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There Was a Little Girl
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And When She Was Bad (1981) More at IMDbPro »There Was a Little Girl (original title)


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Release Date:
13 November 1981 (West Germany) See more »
Julia thinks she lives alone... she doesn't! See more »
Julia, a teacher in a school for the deaf, has a hideosly disformed and deranged twin sister that resides in the local looney bin... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(2 articles)
Sarah Silverman: 'I'm the Poorest Famous Person in the World'
 (From Rolling Stone. 13 February 2014, 11:00 AM, PST)

Producer Shepherd Dies
 (From WENN. 11 March 2009, 12:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Sick and twisted Italian thriller See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Trish Everly ... Julia Sullivan
Michael MacRae ... Sam Edwards
Dennis Robertson ... Father James

Morgan Most ... Helen (as Morgan Hart)
Allison Biggers ... Mary Sullivan

Edith Ivey ... Amantha Beauregard
Richard Baker ... Sacha Robertson Jr.
Don Devendorf ... Principal

Jerry Fujikawa ... Mr. Kimura
Doug Dillingham ... Golden
Joe Camp ... Hospital Guard
Janie Baker ... Sacha's Mother
Huxsie Scott ... Secretary
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Directed by
Ovidio G. Assonitis  (as Oliver Hellman)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ovidio G. Assonitis  (as Oliver Hellman)
Stephen Blakely 
Roberto Gandus 
Peter Shepherd 

Produced by
Ovidio G. Assonitis .... producer (as Oliver Hellman)
Peter Shepherd .... producer
Original Music by
Riz Ortolani 
Cinematography by
Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli 
Film Editing by
Angelo Curi 
Art Direction by
Stefano Paltrinieri 
Costume Design by
Serena Severini 
Makeup Department
Nilo Jacoponi .... makeup artist
Gino Zamprioli .... makeup artist
Production Management
Jacques Goyard .... executive in charge of production
Roger Salvadori .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Stratton Leopold .... assistant director
Sound Department
Piero Fondi .... sound
Romano Pampaloni .... re-recording mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Maurizio La Monica .... assistant camera
Maurizio Maggi .... camera operator
Fabrizio Vicari .... assistant camera
Casting Department
Stratton Leopold .... casting: Georgia
Other crew
Daniela Puccini .... continuity

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"There Was a Little Girl" - Italy (original title)
"Flesh and the Beast" - USA (video title)
"Scared to Death" - USA
See more »
USA:92 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The film was originally listed (as "Madhouse") as one of the official UK DPP 72 video nasties. It was released fully uncut in 2004.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Happy Birthday to Me (1981)See more »


What are the differences between the R-Rated and Unrated Version?
See more »
2 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Sick and twisted Italian thriller, 15 August 2006
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

There Was a Little Girl often falls into the Giallo category, and while there are definitely Giallo elements in the film; I personally would say it's more of a twisted psychological thriller. The influence from Argento is clear, as the film features all of the absurd lighting of one of Argento's masterpieces, and the stylish way that many of the murders are presented reflects this also. This is the first film I've seen from director Ovidio G. Assonitis, and based on the strength of his directorial work here, I'm definitely interested in seeing his Jaws rip-off 'Tentacles', and his Exorcist rip-off 'Beyond the Door'. The plot follows Julia Sullivan; a young woman who is a teacher at a special school. Her childhood memories are haunted by her maniacal sister, who now resides in a mental institution. When visiting her sister for the first time in years, Julia discovers that she has been hideously deformed by a skin disease. Her visit to the hospital happens around the same time as a couple of murders, apparently committed by an insane dog; the same dog that Julia's sister apparently had control of as a child…

My main problem with There Was a Little Girl is that it just doesn't feel much like an Italian film; and this isn't helped by the fact that the majority of the cast is made up of American actors. The production values are very good, however, and the cinematography is crisp and clear; and a delight to watch overall. The film does feature a fair amount of blood, although the murders aren't as shocking or as nasty as the ones featured in a number of other popular Italian films, and this makes it rather odd that There Was a Little Girl was a part of the DPP's infamous Video Nasty list back in the eighties. As you might expect given the plot line, a lot of the action centres on the sickness of it's main characters; but the best thing about this is the fact that even though the film presents it's murderer right from the beginning; there are still some surprises contained within the plot, and the film also manages to stay away from becoming too convoluted, and while the final twist requires the viewer to stretch their imagination a little; it just about makes sense. The locations used flatter the plot line in that they're morbid and macabre, and while this film is certainly no masterpiece; it's still worth seeing.

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