Crazy as Hell
Crazy as Hell, released in 2002 (New York and L.A. only), is a horror suspense film that is based on the 1982 novel Satan, His Psychotherapy and Cure by the Unfortunate Dr. Kassler, J.S.P.S. by Jeremy Leven and follows Dr. Ty Adams (Michael Beach), an aggressive and overconfident psychiatrist producing a documentary film about a nearby state-run mental hospital. While treating a new patient (Eriq La Salle, who also directed) who claims to be Satan, Dr. Adams begins to question his own perceptions.
|Crazy as Hell|
|Directed by||Eriq La Salle|
|Produced by||Butch Robinson|
Michael Huens (line producer) Ken Aguado
|Written by||Jeremy Leven|
|Starring||Eriq La Salle|
Psychiatrist Dr. Ty Adams comes to the Sedah State Mental Hospital to film a documentary. While coming across self-assured and overconfident, Adams is secretly haunted by the death of his daughter. He strikes up a friendship with the facility's administrator, Dr. Samuel Delazo, playing an ongoing chess game with him. Adams is intrigued by a patient named Barnett (Eriq La Salle) who claims to be Satan and takes a personal interest in his case.
When a patient goes to the roof to commit suicide, Adams arrogantly prevents the police from accessing the roof and attempts to talk her down himself. Barnett inexplicably appears on the rooftop and reveals jarring truths about Adams, and the patient subsequently jumps to her death. The incident calls a halt to the documentary. Adams declares Barnett a danger to the other patients and has him placed in solitary. Adams tracks down Barnett's mother and, satisfied that he had uncovered Barnett's real identity, prepares to move on from the facility. Adams and Dr. Delazo regretfully say their goodbyes, their chess game unfinished. Just before he leaves, Barnett's mother arrives and asks him to take a fruit basket to her son. She asks Adams if he believes in God, and he replies that he doesn't.
He takes one last look at Barnett straitjacketed in his cell, but when he is distracted by an orderly, he looks back into the room to find it empty. Turning back to the hallway, he sees Barnett's mother taking off a wig, revealing herself to be Barnett in women's clothes. Pursuing him, Adams stumbles into a bedroom where he finds his own bloody corpse, apparently having killed himself over his daughter's death. He suddenly is in a library where Dr. Delazo sits on a throne as the devil surrounded by the patients and staff, all horribly transformed. Delazo says, "Checkmate." Adams shouts that it isn't real, and that he knows who he is. Delazo asks "Who are you?" Adams says he's a good man. Delazo replies "Then why are you here?" As Adams keeps protesting that he's a good man, the screen fades to black.
- Michael Beach as Ty Adams
- Eriq La Salle as Barnett
- Ronny Cox as Delazo
- Sinbad as Orderly
- Jane Carr as Nurse Danza
- Shelley Robertson as Veda
- Khylan Jones as Brianna
- Twink Caplan as Suzanne
- John C. McGinley as Parker
- David Backus as Todd
- Matthew A. Thomas as Stretch McGuffin
- William Bassett as Mr. Brennan
- Jim Ortlieb as Mr. Tobin
- Roberta Haze as Ms. Aslee
- Tom Everett as Mansell
- Ray Xifo as Selden
- Tia Texada as Lupa
- J. P. Manoux as Arnie
Reviews for the film have been mixed and the movie holds a rating of 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 14 reviews and an average rating of 5.3/10. In their review for the film the New York Times wrote that the movie was an "ambitious first feature" and that it had "a moral ambiguity far beyond most independent films, where humanism is gospel and the characters are always discovering their inner goodness." Variety criticized the film in their review, which they felt was "An erratic, psychobabbling jumble of scenes that never builds to any discernible point". The AV Club was mixed in their review, writing "Crazy As Hell would make for a pretty good Twilight Zone episode, but stretched to feature length, it tends to feel stilted and heavy-handed. The film gives the devil (and the actor playing him) his due, but shortchanges everyone else."
- Kehr, Dave. "FILM IN REVIEW; 'Crazy as Hell'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
- Simels, Steve. "Crazy As Hell (review)". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
- "Crazy as Hell (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes.
- Foundas, Scott (2002-02-27). "Crazy as Hell". Variety. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
- Rabin, Nathan. "Crazy As Hell". The AV Club. Retrieved 2018-09-08.