Madhouse Blu-Ray Review | Arrow Video

Starring: Trish Everly, Michael MacRae, Dennis Robertson, Morgan Most, Allison Biggers & Edith Ivey. Directed by: Ovidio G. Assonitis Synopsis: MANY PEOPLE VISIT … NO ONE EVER LEAVES. Helmed by legendary...

Starring: Trish Everly, Michael MacRae, Dennis Robertson, Morgan Most, Allison Biggers & Edith Ivey.
Directed by: Ovidio G. Assonitis



Helmed by legendary producer/director Ovidio Assonitis, the man behind such cult favourites as

The Visitor and Piranha II: The SpawningMadhouse 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”.


Arrow Video continues to impress on the restoration front. Madhouse is encoded from an MPEG-4 AVC source with a 1080p transfer. Arrow Video notes that their restoration of the film is from a new 2K scan from the original film negative. Scenes are very settle and rich in detail while the color saturation of the film is blemished well and is very similar to past horror films, giving us that vintage look from the late 70’s to early 80’s horror films. What was most intriguing about this film’s restoration was the sharpness of the film, which mainly stood out during outdoor scenes. It was almost like watching a film from this era. This film captures black levels very well, which is consistent throughout the entirety of its 92 minute length. Depending on your television, running this on LG’s OLED made this film perfect. Overall the PQ on this film was top notch and Arrow Video continues to impress.


Madhouse has an uncompressed PCM audio, which delivers exceptionally well in most parts of the film. The score and sound effects are what stood out most on this audio restoration, which defies the horror genre of this film and makes this film well presentable. The only issue that I had were the dialogue levels, which were very inconsistent to keep up with the score of this film. I found myself turning up the volume then turning it down when the score was presentable on screen. It wasn’t a big nuisance, which didn’t necessarily effect my experience viewing this film, but it was something worth noting. I would have loved to experience consistency on both levels of audio, but overall Arrow Films did a great job.


-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

Closing thoughts:

Arrow Video has never really disappointed me with their restoration and have always provided excellent supplements. That is one thing in comparison to the Criterion Collection, they both deliver the right amount of goods to satisfy any fan of film. Madhouse was a fun, cult classic to satisfy my viewing pleasure and it was fun to revisit this film in it’s HD goodness. I highly recommend this film if you are a fan, you won’t be disappointed with this restoration at all, top notch as always.

Technical specifications:


Production release: Overseas FilmGroup
Video release: Arrow Video

Number of discs: 2
Region A
Runtime: 92 minutes
Case: Standard clear case
Release date: June 13, 2017

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1, Original 2.35:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p


English SDH


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