There Was a Little Girl
|There Was a Little Girl|
1984 VHS release
|Directed by||Ovidio G. Assonitis|
|Produced by||Ovidio G. Assonitis|
|Written by||Ovidio G. Assonitis
|Music by||Riz Ortolani|
|Cinematography||Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli|
|Release dates||1981/1984 (UK classification)|
|Running time||93 minutes|
Madhouse stars Trish Everly, Dennis Robertson, Allison Biggers, Michael Macrae, Morgan Hart, Edith Ivey, and Jerry Fujikawa. It was one of the many films on the "video nasty" list, a list of horror/exploitation films banned by the BBFC for violence and obscenity. The film features a musical score by Riz Ortolani and cinematography by Assonitis regular Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli. The film's title refers to the poem "There Was a Little Girl" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
There Was A Little Girl, Who Had A Little Curl, Right In the Middle Of Her Forehead. When She Was Good, She Was Very, Very Good. And When She Was Bad, She Was Horrid.
Julia (Trish Everly, in her only film role), a young teacher for deaf children living in Savannah, Georgia. Julia has horrid memories of her childhood, which was scarred by her sadistic twin sister Mary (Allison Biggers). At the urging of her uncle, Father James, Julia visits Mary, suffering from a severe skin disease, in a mental institution. The meet does not go well, and Mary vows to make Julia "suffer as she had suffered". As their mutual birthday approaches, several of Julia's friends and neighbors begin to die gruesome deaths, some of which committed by a mysterious Rottweiler dog that has some sort of connection to Mary. But is Mary really the killer?
J.C. Maçek III of WorldsGreatestCritic.com wrote, "While Madhouse can be an interesting thriller with plenty of blood and legitimate creepy scares, it does leave quite a bit to be desired when it comes to tying up the loose ends found herein. Further, with elements of The Omen, Psycho, Halloween and other better known classics, Madhouse comes off as somewhat unoriginal in hindsight."
Production and release
There Was a Little Girl (renamed Madhouse for the video market) was released four times on video. A watered-down, cut and edited version was released on VHS in America by Virgin-Label, discontinued and was released again five years later (1989). The film's graphic content got it classified as a "video nasty" by the BBFC, and the film never saw a theatrical release in the United Kingdom. In 2004, the film was passed by the BBFC and was released uncut on DVD by Film 2000 and then released by Dark Sky Films in 2008.
- New York Times. "Madhouse". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- Ian Jane. "Madhouse". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- Tom Becker. "Madhouse". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- J.C. Maçek III. "Madhouse". WorldsGreatestCritic.com. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- James Caskey. "Kehoe House". Kehoehouse.com. Retrieved 2011-03-24.