Original Written Content Copyright 2001 P. Breen
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  The next thing we see is (what seems like) a two-hour scene of Nick Jolley riding down an airport escalator. Let us pause for a moment to celebrate a man some call the most ineffective macho lead ever to appear in a film. About half the people who've seen Asylum consider Nick's plaid polyester wardrobe the most terrifying aspect of Asylum of Satan. However awkward Nick may be onscreen, he certainly provides some of the best moments in the film. Jolley brings a special sort of geeky magic to every scene he graces. It is a true tragedy that Asylum would be his first and last movie.

After finally escaping the escalator, Chris Duncan (a.k.a. Nick Jolley) makes a call from a payphone to check up on his fiancée Lucina. The hospital staff informs him that she was transferred to Pleasant Hill Hospital. Once he learns that Pleasant Hill is actually an insane asylum, he hops into Bill Girdler's banana -yellow Porsche and races off to find his lover.

Meanwhile, Lucina is granted an audience with the mysterious Dr. Specter (played by Louisville TV horror host Charles Kissinger, who appeared in nearly every Girdler film). He greets her warmly and admits right off the top that he's a big fan of her piano concerts. Lucina seems charmed by Specter's grace and savoir-faire. Her resentment subsides. She politely asks why she's been locked in her room. "Your breakdown was minor," the doctor answers matter-of-factly. "What?" cries Lucina. "Dr. Noland gave me the impression that all I needed was a little rest. That's why I went into the hospital in the first place. He never mentioned your name! Look, Doctor: I was living a perfectly normal life, then suddenly for no reason that makes any sense to me, I find myself in this place among strange people … experiencing terrifying things. Nightmares …"

She grows increasingly huffy, and rises to storm out of the office. "SIT DOWN!" Specter commands. He rises from his chair. He looks as if he's about to burst into an angry fit, then his body suddenly relaxes as if he thought better of it. Tranquilly, he explains, "You've been shocked by the sudden change of environment. I've attended as many of your concerts as my time and work would allow. Forgive me, I'm tired." Lucina makes one final plea for her immediate release. Dr. Specter tells her that she must undergo a routine examination before he'll discuss her condition. He asks her to remove her clothing in preparation for the exam. "Wrap that SHEET around you, I'll be back in a moment." Curiously, she agrees despite having seen what happens to other patients who wear sheets. She begins to strip down after Specter exits. The viewer detects peeping Tom eyes peering from a fairly obvious hole in the wall.

Apparently, this routine examination involves a hot bath at the hands of Martine. Because the next thing we see is a nude Carla Borelli sinking into a steamy bathtub (sorry skin fans, you only see her naked back). Martine coos as she scrubs Lucina's shoulder blades. "Ah your skin is lovely, Miss Martin. So soft; so white! Almost as if it were unblemished by sin." Lucina looks at Martine suspiciously, then lowers her head in a display of embarrassment.

Back to NICK JOLLEY!!! Lucina's plaid-lovin' man is still driving across the countryside in Girdler's yellow Porsche. He finally arrives at Pleasant Hill Hospital. Chris knocks on the door and cusses to himself, even though he's not forced to wait very long. Claude promptly answers the door and explains that the hospital doesn't have visiting hours. Chris explodes. He demands to talk to whomever is in charge. Claude calls on Dr. Specter, who coolly explains to Chris that he runs the asylum, and he only allows visitors by appointment. Chris' face swells with rage. "You're gonna answer a few questions before you start slamming doors in my face!" Dr. Specter says that he is concerned Lucina will have a relapse if she accepts a visitor. This angers our checkered hero even more. As Chris launches into a litany of swearing, Specter does in fact slam the door in his face. Stunned, Chris stares at the door blankly. He saunters back to his car with his tail between his coarse polyester legs. Lucina catches sight of him from her window and she screams Chris' name. He doesn't hear her wails through the glass. (It appears as if Lucina is very fussy about which outfit she wears while crying at her window, because she's sporting the same clothes she wore when she first spotted the bedsheet fetishists at the beginning of the movie.)

Moments later, Lucina forces herself into Dr. Specter's office. She's now wearing A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT OUTFIT. "Why wasn't I able to see Chris?" she demands. Dr. Specter tries to soothe Lucina's distress. "We can't clutter your treatment with memories. Chris sends his love and he'll be in touch until you can see visitors. But you must be good and do what you're told. You've got to cooperate. Now go to your room. He knows we're doing everything for your good." Lucina buys the spiel and heeds the Doctor's advice. (After all, isn't Charlie Kissinger ALWAYS right?)

In the meantime, Chris speeds to the Louisville Medical Arts Building to find some answers. He meets with Lucina's original healthcare provider Dr. Noland (who is wheelchair-bound; lots of wheelchairs in this flick). Chris admits he had no idea that Lucina's condition was serious enough to warrant committal to an insane asylum. Dr. Noland reacts strongly to the idea of Lucina in an asylum. "Surely you must be mistaken! She's just overworked. An asylum?" Chris explains in a huff, "I'm not mistaken! Suddenly she's in the asylum … or sanitarium … or whatever the hell it is! And I don't understand it! Who's Dr. Specter?"

Dr. Noland is visibly concerned by Chris' claims. "I received a special telegram from her father that said she be sent to Pleasant Hill Hospital for special treatment. He was quite insistent." Chris presses Noland, "Are you sure it was her father? Doctor, Lucina's father died when she was 12 years old!" Noland recoils as he realizes he's been duped. Chris continues his inquiry, "What do you know about Dr. Specter?" Noland explains, "Dr. Specter established an excellent reputation in the physiology of pain and pain reflexes. He wrote a great many articles about ten or fifteen years ago. Then he seemed to disappear. I thought he'd retired. He was in his 70s when those articles appeared."

Chris interrupts, "Could there be two Specters? The man I saw yesterday couldn't have be more than 45, yet from what you say he'd have to be at least 80 years old." Doctor Noland has no further insight to offer, but he promises he'll do all he can to help. Nick leaves the office with more questions than he had when he arrived.

We return to the asylum and see the wheelchair-bound grumpy older woman being pushed down a hallway by a pale young nurse. "Dr. Specter said this was going to be my final treatment. Oh, I've waited so long for this day!" gushes the woman. The nurse grins maliciously. She dumps the woman into a dark room and locks the lady inside. "Where are all the fancy machines Dr. Specter was talking about?" The woman wheels over to the door but she cannot escape. She starts yelling and carrying on. Out of the blue, foam from a fire extinguisher shoots out of the floor vents (um, it was supposed to be smoke, but there's no mistaking the frothy foam). A secret panel opens, unleashing an army of inexpensive rubber bugs. The woman completely freaks and falls out of her chair. She writhes and struggles as the rubber bugs attack her. The woman's screams are drowned out by the whooshing sounds of fire extinguishers. It's not entirely clear how the bugs ultimately kill the woman. One must assume that the rubber bugs strangle her with the plainly obvious fishing wire they're attached to.

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