Don't Look in the Basement Reviews
The plot: a new nurse arrives at a house full of mental patients immediately after one of the patients has murdered the doctor who would have been her boss. Now she must get to know the patients with only the guide of a stern Head Nurse, and the more she learns, the more she suspects that something just ain't right around here.
For a thrift store budget horror flick from the 70s, it's actually not that baaaa... ok yeah, it is pretty awful. BUT! There is something about it that kinda sucked me in. After all, the bad actors are mostly playing insane people, so the whacko-ness of the characters dresses up the lack of talent. There is a sense of familiarity among the cast like a community theater group that has done a lot of plays together... only now they're trying to make a horror flick.
This is the kind of movie that the Rifftrax crew would have a blast with, and going into it with the so-bad-it's-kinda-good mentality makes this worth a... wait for it... "LOOK".
That turned out to be partially true - it's pretty shoddily lensed, the dialogue leaves a lot to be desired and the acting is the wrong side of hammy on many occasions but it does actually succeed in lending everything a sense of creeping menace.
The plot revolves around a mental institution for the delusionally insane where the patients are encouraged to live out their fantasy personae in the hope they will eventually reject them. Into this comes a new young nurse who arrives to find the head of the clinic had been killed during an attack by one of the patients and the rest of the residents spiralling into increasing dementia.
Whilst there's plenty of flaws in the film it does start to get under your skin as the various charterers become unceasingly unhinged and very unsettling with it. There's little real action of the 'nasty' variety until the final reel when all hell breaks loose in the institution, but the carnage that ensues is in itself quite gruesome.
So all in all it was much better than I was expecting but would probably have passed into the mists of obscurity had it never been labelled as a 'criminal' film back in the day.