Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny, & Girly (1970)
Starring Ursula Howells, Pat Heywood, Howard Trevor, Vanessa Howard, and Michael Bryant
Directed by Freddie Francis
***Currently streaming on Netflix***
I came across the trailer for this on some movie website and thought that it looked like one of those ridiculously silly B-movies that might be fun to watch. See for yourself in the trailer below:
The tone of the movie is pretty much pegged in the trailer. It's not so much a horror film, as it is a black comedy. And while I wasn't laughing out loud, I certainly appreciated its absurd humor. [Oops...this is British...so I guess I appreciated its "humour."]
The flick focuses on the four characters in the title who lure unsuspecting drunkards to their austere British mansion only to force them to play silly games that ultimately bring about their deaths. However, when one of these playmates proves to be sexually appealing to all three of the ladies in the house, their libidos get the better of them causing the possible destruction of their murderous ways.
Like I said, the film's absurd, but oddly intriguing. Of course, there's the ridiculous huge plot hole of the fact that there's not a single thing keeping these drunkards from leaving this insane family's house -- they all stick around for no apparent reason until it's too late -- but there are moments where you can kind of overlook this.
Shockingly, there are some decent performances here. All four of the title characters along with the man known simply as "New Friend" who causes the chaos amongst the ladies are much better than the material needs them to be. Yes, they're all acting as if they're hopped up on happy pills, but they all elevate the film beyond your standard low-rent fare.
Director Freddie Francis has undeniably crafted a B-movie. However, it's evident that he cared about the silly material. Everything from set design to the musical score to the acting is much better than what you may expect. There's even a clever moment here that, without a doubt, Stanley Kubrick blatantly copied for The Shining. Francis definitely could've gone the slasher route, but there's nearly no blood on display here nor any violence...but the film doesn't lose anything without the vicious crimes being on display. In fact, the lack of the violence adds to the odd child-like quality that is on display throughout the film.
This film isn't necessarily good, and it's not "so bad, it's good," but I spent an enjoyable 100 minutes with it.
The RyMickey Rating: C+