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Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly - Odeon Entertainment - DVD Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Thursday, 07 September 2017
Severed Cinema review of Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly on DVD from Odeon Entertainment


AKA: Girly, Girly una nena fatal, Mord nach Art des Hauses, Paihnidia thanatou

Directed by: Freddie Francis
Written by: Brian Comport, Maisie Mosco
Produced by: Ronald Kahn, Peter Thompson
Cinematography by: David Muir
Editing by: Tristam Cones
Music by: Bernard Ebbinghouse
Cast: Michael Bryant, Vanessa Howard, Howard Trevor, Ursula Howells, Michael Ripper, Pat Heywood, Imogen Hassall
Year: 1970
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 42min

Distributor: Odeon Entertainment

I don't know what it is about films where the family involved live so away from what many call normality. Think of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Spiderbaby, House of 1000 Corpses, and the sort. All the members of said families are totally messed up and disassociated from reality, yet it's their normality and they are so loyal to one another. This is where this UK film from 1970 truly becomes a classic. It pushes the envelope for its era (mind you, the UK had produced Corruption (review here) and other such oddities that Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly slotted rather well into the sleaze of the era).

The late Vanessa Howard is the star of this movie. Her bland turns in The Blood Beast Terror as the starry eyed innocent, Meg, and in Corruption, are absolutely forgotten in her role here. Girly of the title is a kind of blueprint for who Sherri Moon would become decades later and I do reckon Sherri and hubby have watched this film. Girly is a wide-eyed child-like maniac who can turn violent without warning. Her favourite pastime, aside from playing children's games, is twisting the limbs off her dolls.

You understand instantly upon entering this one that Girly and her brother, Sonny, are deranged late teens trapped in the mind-sets and worlds of small kids. They play hopscotch, cowboys & Indians, any games to keep them active. What they long for is a new play friend. One who can follow the rules set by Mumsy and Nanny -- two elders who live in a huge country mansion and idle their days away knitting. Rules are very important to the household. If a play friend breaks them, they must be sent to the Angels.

We meet our lovely cherubs out playing. Both in school uniform -- Girly's skirt leaves nothing to the imagination. They wander and sing whilst fooling around the local zoo. Then speak to a lion until interrupted by the keeper played by British small role icon, Michael Ripper. He wants to know why they are in the zoo before its open. After freaking him out with a jack-in-a-box, they run away giggling.

“Bless their little hearts.” says the vacant-eyed smiling, Mumsy. “Their darling little hearts.” adds the equally vacant, Nanny as they both sit knitting. We learn that Nanny is never allowed to beat Mumsy in the speed of knitting because she is simply 'Nanny.' “Mumsy is so proud of her dearest little things.” she grins. “Do you think they'll bring anybody home?”

The two teens check over a couple of tramps asleep on the benches and decide on one. “Wake up, mister! Drinky?” Girly passes him a bottle whilst Sonny films him. “There's plenty more where that came from – if you come with us.” her wide-eyes blink erotically at the bewildered chap. They play on the slide then bury him in the sand pit as they sing and skip.

Back home he sits for dinner and is served jelly, having to wear a school uniform and party hat. “Eat up your jelly like a good boy. Then you can have some tea cake.” says Mumsy. Afterwards they play outside in the garden. Ring around the roses. However, the teens are stunned and hurt when their new pal refuses to fall down at the end. “We're not kids.” he says. “That's not nice.” hisses Girly. Mumsy appears and decides they should all play one last game. Oranges and lemons, which concludes in a real chopper swung at their play friend by Girly.

It doesn't take long for them to round up a brand new friend. First off, they take a drunk couple to the park and arrange for the wife to die. New Friend, as he's called, is lead to believe he pushed her from the top of the slide. They tell him they will keep him safe at home. He has no choice. Back at the mansion, it's leap frog, as he staggers around drunk. Girly bends over and he stares at her legs and ass. “C'mon,” she says, “You're not that drunk.” Then sees his wife's corpse laid out for a joke. They chuckle and giggle at his shock. Later he sees them stuffing her into a trunk and he begins to sober up, his world collapsing. “Sonny and Girly packed their trunk, and somebody joined the angels!” they sing. “You'll be safe with us.” they tell him.

He's made comfy. Girly delights in telling him how she bathed him whilst he was drunk. “You had blood everywhere, all down your chest – and inside your thighs!” He panics. “It was an accident!” Girly laughs. “You pushed her!” He grows anxious. All the while there's a hole in a painting and Mumsy is watching with Nanny. “You need to learn the rules.” says Girly. The next morning the teens explain how important the rules are and how they must all stick to them for their own good. They won't tell him any of them. “You'll find out.”

New Friend's days are spent playing endless playground games, and reeling from cruel pranks such as being locked in the toilet, and finding his wife's corpse in his bed. Unbeknownst to him, all the while there's been another 'friend' in the house -- one who has broken far too many rules and is to be punished. This is when he witnesses first-hand the psychopathic nature of his new family and realises he has to do something.

New Friend begins to get close in a sexual nature to Girly and Mumsy, whilst passing on secrets to Nanny who becomes more enraged. Sonny, as well, is endlessly telling Girly how New Friend must go to the angels for many reasons. Girly confides in Nanny this, telling her lies which New Friend had told her about Mumsy. This freaks Nanny out. Girly finally snaps and her violence explodes.

You have no doubt what era you're in. This flick is so wonderfully sixties Britain, and the cast are fantastic in their roles. There are no weak links at all. Michael Bryant in devious and convincing as he twists the family against each other whilst Vanessa Howard and Howard Trevor (Girly and Sonny) give an unpredictable but totally starry-eyed innocence to their performances. Of course, it's all overseen by Freddie Francis, the legendary director of The Ghoul, The Creeping Flesh, Tales from the Crypt, Dr. Terror's House of Horrors and The Skull. He makes every scene radiate edginess and unpredictability as you never truly know what the characters will do next.

Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly isn't a gorefest, nor is it remarkable in its body count until the halfway mark. It allows you to know the personalities and almost feel sorry for some of them. Girly, in particular, is perhaps the most insane, yet she is confused about her true feelings and her family. Nanny is jealous and angry deep within of Mumsy. As much as she is loyal, she inwardly dislikes her as well.

The music, by the way, is mainly created as jazzy and smooth renditions of childhood classics. This adds to the darkly comical way the film is presented. You cannot help but laugh at the randomness. Such as Sonny poking New Friend with a sword for absolutely no reason, over and over, to the way the family function day to day is a joy.

They really don't make them like this anymore. The symbolism of the term “Cult classic.” Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly is for a certain audience who will get the jokes and dig the atmosphere of the era. By the way, Odeon Entertainment from the UK have made the picture quality good and the sound without cleaning it too much. Extras are bland, but the cover, in my mind, is way ahead of the USA release which is titled, Girly.


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 Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 16:9
 Region: PAL R0
 Audio: Dolby Digital Mono

 - Trailers
 - TV Spot
 - Alternative US title sequemce


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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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