There was a Little Girl / And When She was Bad / Flesh and the Beast / Scared to Death
USA / Italy 1981
Ovidio G. Assonitis, Peter Shepherd
directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis
starring Trish Everly, Michael MacRae, Dennis Robertson, Morgan Hart, Allison Biggers, Edith Ivey, Richard Baker, Don Devendorf, Jerry Fujikawa, Doug Dillingham, Joe Camp, Janie Baker, Huxsie Scott
written by Ovidio G. Assonitis, Stephen Blakely, Roberto Gandus, Peter Shepherd, music by Riz Ortolani
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At the request of her uncle Father James (Dennis Robertson), Julia
(Trish Everly) visits her identical twin sister Mary (Allison Biggers) in
hospital, a woman she hasn't seen in virtually years, basically since Mary terrorized
her as a child. Now though Julia wants to make up with her, but Mary,
horribly disfigured from an accident, promises to come back and terrorize
her some more (even though she's wheelchair-bound).
Soon too, terrible things start to happen, such as one of Julia's
students in a school for the deaf being killed by a wild dog and the like.
Julia immediately links everything to Mary, but her fiancé Sam (Michael
MacRae) at first tries to convince her it's all in her imagination ...
until they find scratchmarks on her door that could have been made by Mary
- and that she has escaped the hospital kind of fits with that hypothesis.
But still, her disability makes it highly unlikely she goes around killing
It's Julia's birthday, but Sam's called out of town for work, so he
leaves her in the caring hands of Father James, who has really been like a
father to her back in the day. And he has prepared a big surprise too -
but it soon becomes apparent that something (or someone) is going to spoil
that surprise ...
only the hospital staff claims Mary has never left the building.
As slashers from the 1980s go, this one's actually pretty cool, it
takes its time to set up its plot, it features carefully set and nicely
executed shocks, it never forgets to build up tension and suspense on the
side, and its finale is suitably macabre, and in its weirdness much more
creepy than all the film's shock and gore scenes put together. Sure, the
film also has its shortcomings, as the plot, while well-constructed, is
also pretty silly, and its resolution, while perfectly following the genre
formula, doesn't really make any sense, logically.
So basically, is the film a masterpiece? No, clearly not - but lots of
genre fun still!