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Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly


UK 1970
produced by
Ronald J. Kahn for Fitzroy Films
directed by Freddie Francis
starring Vanessa Howard, Michael Bryant, Ursula Howells, Pat Heywood, Howard Trevor, Robert Swann, Imogen Hassall, Michael Ripper, Hugh Armstrong
screenplay by Brian Comport, based on the play Happy Family by Maisie Mosco, music by Bernard Ebbinghouse

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Girly (Vanessa Howard) and Sonny (Howard Trevor) like nothing more than to play childish little games, even though both are well into their teens, and Mumsy (Ursula Howells) and Nanny (Pat Heywood) even support that and encourage them to bring friends home - mostly bums lured here with a bottle of liquor, as it turns out. Of course, Girly and Sonny sometimes turn homicidal towards their new friends during their games, but Mumsy and Nanny don't mind as long as the kids stick to the house rules.
One day, the kids bring home a new friend (Michael Bryant), a drunk they convince of having killed his own girlfriend (Imogen Hassall) - actually it was Sonny who killed her -, but they promise to hide him at their place, and while he feels totally estranged by all the rules everybody in the house seems to follow, he soon figures he has no choice but to become a part of the household, especially after an escape attempt almost costs him his life and he sees another of the kids' friends (Hugh Armstrong) killed for running away.

The new friend isn't one to easily give up though, so he deflowers Girly in hopes of getting her support, then seduces both Mumsy and Nanny in order to play them off against one another. Sonny is the first who realizes what's going on, and he suggests to kill the new friend, but getting Girly's support works only all too well, as she instead kills Sonny and later Nanny as well.

Mumsy acts as if nothing has happened, since murder is not specifically against the house rules, and she and Girly ultimately agree on sharing the new friend, who in turn prepares to poison Mumsy and then take his chances with Girly - but little does he know that Mumsy and Girly have already agreed on finding a replacement for him and send the new friend "to the angels", as they put it.


Now this is one weird movie, a movie that (just like the inhabitants of Mumsy's house) creates rules all of its own and doesn't care much about realism and plausibility - and yet, in the context of the movie, everything makes perfect sense (and a terrific cast certainly has something to do with that, too) in an absurd, macabre and dakrly humourous sort of way. Unfortunately, the film is not the masterpiece it could have been, the a bit too ambivalent ending sees to it, and so does the direction of horror veteran Freddie Francis, whose effort is solid in an old-fashioned sort of way but not as imaginative as the story would have deserved. But even as it is, the film is great fun.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD