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“Madhouse” continues the trend of Italian Horror productions invading the South in the early 1980s. I guess that New York City got boring for the Fulci followers after the 1970s. While the film was shot in 1980, it was shelved until 1983. By that time, an original Italian horror film ended up looking like a half-baked clone of “Happy Birthday to Me”. Thankfully, that’s not the issue it used to be. Modern horror audiences will view both films as gore fests with paper thin stories. They wouldn’t be wrong.

Trish Everly is the star of the film and she has quite a great life. That is if you can look past her evil twin sister. Bad twin escapes her hospital confines, while sporting a disfiguring illness that has just warped her face. If that doesn’t keep you focused, there’s another better than the film musical score by Riz Ortolani. When people that remember this movie talk about it, they get whiny when people don’t bring up the twist. Well, there’s a reason I don’t bring it up.

The twist seemed to confuse Ovidio Assonitis. When it goes one way, it seems to destroy a character arc and undercut a better killer. When it goes that way, you keep wondering about the implications of what it means for two other character. Before you can tug on that thread too long, the film ends. Totally satisfying.


  • Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
  • Brand new interviews with cast and crew
  • Alternate opening titles
  • Theatrical Trailer, newly transferred in HD


  • 2.35:1 1080p transfer
  • DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track


  • 93%
    Video - 93%
  • 95%
    Audio - 95%
  • 94%
    Supplemental Material - 94%
  • 90%
    Film Score - 90%

The Plot Thus Far

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MANY PEOPLE VISIT … NO ONE EVER LEAVES. Helmed by legendary producer/director Ovidio Assonitis, the man behind such cult favourites as The Visitor and Piranha II: The Spawning, Madhouse is a crimson-soaked tale of sibling rivalry taken to a terrifying and bloody extreme. Julia has spent her entire adult life trying to forget the torment she suffered at the hands of her twisted twin Mary… but Mary hasn’t forgotten. Escaping hospital, where she’s recently been admitted with a horrific, disfiguring illness, Julia’s sadistic sister vows to exact a particularly cruel revenge on her sibling this year – promising a birthday surprise that she’ll never forget. An Italian production shot entirely in Savannah, Georgia, Madhouse (aka And When She Was Bad and There Was a Little Girl) fuses slasher elements with the over-the-top excess of ’80s Italian terror – resulting in a cinematic bloodbath so gut-wrenching that the British authorities saw fit to outlaw it as a “video nasty”.

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