Director: Tom Ropelewski
Starring: John Larroquette, Kristie Alley, Alison La Placa, John Diehl & Jessica Lundy
Released by: Olive Films
Reviewed by Mike Kenny
Marking the directorial debut of Tom Ropelewski (Look Who’s Talking Now), Madhouse centers on new homeowners Mark (John Larroquette, Night Court) and Jessie (Kristie Alley, Cheers) Bannister as they enjoy the fruits of their luxurious California residence. When a series of events lead to a multitude of houseguests invading their home, the Bannisters are pushed to their limits accommodating the increasingly obnoxious visitors. Similar to other humble abodes gone to hell pictures including Funny Farm and The Money Pit, Madhouse is a hilarious romp that finds the perfect couple’s home life turned upside by a siege of visiting family members, neighbors and a destructive cat with endless lives. Larroquette and Alley are excellently matched with their comedic timing complimenting one another while, the supporting players of Jessica Lundy (Caddyshack II) as Mark’s talkative and supposedly pregnant relative Bernice offer much of the film’s laughs. Confronted with increasingly bad luck and more unwanted visitors, other hysterical highlights include, Mark and his desperately broke cousin Fred (John Diehl, Jurassic Park III) engaging in a dance-off, a preteen neighbor mowing a vulgarity into the Bannisters lawn and an explosive finale involving a drug bust at the crumbling home and a baby elephant. Largely forgotten but nonetheless entertaining, Madhouse is an enjoyable examination of likable yuppies pushed to their wits with Larroquette and Alley delivering the comedy goods.
Olive Films presents Madhouse with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. From its colorfully animated opening titles to its respectably filmic appearance, image quality is strong with skin tones looking warm and natural. Although softness is occasionally spotted, the virtually speckle-free transfer and well detailed array of colors and settings offer a pleasing high-definition experience. Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, dialogue is nicely handled with music choices and several explosions giving reasonable boosts to its rather tame soundscape. Although not wholly dynamic, the mix gets the job done. Serving as the disc’s sole special feature, the film’s Theatrical Trailer (1:47) is also included.