Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly (1970)

Plot Overview

Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly live in a large house in the countryside where they bring back strangers to play ‘The Game’ – a strict role playing game with rule number one being ‘play the game’; failure to do so means being sent to the angels. One day Sonny & Girly bring home ‘New Friend’ after murdering his companion, and he decides to play the family against itself in order to escape.

Review

This was one bizarre film. The members of the ‘family’ are all clearly insane, yet happily insane. They rejoice in the torture of their ‘Friends’ and when ‘sending them to the angels’, they record the killings to watch and enjoy later. Most of their torture is psychological rather than physical; for instance, the body of New Friend’s companion is repeatedly shown to him. After being tormented for a while, he attempts to escape, but the family decides to give him a second chance. He proves to be more cunning than their previous friends, as he begins to play along and twist the rules and exposing the unspoken tensions between the family members.

Whilst all of the actors in the film suit their roles and do a great job, Michael Bryant’s performance as New Friend and Vanessa Howard’s performance as Girly stand out. Girly’s a character that could’ve easily gone wrong and ruined the entire film, but Howard manages to effectively switch between innocence, naughtiness, craziness and self-assurance with ease and believability. Her chemistry with Bryant is another highlight of the film, creating some great sexual tension throughout. Despite Bryant’s age difference, it never seems creepy or weird and feels totally natural.

Summary

Despite the strong sexual and violent overtones, it’s not a very graphic film which works in its favour because I could see a remake being chock full of needless gore and nudity. It is a weird, but very entertaining experience. Sadly under seen, this is well worth a watch.

Rating: 8/10

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