Saturday, 2 March 2013

Asylum: Lucy Comes To Stay








In the third segment, Doctor Martin is introduced to Barbara (Charlotte Rampling), a pretty but vacuous looking and petulant girl in her early twenties (i.e. Charlotte Rampling).  It’s at this stage that you remember the challenge: this is the second patient who is far too young to be Doctor Starr, and there are only four in all, so, you may well shout out 'Oh for Christ's sake, what’s the point? Why not just do a role playing exercise or a basic numeracy test or something?' before settling down to watch what is, by a mile, the weakest of all the stories.
Terribly tedious, the narrative concerns troubled young woman Barbara and her mysterious best friend, Lucy (Britt Ekland), a decidedly bad influence who does very naughty things, like drugging tea or stabbing Barbara’s brother with a pair of scissors, and murdering Megs Jenkins with a kitchen knife, stuff like that. Trouble is, Lucy doesn’t really exist,  she’s just a mini-skirted maniacal figment of Barbara’s broken brain. The End.
Dull to say the least, the story is hugely predictable and, from the pen of Bloch, often runs far too close into ‘Psycho’ territory for comfort. The main issue, however, is in the disastrous pairing of Rampling and Ekland, two terrible actresses who are totally unable to direct the drama anywhere vaguely believable, let alone carry the story anywhere interesting. Disappointing.    
That's the beauty of the portmanteau, though: even though one story may be shit, there's usually a better one on its way. Onwards and upwards...   

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