Insanitarium Jeff Buhler

Insanitarium Jeff Buhler
If any movie can actually make a reviewer feel a little dirty for taking the time to write a review, it might be Insanitarium, an adolescent, almost incoherent gore-fest with the audacity to reference directors like David Cronenberg and David Lynch. It’s the story of Jack (Jesse Metcalf), a slightly misguided young man who decides to cut up his chest and wander around a park in order to get into the insane asylum where his sister (Kiele Sanchez) is being held. Once inside, he discovers that a "mad genius” doctor (Peter Stormare) is experimenting on patients with a pigment-altering drug called "Orpheus” that turns them into bloodthirsty cannibals. With the help of a fellow patient (Kevin Sussman) and a frightened nurse (Olivia Munn), Jack attempts to rescue his sister from the "insanitarium” and expose the secrets behind the monochromatic white halls.  Somewhere in between the moments when a crazed mental patient rips the head off a live cat and one where Peter Stormare ties his lab assistant up, cuts her thigh, stuffs her panties in her mouth and rapes her, it becomes clear that there really isn’t a great deal to redeem this film. It clips along at a decent pace, given that there’s rarely any logic or natural progression to any of the events that unfold, which is at least one thing to be grateful for. Also, fans of carnage may be pleased with some explicit dismemberment, machetes through the head and graphic cannibalism, not to mention a plastic-breasted patient who runs around topless, covered in blood for half of the film. Special features on the DVD are simultaneously depressing and amusing, with a featurette focusing on a conversation between director Jeff Buhler and actor Jesse Metcalf, where Buhler compares himself to Cronenberg and talks about the intensity of the realistic, character-driven moments of the film — of which there are none. The "Patients” featurette shows a potentially intoxicated Stormare talking about his character, while the actress who played his lab assistant (Carla Gallo) talks about how it wouldn’t have occurred to her to have panties stuffed in her mouth during the rape scene if Stormare hadn’t have brought it up, given that it’s pretty tasteless and insulting. This moment might actually be the most inspired on the entire DVD. Also included is a digital copy of the film for viewers to toss onto their PSPs and PCs so the magic can be enjoyed anywhere. (Sony)