5.6/10
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34 user 53 critic

Madhouse (1981)

There Was a Little Girl (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror | 4 March 1981 (Italy)
A woman is pursued by her murderous, psychopathic twin sister in the days leading up to their birthday.

Director:

Ovidio G. Assonitis (as Oliver Hellman)

Writers:

Ovidio G. Assonitis (as Oliver Hellman), Stephen Blakely | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Patricia Mickey Patricia Mickey ... Julia Sullivan (as Trish Everly)
Michael MacRae Michael MacRae ... Sam Edwards
Dennis Robertson Dennis Robertson ... Father James
Morgan Most ... Helen (as Morgan Hart)
Allison Biggers Allison Biggers ... Mary Sullivan
Edith Ivey ... Amantha Beauregard
Richard Baker Richard Baker ... Sacha Robertson Jr.
Don Devendorf Don Devendorf ... Principal
Jerry Fujikawa ... Mr. Kimura
Doug Dillingham Doug Dillingham ... Golden
Joe Camp Joe Camp ... Hospital Guard
Janie Baker Janie Baker ... Sacha's Mother
Huxsie Scott Huxsie Scott ... Secretary
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Storyline

Julia, a teacher in a school for the deaf, has a hideously deformed and deranged twin sister that resides in the local looney bin. She escapes to gate-crash a surprise birthday party for Julia. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Julia thinks she lives alone... she doesn't! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 March 1981 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

And When She Was Bad See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Overseas FilmGroup See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The entire crew had to be still and quiet during the shooting of any scenes involving the Rottweiler dogs. See more »

Quotes

Mary Sullivan: [Mary grabs Julia's wrist] Kind of makes you sick doesn't it.
Julia Sullivan: Mary...
Mary Sullivan: It doesn't feel so good either, i know, i know? How would you know, you don't have it. Not you. Not little miss prim and propper.
Julia Sullivan: Mary please.
Mary Sullivan: Soon... Soon it will be our birthday again, remember? Remember how we used to celebrate sister dear.
Julia Sullivan: No.
Mary Sullivan: Remember how you'd hide from me, but i'd find you anyway. Remember... Remember what i'd do, how it hurt. HUH,
[Screaming]
Mary Sullivan: well i will make it hurt again. I'll make you suffer like i ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2004 UK Film 2000 release is fully uncut, although the sound quality is very poor. See more »

Connections

References Suspiria (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Fun Southern-lensed Italian thriller

Madhouse is thematically (and sometimes visually) similar to the Canadian slasher Happy Birthday To Me, but it goes about telling its story of sibling slashing in a very different way.

Shot in Georgia, but using an Italian creative team, Madhouse has a strange sense of time and place. Where is this exactly? It it in the past? Is it now? It's one of those things you'll only get when you mix and match crews and locations like this.

The acting from lead Trish Everly is quite good and she makes for a sympathetic heroine who just wants to be left alone by her sociopathic, deformed sister who just escaped from a loony bin and has brought her vicious dog with her.

At this point, pretty much everyone in our heroine's life is fodder for her sister's knife blade and dog's sharp teeth, which leads to some very creepy moments of victims wandering around a spooky Georgia mansion and getting picked off one by one. It all culminates in the nastiest corpse birthday party since...well, Happy Birthday To Me. The ending even got a real jolt out of me.

If I had any complaints, it would be that the reveal of a 2nd killer mid way through the film is accompanied by a lifeless, suspense-free chase scene that goes on far too long. It's also at that point that the film becomes a bit too campy due to both the killer and victim's performances.

The visuals are stunning, the music score is super weird, and there's enough gore to satisfy gore hounds, but not turn off more sophisticated viewers. Definitely worth your time!


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