Directed by former tabloid hack Sam Fuller this was banned in the UK for many years, and in truth there's never been anything like it before or since. It tells the story of a reporter desperate to get a scoop, a Pulitzer even. There's been a murder at the local asylum but the only way he gain access to report on this is to pretend he's mad himself.
It soon becomes clear that the institution and its inmates are a metaphor for America itself. There's the 'street', for example, a central corridor where the inmates let it all hang out. Blacks who think they are white, rail against racism in psychotic fits. There's a saying that madness is contagious and the reporter soon discovers the truth of this, to his cost. It's brilliantly shot in black and white, noir style, though some of the nightmare sequences are in colour.