During Halloween season, I always seek out the best of the new – and the neglected – horror films that are available on blu-ray..and when I find a picture like this:
I am curious, naturally – I mean, he seems to be having a bad day in the sandbox….now add this great movie poster:
And you know what? I’m hooked! And you will be too when you uncover the wacky antics of this campy cult horror class known as “Girly!” I mean, you have to celebrate a neglected horror movie that had the audacity to originally be called:
“MUMSY, SONNY, NANNY AND GIRLY!”
Yes, “Girly!” is obscure cinema of the highest order – and time to also acknowledge and appreciate British sex kitten Vanessa Howard!
Vanessa Howard starred in a number of acclaimed horror films in the early 70’s, but never achieved mainstream success…here is a look at her career…
First up: the wacky film “Girly”, that Variety described as:
“A macabre combo of Disney and Hammer films!”
Adolescent brother and sister Girly and Sonny live in a decaying countryside mansion run by their Mumsy and their maid-attired Nanny – hence the original wacky title!
“MUMSY, SONNY, NANNY AND GIRLY!”
Yes, there they are – quite a foursome, and what a title! No wonder they shortened it to just “Girly!” That said, it gives absolutely NO idea of what lies ahead for the viewer!
Here’s the plot: Girly and Sonny bring playmates home to indulge in bizarre, child-like games at the insistence of Mumsy and Nanny. You can only imagine what happens to them once the kids grow tired of their new playthings!
Yes, they use many of their childhood toys, like the sandbox, to “finish their business” with their new friends…as you can see, “Girly” is a lot of fun to be around, but a deadly friend to have!
But things change when one new friend plays along with the oddball quartet, using sexual tension to ultimately turn the family unit against each other!
This is quite the oddball film: directed by acclaimed Cinematographer Freddie Francis, and certainly “of its time” – but that is what gives it a quirky charm, and Vanessa Howard does a great job of holding your attention!
“Girly” is virtually unknown in movie circles, so it’s nice to see the film given another chance on home video…it’s a strange little movie, quirky and odd and only slightly horrific, regardless of what the poster implies…but it is a good poster for a horror film, isn’t it?
Here’s what “DVD Drive-In” said in their review: “The violence and the sex is smartly implied rather than displayed graphically, with several of the murder scenes remaining disturbing and a memorable, and a sequence where Girly is deflowered is convincingly played out off screen. Although it was unintentional, a bit where Sonny (dressed in Indian face paint and attire) shoots his victim with an arrow, and films the events on a movie camera, is very reminiscent of Michael Powell’s PEEPING TOM (a film Francis apparently wasn’t too fond of).”
See the entire review here:
DVD Drive-In is a great website full of reviews and news! I also found some great material on the film from “Videoscope” magazine, one of my favorites!
Any magazine that puts “Girly” on the cover is a winner!
British Sex Kitten Vanessa Howard!
“Girly” star Vanessa Howard made a brief mark in British cinema, then disappeared from the public eye!
Here’s how DVD Drive-In describes British Actress Vanessa Howard:
“A charming little starlet with a youthful, sexy look, Vanessa Howard was a perfect fixture in British films of the period. Prancing around in short skirts and easily seducing any man who lays eyes on her, Howard pretty much carries the film and her adorable doll-eyed blonde image was the centerpiece of Cinerama’s advertising campaign for its U.S. release.
Howard made appearances in the Peter Cushing vehicles THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR and CORRUPTION in the late 1960s, and later starred in the rarely screened Amicus thriller WHAT BECAME OF JACK AND JILL?
The article finishes by stating that the Actress died in 2010 at the age of 62…it is sad that her career never continued, and that she died so young…but thanks to a couple of great home video companies, her movies live on…
Vanessa Howard starred in a number of great, neglected British horror films like “Corruption”…look at this lurid poster for the film – which was just recently released on blu-ray for a whole new generation to enjoy…it’s a really good thriller that evokes a different time for sure!
I always read “DVD Drive-In” as well as “Mondo Digital” to find some of the best movies being saved from obscurity, and The Phantom of the Movies’ Videoscope is a great magazine for this as well…
Searching For Vanessa Howard!
One website was so smitten with the Actress that they posted a story about their attempt to find her, which is where I found this picture:
The post was on this blogsite, which looks at a lot of classic camp movies and pop culture personalities….
So check out the campy horror of “Girly” and keep the spirit of Vanessa Howard alive!
Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Books / Media, British Cinema, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Great Films, Grindhouse, Halloween, Hollywood, Horror films, Independent Cinema, London, Movies, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Sexploitation Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized