Insanitarium DVD review

Jenny's usually willing to give any film a go... but this might just have cured her of that. It's not good, guys...


Oh, how this film wants to be 28 Weeks Later. It looks like it, acts like it, sounds like it, is categorically desperate to be it. The problem is that there’s only one word in that sentence which applies, and that is ‘desperate’.

It starts off very slightly appealing. Jack (Jesse Metcalfe) has a mentally-ill sister (Kiele Sanchez) who is on suicide watch in a psychiatric institution. He wants her out but can’t contact her, so he decides the best route is to get himself committed. He does this with somewhat worrying aplomb, and ends up in the maximum-security unit with people who should probably have been put down twenty years ago.

Of course, this is no National Health-run cottage hospital, although it seems equally underfunded given that there is only one security guard and an orderly for whom retirement would be a blessing. Instead it’s a huge, prison-like establishment run by a man, we’ll call him Mr Lunatic, who could do with some help himself. After the patients have shown some rather unusual reactions towards the sight of blood, it transpires that he thinks that their best chance of rehabilitation is to turn them into flesh-eating zombies. They’re not even as intelligent as the zombies chasing Robert Carlyle, given that they eat each other – and, if I didn’t misinterpret one scene, themselves – but he’s happy nevertheless.

Jack isn’t, for obvious reasons, and decides to investigate. Doing so leads to a scene which is so completely, horrifyingly unforgivable that it will now proceed to hijack this entire review.

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Mr Lunatic has some woman who’s ‘in on it’. In said scene he ties her to a bookshelf and, in what the writer and director have the ABSOLUTE NERVE to call a ‘love scene’, cuts her and rapes her with her own underwear stuffed inside her mouth. Had I not been having to watch this for review, this disc would have been out of my computer faster than you can say ‘sick fucks’ (which turns out to be amazingly difficult to say quickly). This is TOTAL AND UTTER SHIT. And you know what, I’m going to swear some more, because they bloody deserve it. At no point in the entire history of the world has rape, anything resembling rape or anything pertaining to rape been ‘entertaining’. If you think it is, or even that it could be, I want to see you locked up for life in an institution with flesh-eating zombies. YOU SUCK.

In a strange coincidence, so does the end of this film. It has lots of rooms, lots of blood and a guy who wants to be Hannibal Lecter. There’s a chase, some stabbing, a scene involving a syringe which I actually had to look away from (unheard of!) and incomprehensible lighting that appears to be left over from a previous sci-fi shoot. A cat dies unnecessarily. Some woman who adds to the ‘rape is fun’ theme ends up running around with no top on. And there’s also what I assume was intended as some kind of ‘twist’ – and probably the opening for a sequel – which is so preposterous that it removes any credibility that might have been left. “Oh thank God, the police are here. Oh dear God, they did what?!”.

When the credits roll, if you’re still watching you’ll hear the music and go, “Wow, what a rip-off of 28 Weeks Later!”. Then it will dawn on you what a dreadful experience this was.

Extras? You want to know? There are three deleted scenes which attempted to add some weird family back-story, one of which nearly made me vomit. There are a couple of interviews which confirm the worse-than-juvenile attitude of the people responsible. And there’s a trailer for a film called Zombie Strippers. I can’t do this any more.

Look up to the paragraph with words in capitals. Read only the words in capitals. That is my review.

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1 star


1 out of 5