(aka There Was A Little Girl/1981/Dark
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C Film: C
Assonitis was an interesting Horror director for a time with films like Beyond The Door and Tentacles, but his attempt to jump on
the post-Halloween bandwagon with Madhouse (aka There Was A Little Girl/1981) is a gruesome and dumb entry to the
point that the gore becomes tired and the “fake effect” kicks in as an old
hatred between two young girls becomes an adult vendetta complete with a sick,
sadistic male killer who loves propping up dead bodies, scarring his victims
out of their wits and even has a killer dog.
this is ambitious versus the current torture porn cycle, that does not make it
any good. The Italian production (shot
in Savanna, Georgia!) rips off every Horror film from the 1970s it can and the
combination of giallo and late grindhouse never gels. The result is a very uneven film with little
suspense, little effectiveness and a curio that mocks everything from the mentally
ill to the deaf children (intended or not) the female lead’s character
teaches. For those looking for something
politically incorrect, this is still average at best, so it can’t be
recommended on this level or even as an unintentional howler. The ending is dumb too.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image was shot in anamorphic 35mm Technovision
and though Roberto D’Ettorre Piazzoli makes this look better than the script
deserves. This is a little soft
throughout, though color is good. The Dolby
Digital 2.0 Mono also shows its age. Extras
are a set of stills and interview with Assonitis.
- Nicholas Sheffo