Original Written Content Copyright 2001 P. Breen
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  First titled The Asylum of Dr. Death, then re-titled The Satan Spectrum, the physical script for Asylum of Satan ties many loose ends present in the finished film. It also answers several nagging questions about the film's production.

The end result of at least three revisions, the final script (authored by William Girdler and J. Patrick Kelly III) cites August 25, 1971 as the birthday for the first draft. The second draft appears to have been penned by September 9, 1971 and the third revision is dated November 1, 1971.

An attached shooting schedule places the filming dates between November 8 and November 20, 1971. The primary filming locations cited include the Finzer Street soundstage and the former Lansdowne Estate in Glenview, Kentucky.

The script itself reflects an ambitious, creative mind that ultimately didn't quite have the resources to commit some rather stylish visions to film. The script is highly detailed throughout; each scene is described with lavish attention to imaginative camera angles and intriguing special effects. It's clear that the script's "vision" overreached Girdler's means. But Bill's inherent filmmaking talents and his grasp of storytelling devices were evident in 1971. The same attention to detail seen in The Asylum of Doctor Death script would almost reach full bloom when Girdler launched his The Manitou project six years later, only to be nipped in the bud prematurely by his tragic demise. However, his fledgling screenwriting effort lays to rest any remaining sentiments that Girdler simply "got lucky" when it came to his filmmaking successes. The script demonstrates a truly keen eye for the artform, even while that eye was still in the process of maturation.

I'd like to thank the supremely sweet Claude Wayne Fulkerson for giving me this script to read and dissect. Claude, of course, played The Head Aide in Asylum of Satan, as well as "The Mystery White Man" in Abby.

All black and white photos are © Don Wrege. They are from a previously undeveloped roll of film he recently dug up. Many thanks, Don.

The opening title sequence described by the script is more artsy than what's visible in the movie. An ambulance carrying Lucina Martin makes its way to Pleasant Hill Hospital. The tune Red Light Lady blares out from an ambulance radio (think the beginning of Dr. Gore.)

The ambulance reaches its destination. An ambulance attendant comments as they wheel out Carla, "Why is it we never take anyone out of here?" The hospital staff takes charge of Lucina and the ambulance staff speeds away.

Lucina wakes up the next morning and is confronted by Martine. The fact Martine's played by a man is never directly addressed in the screenplay though the script does demand "a woman's voiceover" for her vocal presence. The script depicts Martine as "a hard matronly woman. She is dressed in clothing of another era. Her long dark hair is pulled back in a bun; her cold piercing eyes; her voice firm and somewhat manish, project an air of dislike..."

Lucina is injected with a sedative, as seen in the film. The dialogue remains mostly the same. Lucina regains consciousness later and sees the strange hooded figures on the lawn. Then Orderly Claude (known as 'The Head Aide' in the script) enters the room. Some hand-written notes on the script denote slight changes to the dialogue, but generally, this written scene plays out like the film.

The head aide is described as "a short man, with a pleasant face marked by a neatly trimmed moustache. He, unlike the other aides, is dressed in white."

Orderly Claude escorts Lucina to the dining room, where she meets the blind girl, the mute, and the cripple. The dinner scene follows the film word-for-word. After the other patients leave, a silent hooded figure falls out of a chair. Instead of Lucina seeing a gross, disfigured hand as she does in the movie, the script says, "The crumpled body on the floor lies motionless. Suddenly the white robe becomes stained with blood. The stain starts at one point and quickly covers most of the robe."

Martine appears "dressed in a black cape with a red collor (sic)." Like the movie, the dining room becomes deserted, dusty, and draped in cobwebs. Lucina runs out of the dining room and receives a false scare from a black cat. She hears chanting; when she gravitates toward the chanting, the head aide appears and the hospital returns to its normal, clean, chant-free state.

After the surreal dinner scene, we witness what is referred to as "Lucina's Nightmare" sequence. In the film, this is when we see Claude Fulkerson plummet down the elevator shaft. But the script describes a scene that's far more elaborate. In truth, this is where the behind-the-scenes footage on the Something Weird DVD release was meant to appear.

"Note: this sequence is supered over the ABOVE CLOSE ANGLE of Lucina which FADES SLIGHTLY at the BEGINNING then STRENGTHENS at the end. BELOW the CHANT we also HEAR the haunting LUCINA'S THEME.

In a LIMBO SETTING we see Lucina standing, her hair blowing, her white gown flowing in the wind. She spins and turns trying to hide her face from the blinding rain as the CAMERA SLOWLY ZOOMS IN on her.

DISSOLVING TO a CLOSE ANGLE of her she SPINS FROM CAMERA to CAMERA. Suddenly, she stops and looks O.S.

From an OVER-HEAD SHOT we see the hooded patients coming towards her in a circle. CUTTING TO a LOWER ANGLE Lucina backs around trying to find a way out. Suddenly she breaks through.

She runs in her endless limbo, tiring and running slower as time passes. She stops and looks O.S..

The CAMERA quickly ZOOMS IN on the smiling Head Aide also standing in limbo.

She runs to the head aide, arms stretched, hoping for protection. The aide waits for her, still smiling. She comes up to the aide and looks at him. Suddenly she reaches for him. As she touches him he pulls back OUT OF FRAME.


{The} scream lingers to become another person's scream. She quickly jumps out of bed and rushes to the door, only to find it locked."

Lucina's meeting with Dr. Jason Specter is the next scene in the script. An interesting sidenote appears: "It is suggested that the Director not show Jason's face during this sequence," ... advice that went unheeded apparently.

The dialogue between Lucina and Specter follows what's seen in the film. Lucina agrees to the examination, removes her bra, and the audience sees an eyeball spying on her from behind the sink.

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