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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From the obscure vaults
This is an odd little film from the obscure vaults. Directed by Freddie Francis whose other work includes the prestigious films, Evil of Frankenstein, Torture Garden, Dracula has Risen from the Grave and The Ghoul to name a few. Here, he shoots something quite different and unlike many films which you'll ever see really. I suppose this is closes to Spider Baby in feel,...
Published on 17 May 2010 by Geoff Woodbridge

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not good
I thought this would be a very good old British film,but in fact it was rubbish.Would not recommend it.The story line was just so silly and the acting not up to much either.I sold it once I had seen it !
Published 13 months ago by merlin


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From the obscure vaults, 17 May 2010
By 
Geoff Woodbridge "365horror" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly - Digitally Remastered [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
This is an odd little film from the obscure vaults. Directed by Freddie Francis whose other work includes the prestigious films, Evil of Frankenstein, Torture Garden, Dracula has Risen from the Grave and The Ghoul to name a few. Here, he shoots something quite different and unlike many films which you'll ever see really. I suppose this is closes to Spider Baby in feel, and it's quite a disturbing piece.

The film follows a single parent rich family. A Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly (as the alternative title suggests). Sonny and Girl are teenagers, who spend their days looking for tramps in the park, giving them alcohol in exchange for playing children's games in the park, before inviting them back to the mansion for tea. Brutal murder ensues. They up the stakes and lair a rich bloke to their home which leads to all sorts of dangerous depravity.

I knew I'd like this film before watching it and really hoped it would offer all I was expecting. This is a real gem of British cinema which will disturb as well as entertain any viewer. Vanessa Howard's performance as Girly is impeccable. It's a shame her career never took off. Michael Bryant as the rich new friend is also very good here, a quality British actor.

Groundbreaking in some ways, as we have tramp killing, ala Clockwork Orange, (1971) and breaking through a bedroom door with an axe very similar to Shinning (1980), with Sonny's face popping through the destroyed door. This was 1970!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly, 13 July 2012
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This review is from: Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly - Digitally Remastered [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
The Long Arm [DVD]

This is a profound little work even if, on the face of it, it might appear otherwise. But therein lies the clue--paradox (non est, nisi est); and if anybody should draw a different conclusion I should be interested to hear from them.

"You must have rules" Mumsy reiterates time and again. "For without rules . . ."

In science we have laws; societies have laws; in sport we have rules and so on. These are human constructs; the natural world, in which we have a small part to play, functions regardless of rule or law. Yes, in physics we have the laws of thermodynamics'; in astronomy we have Kepler's laws of planetary motion and, again, these are all human constructs aimed at giving us a better understanding of the functioning of the natural world. But (and there are always "buts") in the natural world number and formula count for nothing.

In society, so the popular aphorism has it, rules are made in order to be broken (paradox). In sport you cannot have games without rules, yet competitors frequently break the rules in order to try to gain the advantage especially where material gain is to be had. There are laws and codes of conduct that are supposed to regulate behaviour in banking and commerce, yet top dogs are found to be continually flouting the rules; and when they are found out and obliged to resign, they generally walk off with a handsome dividend in the back pocket. (The fun from breaking the rules. We wear clothing in order to enjoy the excitement of having it removed in situations where full dress is generally acceptable, and so on.)

So this film's central theme is about the fun accruing from surreptitiously breaking the house rules. (The house in this case being a large mansion set in extensive grounds that are obviously above the country's laws or, perhaps, hosted by a parallel universe?) There are subplots, of course, such as the coupling of sex and violence--in a surreal sense you understand--the swamp of bodily, sexual experimentation, again suggestive rather than graphic.

The characters all achieve a level of bizarre acceptability, in the case of the "children" and "guests" by being dressed some of the time in school uniforms. It is quite "normal" for Sonny (Howard Trevor) clothed as an archer to bump off (sent to the angels) guest from room number five by putting an arrow through his body; it is the same when girly (Vanessa Howard) operates, but we will omit the detail for fear of spoiling the film for you . . . Mumsy played by the pencil-eyed Ursula Howells approaching middle years is a brilliant choice--she conveys a similar but much briefer messenger of death character in an earlier Ealing Studios Classic "The Long Arm". And what happens to Nanny is all part of the human trait of envy: as we implied at the outset, the piece is in some measure a microcosm of human behaviour at its worst smeared with a veneer of respectability.

