Sanitarium

  • 2001
  • Movie
  • R
  • Horror, Science Fiction

This slipshod schlock about pharmaceutical experimentation in a madhouse comes up short on all counts: It's short on scares, tension and evidence of professional filmmaking. Two detectives grill aged Dr. Max Warick (Jared Morgan) about research he conducted a generation earlier at the Gatlin Psychiatric Institute. Max's successors, blatantly ignoring past...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This slipshod schlock about pharmaceutical experimentation in a madhouse comes up short on all counts: It's short on scares, tension and evidence of professional filmmaking. Two detectives grill aged Dr. Max Warick (Jared Morgan) about research he conducted a generation earlier at the Gatlin Psychiatric Institute. Max's successors, blatantly ignoring past mistakes, are about to re-launch an anti-psychotic drug called B-390. Flashbacks detail the circumstances under which the younger Dr. Warick (Jeremy Minns) withdrew his support for the "wonder drug" developed by Dr. Richard Callshot (Harry Tuffill). Touted as a cure for madness, the drug performed well in trials; while Max studied the effects of B-390 on the mentally ill, his wife, Elle (Kate Copeland), handled the control group. But Elle's patients experience unexpected psychotic episodes and, with the help of reporter Harris (Terry Aaron), Max uncovers a conspiracy

involving hospital administrator Paul Karnell (Harold Gasnier) and former military scientist Callshot. During the Gulf War, Dr. Callshot tested B-390 on crazed soldiers with dreadful results, but Karnell cares only about getting B-390 on the market so he can reap the financial benefits. What Karnell fails to take into account is the fact that B-390 works on a hitherto undiscovered, TINGLER-like element in the brain that feeds off a patient's psychosis. After being zapped with B-390, the "psychosis creature" moves to a healthy brain nearby. Max's decision to expose Karnell at a press conference halts the manufacture of B-390, but after Max's more bizarre claims about the psychosis creature are made public he finds himself in a straitjacket. The question now is whether a new generation of police officials are prepared to accept the word of an institutionalized doctor and try to stop B-390 from wreaking havoc once again. Though the film has an effective conspiracy scenario at its core, co-writers and directors James Eaves and Johannes Roberts cram in too many disparate villains — not only are the military behaving badly, but so are venal scientists and publicists, ambitious doctors and weasely bureaucrats. Confusingly written and numbingly paced, this time-waster seems as out of control as its drug-addled lunatics.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This slipshod schlock about pharmaceutical experimentation in a madhouse comes up short on all counts: It's short on scares, tension and evidence of professional filmmaking. Two detectives grill aged Dr. Max Warick (Jared Morgan) about research he conducte… (more)

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