Wednesday, 17 November 2010
STREET ASYLUM (1990)
Directed by: Gregory Dark
Written by: John Powers & Gregory Dark
Starring: Wings Hauser, G. Gordon Liddy, Sy Richardson, Alex Cord, Roberta Vazquez & Brion James
Wings Hauser made some mad films. Vice Squad, Nightmare at Noon and The Art of Dying all push the boundaries of taste, absurdness and over-the-top action. But perhaps the maddest film he made (though don't hold me to it, as I've yet to see all his films: something I'm sure I will accomplish at some point!) was Street Asylum. It's not just mad but deranged, sleazy, disturbing and just outright weird. Directed and co-written by one time porn director and king of the 1990s softcore thriller craze Gregory Dark (Secret Games 3, Animal Instincts), Street Asylum takes a walk on the wild and dark side of Los Angeles as Hauser's grizzled cop trawls through the underbelly of LA. But while the film certainly delves into the dirty areas of LA and its characters minds, the makers also throw in a sci-fi twist with Hauser joining an elite squad of cops who have been implanted with some kind of special microchip which sends them into fits of violent rage and unrelenting lust. Yep, this film is pretty mad.
So with Hauser and his various cop partners all micro-chipped up, we go on a wild ride through the seedy streets of LA as no fetish or sexual deviation is left untouched. Inncoent people are gunned down in ultra violent fashion; one of Hauser's partners (Sy Richardson) continuously giggles like a school girl and attempts to hump everything in sight; some rather convincing, grubby and disturbing video footage opens the film showing people being killed and hurt in horrible ways; Hauser bangs a prostitute in a dirty alleyway as his enraged lust takes over; and with so much more weirdness and wrongness going on I need to go and take a shower just thinking about it.
Not really a cop film, not in the traditional sense anyway, and not much of a sci-fi film either despite the brain controlling plot device, one thing Street Asylum certainly is, is a pure exploitation flick. The film often hits hard in delivering seedy scene after seedy scene and it certainly achieves a manic energy that makes one keep watching no matter how crazy and weird things get. There is also a couple of groovy action scenes thrown in as well including an impressive scene where a stunt man it attached to the back of a speeding car by a rope to his foot and flung all over the LA streets in a high speed pursuit. Pretty cool stunt and just as bonkers as everything else is this movie.
Street Asylum is a weird film that could only have come from the late 80s/early 90s that probably had intentions of showing us viewers how fucked up the world and it's people are but will be more remembered for the complete looniness of many of its scenes. Still, despite the bonkers premise and the over-the-top exploitation, Street Asylum still disturbs on some level and, again, proves that Wings Hauser made some mad, mad films.