Posts Tagged ‘Tony Bartele’


I’ll say one thing — and I should emphasize that it’s one thing — for Geraldo Rivera : his sensationalistic expose of the crisis conditions in many American mental institutions that led to mass closings of said facilities in the late ’70s and early ’80s has ensured that enterprising no-budget indie directors have a veritable shit-ton of freely-available,purportedly “haunted” filming locations at their disposal. Case in point : the shuttered Central State Hospital in scenic Indianapolis, Indiana that serves as “ground zero” for the “action” (a term I use ridiculously loosely) in Dan T. Hall’s 2013 “homemade horror” effort Asylum : The Lost Footage.


The title of this flick alone gives away exactly what it’s about, but just in case you still have questions, never fear : the poster gives a full (albeit questionably-worded) accounting of the proceedings, so I don’t even need to repeat ’em here. We’re on a ghost-hunt with a group of amateur paranormal investigators looking for evidence of an elusive (aren’t they all?) apparition known as “The Lady In White,” and that’s all you need to know. If you’re related to any of the film’s nominal “stars” like Tony Bartele, Callie Burk, Alex Raymond, or Moli Hall (who’s also credited as an associate producer) you might, I suppose, care that they’re in this thing, but if not, there’s no way you’ve heard of anyone either in front of or behind the camera here, so let’s not dwell on any of that, either, shall we?


So far, then, it’s fair to say there isn’t anything outside the norm happening here, and yet — this is not, strictly speaking, a “found footage” flick. It’s more an amalgamation of “found footage,” phony-ass “mockumentary” interviews, and even some traditional “point-and-shoot” stuff. This works to Hall’s advantage in a way, because you’re not as inclined to ask pesky questions like “who’s filming this shit?” when all five members of the ghost-hunting team — including the camera guy — appear together in front of the camera during the “found footage” sequences. The change of styles also keeps things from getting stale for viewers to an extent, although the hackneyed script (written by Hall and Marcia Ellett) and generally poor acting from pretty much all of the cast members do their level best to make this 70-minute production feel like it’s actually quite a bit longer than that. So, on that score, then, this movie is precisely what you think it is : hopelessly derivative and really bad.


I have no problem whatsoever making any number of allowances for poor production values and less-than-convincing performances in these “micro-budget” horror numbers, but when there’s literally nothing going on we haven’t seen a thousand (or more) times before, shit — that I have a very serious problem with, whether your film cost 50 bucks to produce or 50 million. And that’s the one stumbling block that Hall and his cohorts just can’t overcome here. It may not be for lack of effort, but there’s a distinct lack of skill evident throughout this film that, coupled with its lack of originality, makes for a genuinely trying viewing experience. It’s available for streaming on Amazon Prime, but I honestly can’t think of any reason for you to waste your time on it. Consider this my first public service of the new year — I watched it so that you don’t have to.