15 July 2024
Madhouse (1981)
92 min.
Directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis.
With Trish Everly, Dennis Robertson, Michael MacRae, Morgan Hart, Richard Baker, Allison Biggers, Edith Ivey, Don Devendorf.
From the director of 1974's possession horror Beyond the Door comes this so-so slasher.

Julia Sullivan (Everly) is an oh-so-sweet young woman who teaches at the local school for the deaf, and who lives a quiet, simple, straightforward life.

For example, many of those closest to Julia don't even know that she has a psychotic disfigured twin sister named Mary (Biggers).

But when Mary escapes from the sanitarium, she appears to go on a murder spree, corpses beginning to pile up like so much dirty laundry.

But is there more here than meets the eye? Is Mary really the mad killer, or has someone gone to a lot of trouble to make it look that way?

Culminating with a surprise birthday "party" in which the corpses of the victims are seated at a table (a scene similar to one in Happy Birthday to Me released the same year), Madhouse isn't cooked all the way through.

Everly as Julia is an attractive and sympathetic lead, but the whole thing has the oddest pacing, an annoying performance from Robertson, and suffers from an unsatisfactory ending.

It's not the worst out there, but those looking for high wattage splatter will be disappointed.

Also known as There Was a Little Girl.

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