Plot: Elizabeth (Nicola Diana) has just arrived at the Sullivan Children’s Home, dumped off at the doorstep like trash. The home’s officials Maurice (Colin Chamberlain) and Jenny (Ginny Rose) don’t seem to agree on much, but they both welcome Elizabeth in, despite her eerie, mute persona. But this might not have been the wisest decision, as soon odd things begin to happen around the home, including horrific nightmares and unexplained accidents. The attention shifts from these problems however, when a former ward of the home and current pop sensation Mick Phillips (Jon Hallanz) turns up to visit his old stomping grounds. He strikes up a quick spark with Jenny, which leads to some nightclub hijinks and meanwhile, Elizabeth seems to be only getting weirder and weirder. But is she just a broken, misunderstood little girl or is she involved in dark, supernatural forces?
Entertainment Value: A strange concoction that feels like a mix of workplace instructional videos, nightclub commercials, and mind shattering horror, Suffer Little Children is quite a unique experience. The first half hour or so feels pretty routine and deals with a lot of mundane exposition, spiked with Elizabeth’s rise to power, while the next half hour ratchets up the craziness with loud, pulsing music, oddball club scenes, and general wackiness. But once the one hour mark passes, Suffer Little Children drops even those fragile links to sanity and goes balls deep into dark, ritualistic madness like few films have ever dared. More insanity is packed into those last fifteen minutes than the human mind should be able to handle, topped off by one of the craziest reveals you will ever witness in cinema. The movie’s slow start is a small price to pay for the offbeat middle section and balls to the wall finale, as few cult movies manage to live up to the hype like this one does. The beyond low rent production values add to the fun, with rampant, fetishistic use of zooms and strobe lights. That this movie was made as a project for a drama school makes things even more bizarre, earning Suffer Little Children a place among the most wild films ever made. If you have even a minor interest in cult cinema, this one is a must own release.
No nakedness. The movie has a sleazy feel and a quasi romance at one point, but no naked flesh to be seen. On the blood front, the finale offers up generous gushes of the red stuff from assorted stab wounds. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a bunch of child actors going off the deep end, wielding blades and slashing anyone who gets in their demented paths. The bloodshed is rather limited outside of the wild finale, but it compensates with some fun bursts of crimson. The zombies in one scene look low rent, but add to the weirdness, so all is forgiven there. The dialogue is either awkward and stilted, ritualistic chants, or forgettable, but over the course of the movie, a lot of fun lines creep in. The finale pounds with devilish chants and demon voiced banter, while the earlier scenes have cringe exchanges between the adult characters, especially Jenny and Mick. As you’d expect, the cast is not all that great, which only amplifies the camp and awkwardness involved. The final fifteen minutes alone would earn a full score on the insanity scale, but the rest of the movie is no slouch. A slow start still yields some strange moments, while the middle feels like an extended ad for a nightclub and drips with cheese. Not much else you could ask here, especially given the soul rending, off the rails finale.
Overall Insanity: 10/10