This is not a film I should wish to view more than twice, I think. This is not to denigrate the achievement but simply to say that its message, in common with many truths, can become difficult to live with; yet live with it we must for, in the words of the author of "The Cicerone": `We are all capable of compassion; we are all capable of committing atrocities. The potential to be a danger to our fellows and to ourselves is always there lurking just beneath the surface (in the subconscious). It all comes down to the question of control, how we discipline our behaviour throughout life. The make or break is a fine divide'.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very black comedy, 9 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly - Digitally Remastered [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
I read a review of this film before i bought it (Halliwell) in which it was called 'revolting' and the 'lowest ebb' for British cinema. So i thought it must be worth a look! A very dark edged comedy, i enjoyed it very much. The violence in the film is somewhat tame by todays standards and even for the time. Hitchcocks black comedy 'Frenzy' of 1972 is a much more disturbing and graphic film.
There is certainly more to the film than at first appears. The victim 'new friend' as cukoo in the nest is well staged as is the subsequent suspicions among the family.
What i found interesting about 'Mummsy..' is it's possible influence on other horror films of the seventies such as 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and recent murderous familly films such as those by Rob Zombie. And i wonder if Kubrick ever saw the axe through the door scene. Very funny (in itself and in retrospect).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers, 30 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly - Digitally Remastered [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
If you like bizarre British horror and thrillers from the 60s and 70s, give this a go. It's one of those rarely seen films that clearlt went on to influence other horror stories.
A bonkers tale of a twisted family.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Crazy., 1 Mar 2014
This review is from: Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly - Digitally Remastered [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
I was really toying with the idea of giving this 3 stars, but decided to give it the extra star because of its sheer bizarreness.
This is a prime example of a film that would never in a million years get the green light these days.
The story centres round a strange family who seem to be suffering from some kind of mental retardation.
Vanessa Howard who plays Girly, and her brother, despite being in their late teens spend their time playing nursery games organised by their mother and nanny.
Now and again the siblings head out to find new recruits from among the male population, bringing them back to their tumbledown mansion to join in the weird games.
Until one day a character played by Michael Bryant arrives who starts to play the family members off against each other..........
This is such a strange production with strange acting and a strange conclusion.
However, I have to say that i was riveted throughout... not knowing how it was all going to develop.
A curio from the 70s but a good one imo.,
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best BHF ever!, 20 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly - Digitally Remastered [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
This is the greatest British horror film ever made. I can't put it any simpler than that.

An absolute must-see for fans of the slightly more quirky and twisted branch of the 70s British horror film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Weird and hilarious, 17 April 2013
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This review is from: Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly - Digitally Remastered [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
I love this film.

No idea why it was panned when released and gets poor reviews in the film guides, as it is a hilarious bit of quirky fun from 1970.

A weird family live in a huge mansion and act like they are living in a strange childish world where tea and cakes are served and childish games are played.
Mumsy and Nanny look after Sonny and Girly, two teenagers who enact the games children would play, but on various strangers and misfits they encounter on their trips to the park.
The games turn nasty when the victims don't play along nicely, and they have to be punished and "Sent to Heaven".
Once a stranger joins them who plays them at their own games, and sets them against each other, a hilarious series of events and murders ensue, as the family bump each other off in a hope to win the strangers sexual affections.

This is all very weird and peculiar, but no other film I've seen has such a setting or style, and has made me laugh so hard in ages.
An acquired taste to be sure, but lovers of the bizarre should find this film a rare treat, and a lot of fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have, 4 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly - Digitally Remastered [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
A must have for all those who revel in delicous black horror humour, it's story-line is novel and entertaining, I saw this years ago when it first came out on the big screen, then it disappeared completely from the face of the earth, as soon as I saw it had reappeared I snapped it up.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not good, 19 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly - Digitally Remastered [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
I thought this would be a very good old British film,but in fact it was rubbish.Would not recommend it.The story line was just so silly and the acting not up to much either.I sold it once I had seen it !
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars CURIO THAT OUSTAYS IT'S WELCOME, 17 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly - Digitally Remastered [DVD] [1970] (DVD)
Wanted to like this Freddie Francis film but afraid the silliness of the game wore me out.As for being the first chopper through the door scene,yep,sonny sticks his head through and says "hello",scary stuff.One for collectors only.Picture is good aswell as the sound.
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