2 items from 2017
Review by Roger Carpenter
In his heyday, director/producer Ovidio Assonitis was affectionately known as “The Rip-Off King” due to his blatant copying of popular, more expensive hit films. Thus, we have Beyond the Door (1974), an Exorcist-style film; Tentacles (1977), a killer octopus film in the vein of Jaws; and even the sequel Piranha II: The Spawning (1981), which he famously directed after firing James Cameron shortly after filming commenced. Always on the lookout for the next big idea in exploitation, it isn’t surprising that he would also jump on the slasher bandwagon as well. Madhouse is Assonitis’ entry into that particular subgenre of film.
Though produced in late 1980 or early 1981 in Savannah, Georgia, Madhouse wasn’t released stateside until 1983. So while the film bears more than a passing resemblance to the classic slasher Happy Birthday to Me (also made in 1981), it is unclear how much of a direct rip-off one film is of the other. »
- Movie Geeks
Directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis.
Julia is approaching her 25th birthday but unfortunately her estranged twin sister Mary sees this as an opportunity to escape from her hospital bed and torment her just like when they were kids, culminating in a birthday party straight out of a nightmare.
Originally released at the peak of the first slasher boom, Madhouse (a.k.a. There Was a Little Girl & And When She Was Bad) gained something of a reputation by being added to the Dpp Video Nasties list back in the 1980s but, like most of the movies on that list, is it really that depraved and corrupt or is it just another example of the authorities knee jerk reacting to nothing more than a slightly bloody thriller where somebody happens to brandish a knife in a menacing way? »
- Amie Cranswick
2 items from 2017
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