Skip to main content

MADHOUSE Blu-ray review

Madhouse image

1981
Directed By: Ovidio Assontis
Starring: Trish Everly, Michael MacRae, Allison Biggers, and Dennis Robertson
Written By: Ovidio Assontis and Stephen Blakely

MANY PEOPLE VISIT... NO ONE EVER LEAVES

MADHOUSE Blu-ray review



Julia (Trish Everly) has spent the better part of her life living in denial. Trying to forget about the cruel and inhumane treatment she received as a child at the hands of her twin sister Mary (Allison Biggers). Time has not softened Mary, before escaping a hospital where she has been treated for a disease that has left her disfigured, she vows to get revenge on her sister. MADHOUSE is setup as a ticking time clock where we count down the days until Julia's birthday, the day Mary has promised to exact revenge.

MadhouseAssontis is best known for his work on THE CURSE and PIRANHA 2: THE SPAWNING but I've always felt his operatic sensibilities were best suited to films like MADHOUSE. A production shot entirely on location in Savannah Georgia, his film takes the blood lust of the late 70's early 80's slasher craze and infuses it with the surrealism of classic Italian horror.

MADHOUSE is very much of its time but has aged beautifully. The anamorphic widescreen and synth soundtrack give the film a CARPENTER meets ARGENTO vibe while feeling utterly unique.

Dogs. I have never seen this much violence from and towards dogs in a single film. If you are the type of person who can't handle violence towards animals on film, avoid this one. There are fight sequences between man and mutt that go on for minutes. Imagine the fight scene in THEY LIVE (you know the one) but with a pooch and a person and you'll get the idea. Notice how when I used the word "sequences" before, it's plural? Yes, there are multiple fight to the death encounters between man and his best friend in this film... and one of them involves a drill. This movie is not for the faint of heart.

The violence in MADHOUSE is front and center.  Assontis dwells on his prosthetic pornography, almost daring the viewer to keep watching. After the opening two minutes of the film, you will have a good idea of whether or not this film will work for you. This is a nasty, brutal little movie that has earned its place among the classic horror films of its era. I can't imagine a non-genre fan finding much value in this film, other than Michael MacRae's mustache, that thing is a work of art and any viewer can appreciate beauty.

Madhouse Michael MacRae


Arrow has absolutely knocked it out of the park with this one. The transfer is stunning and the uncompressed audio is room shaking. If you are a fan of MADHOUSE, I can't recommend this one highly enough.

Bonus Materials
Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition presentations
Original Stereo Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
Brand new interviews with cast and crew
Alternate opening titles
Theatrical Trailer, newly transferred in HD
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring new writing on the film

You can order MADHOUSE from MVD here.





Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…

99 FROM 99: Cruel Intentions

On our latest episode of99 FROM 99, one host discovers some disturbing secrets about his co-host. All will be revealed in this episode on guilty pleasure CRUEL INTENTIONS! Namely that one host disagrees with the verdict of feeling guilt for enjoying this look at the cutthroat world of the powerful and wealthy transported to the realm of high school drama. Meanwhile the other host just feels bad for Selma Blair and all parties involved, including our dear listeners. Did we mention to give us a follow and a listen at the links below? Support what we do with bonus content and early episodes onPatreon Listen iTunes/Podbean Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @99from99