Madhouse stars Trish Everly as Julia Sullivan, a teacher at a school for the deaf, whose hideously disfigured and sadistic twin sister, Mary, resides in a nearby mental hospital. Four days before Trish's birthday, Mary escapes in order to arrange a special party for her unsuspecting sister...
In the United Kingdom in the 1980s, movies released on home video became the target of a hate campaign led by Britain's über-vigilant defenders of moral decency: the press, bored housewives, and Conservative politicians. As a result, a list was compiled of the films they deemed to be most offensive; these titles became known as 'Video Nasties' and were seized from shops before they had a chance to work their evil influence on an unsuspecting public.
Ovidio G. Assonitis's Madhouse was one such 'nasty'.
Featuring a bloodthirsty rottweiler, a frenzied axe attack that reduces the victim's back to a bloody pulp, and a messy canine lobotomy by electric drill, it quickly found itself added to the list of titles most likely to corrupt and deprave. It didn't matter much to the moral crusaders that the film was also a well-crafted psychological chiller that delivered plenty of atmosphere, memorable performances, and some lovely cinematography; no... this film featured a dog receiving a drill-bit between the eyes, and we can't have people watching that kind of stuff, can we?
Two decades on, and Madhouse is now available uncut on DVD; it seems that the people of the UK have since developed to a stage where they are able to handle such horror without it turning them into murderous lunatics (either that, or the authorities have actually realised they were wrong and the film was never that disturbing in the first place). Oh well, better late than never, I suppose...
Ironically, Assonitis's film is perhaps a little too slow and lacking in gore for today's casual horror viewer, but for seasoned fans of the genre, it offers plenty to enjoy: there's the mystery of the identity of a second killer (not too hard to guess, but fun nevertheless); a great OTT performance from Dennis Robertson as Father James, Trish's nursery-rhyme singing uncle; a likable heroine; a brief performance from Morgan Hart as very tasty, blonde rottweiler fodder, Helen; and a ghoulish final scene that is remarkably similar to that of a Canadian slasher, Happy Birthday To Me (who stole from whom is debatable, since both films were released in the same year).
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.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 9,393 times
March 03, 2018 at 04:55 PM