The plot has Gaston (Arthur Hansel), a reporter coming to an isolated asylum where the proprietor Dr. Maillard (Claudio Brook), uses “the soothing system”, which basically lets the inmates run wild. (One guy who thinks he’s a chicken is given his own coop and fed chicken feed!) It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the inmates have taken over the asylum, literally. The stupefying ending has Gaston being forced to watch costumed men (they look like extras from Cats in KISS make-up) doing a “chicken dance”, before he breaks free and settles the score with the crazy ass Maillard.
Whether or not the American dubbing was responsible for lines like, “Mentally deranged people terrify me!” or if that was in the original Mexican script, some of the dialogue is priceless. There’s also nudity, out of place “comical” music and some surrealistic touches. (Director Juan Lopez Moctezuma also worked with Alejandro Jodorowsky.) Too bad, that Moctezuma’s (who also directed the intriguing Alucarda) pacing is as schizophrenic as the inmates.
AKA: Dr. Tarr’s Pit of Horrors. AKA: Mansion of Madness. AKA: House of Madness.