The 1981 mystery/horror film “Madhouse” has been reissued in a deluxe 2-DVD Blu-ray/DVD edition with plenty of bonus materials including new audio commentary, new interviews with cast and crew, a booklet featuring new writing on the film, and more.
Filmed in Savannah, Georgia, written and directed by independent film producer and businessman Ovidio Assonitis, “Madhouse” is a classic tale of evil twin versus good twin. Julia Sullivan (Trish Everly) is a teacher for the hearing impaired and dating Dr. Sam Edwards (Michael MacRae). As a child, her sister Mary (Allison Biggers), was evil to her sister and sent away to a mental hospital. Julia and Mary hadn’t seen each other in nearly 10 years, but are brought back together by their Uncle, Father James (Dennis Robertson) because Mary’s heath is on the decline. With the twins 25th birthday coming up, Father James wants to reunite the estranged twins to try and heal old wounds. As much as Julia has tried to bury the evil her sister did in the past, all that comes rushing back when Julia goes to visit her sister and once Mary, who has contracted a disfiguring disease, escapes from the hospital, the evil begins. But Mary has some help. To make “Madhouse” even creepier, Julia lives in a converted mortuary which is now apartments and there is a vicious Rottweiler, much like the film “Cujo.”
Simply called “Madhouse” in the United States, the film was an Italian production and called “And When She Was Bad” and “There Was a Little Girl” for its overseas release. Upon its release, “Madhouse” was listed on Brittan’s “video nasties” due to its violence and wasn’t released fully uncut until 2004. To be honest, from someone who has seen countless horror films, “Madhouse” is tame compared to most DVDs released in the 1980s.