor who's obsessed with collecting his bills. A girl obsessed with her alter ego. A guy who makes little voodoo dolls.
These people aren't crazy, you see. They're obsessed. They aren't crazy because all the unbelievable things in the movie really happen to them. The man who kills his wife puts her in the deep-freeze, for example, after first carving her up and neatly packaging each limb in brown paper with string around it. But the arms and legs and head (and even the torso, a little awkwardly) climb out of the freezer and go after the guy and his mistress. An arm without a body that is capable of strangling people is indeed an arm obsessed.
Anyway, I got to thinking about these people, especially the guy who devotes his life to making little dolls until he becomes his own little doll. And I began to wonder what it was with Max J. Rosenberg and the coleslaw. Is he, in fact, a cabbage? Does he want to turn into one? Has his soul been occupied by a rabbit? Is he the victim of a delicatessen owner's curse?
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