Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

MADHOUSE (1981)

MADHOUSE (aka There Was a Little Girl/1981). Director: Ovidio G. Assonitis.

Julia Sullivan (Patricia Mickey working as Trish Everly). who works with deaf children, is about to have a birthday when she learns that her deranged twin sister, Mary (Allison Biggers), who has become deformed due to disease, has escaped from a hospital. While the police search for Mary, Patricia is consoled by her uncle, Father James (Dennis Robertson), her boyfriend, Sam (Michael MacRae), and her gal pal, Helen (Morgan Most). Meanwhile a savage dog attacks and kills a handyman and one of Patricia's students, Sasha (Richard Baker), among others. As her birthday approaches, Patricia is convinced that Mary, who hated her even before she became sick and deformed, will soon catch up with her, but is Mary the person she truly has to fear? This weird horror flick boasts one creepy, compelling and protracted central sequence in which landlady Amantha (Edith Ivey) is stalked by the killer throughout her house, turning up when she least expects it. This is chilling and suspenseful and superior to the rest of the movie, which bears some similarities to Happy Birthday to Me (especially the climax), which came out the same year. The killer's motive is never really made clear. Patricia Mickey gives a good performance in the lead, but some of the other actors are amateurish. Madhouse was shot and takes place in Savannah, Georgia.

Verdict: Strangely depressing horror movie. **1/2.

2 comments:

angelman66 said...

Sounds reminiscent of Brian de Palma's Sisters...will definitely check this one out.
-C

William said...

Well ... don't put it at the top of your list, LOL!