The title of the second to last entry, Bloodbath, from Adam O’Brien, should be taken literally. Bloodbath is so instantly forgettable I can barely recall what happened in it. Finally, in Hendryk Witscherkowsky’s The Last Show, a carnival plays host to a massacre. This animated gorefest is a lot of horrific fun. The music is excellent, and the character designs are quite unique.
Then there’s the wraparound of Asylum: Twisted Horror and Fantasy Tales. This is rough. Raymond Lee is leaving it all there on the screen, but it is for naught. For starters, the movie does not always cut back to the one-man show after a segment ends, and another begins. This causes great confusion as to if that previous tale is indeed over or just a new scene within it. It also makes the tonal whiplash all the more dissonant, as there’s no reprieve from whatever atmosphere the last section had. It is a bafflingly poor choice.
“While it does start and end strong, it feels slapdash.”
More importantly, and much more egregiously, is that how these relate to Brandon’s past, as they are meant to, remains an elusive mystery. Yes, some of them are easy enough to get their relation to the clown storyteller. But the majority seemingly have no connection to Brandon aside from the movie forcing one down the audience’s throat (his costume/makeup changes with each segment). This leaves audiences questioning why that particular tale was told, as this is meant to be filtered through Brandon’s stand-up. Again, it is another choice that just leaves one scratching their head.
Asylum: Twisted Horror and Fantasy Tales is a very mixed bag. While it does start and end strong, it feels slapdash. RIP is one of the worst movies, short or otherwise that I have seen all year. And the inclusion of the Mecha-Trump segment does not fit the themes, style, or look of any of the other stories, nor what the anthology as a whole is trying to do. Combine that with the wraparound’s overall pointlessness, and you are left with something that is far, far too long and very muddled. But, if you can wade through the bad, there is plenty of good to be found.
"…a very mixed bag."