Archive for the Psychomania (1973) [Creepy Crawler] Category

CRAWLER’S CHAOS: Psychomania (1973)

Posted in Psychomania (1973) [Creepy Crawler] on 13/11/2010 by Dave J. Wilson

I ADMIT TO BEING QUITE BIASED WITH THIS ONE. I’VE LOVED THIS FILM SINCE I WAS A LITTLE KID, WATCHING IT ON THE DEADLY ERNEST HORROR SHOW WAY BACK. IT ISN’T EVERYONE’S IDEA OF SANITY. IN FACT, YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF SMIRKING LIKE LEAD MAN NICKY HENSON, BECAUSE YOU AREN’T SURE WHAT YOU’RE WATCHING. PSYCHOMANIA IS A ONE OFF… LET ME REPEAT – A ONE OFF! THERE IS NO OTHER FILM LIKE IT, AND PERHAPS THERE NEVER WILL BE.

THE FILM OPENS WITH AN EERIE TITLE SEQUENCE, AS WE WATCH BIKERS SLOW MO AROUND A MISTY GRAVEYARD, WHILST THE FIRST CORDS OF WHAT BECOMES AN AMAZING STICK IN YOUR HEAD THEME TUNE, LIGHTS UP YOUR WORLD. IT’S CLASSIC WAH WAH, BUT PERFORMED BY THE MUSICIANS WITH SUCH DEPTH, AS IF THEY BELIEVED THEY WOULD MAKE IT BIG (I DO HAVE THE SOUNDTRACK AND ITS PURE MINT).

DIRECTED WITH STYLE BY DON SHARP, THE BIKER GANG INCREDIBLY NAMED ‘THE LIVING DEAD’, AS IF TO NUDGE US AND SAY “HEY, GUESS WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN”,  HAVE A JOLLY BRITISH COUNTRYSIDE STYLE TIME, RUNNING A GUY OFF THE ROAD AND GENERALLY DASHING AROUND ON WHAT ARE VERY CRAP MOTORBIKES.

THE LEADER OF THE GANG, TOM (HENSON), DISCOVERS FROM HIS MUM (BERYL REID), A FOOLPROOF WAY TO RETURN FROM THE DEAD, SO HE PUTS IT TO THE TEST. AT TOM’S FUNERAL, WE EXPERIENCE A REALLY DIRE FOLK SINGER WHO WILL GIVE YOUR MEMORY NIGHTMARES FOR MONTHS TO COME, STRUMMING WHILST TOM IS BURIED ON HIS BIKE, WITH (CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG) HIS HEAD TOO HIGH FOR THE HOLE. GEORGE SANDERS, WHO PLAYS HIS MUM’S BUTLER/WAITER/WHATEVER, THROWS AN ORNAMENTAL TOAD INTO THE HOLE WITH TOM.

SOON ENOUGH, THE VERY NEXT DAY, TOM BURSTS FORTH RUNNING OVER SOME POOR UGLY GUY IN A SWEATER. HE IS OBVIOUSLY HAPPY THAT HIS FRIENDS LEFT HIM ENOUGH FUEL IN THE BIKE’S TANK. THUS BEGINS THE WHOLE GANG’S TRANSFORMATION INTO THE LIVING DEAD, THROUGH VARIED AMUSING FORMS OF SUICIDE… ALL EXCEPT FOR TOM’S GIRL, WHO’S SO VANILLA SHE TRIES TO O.D ON PILLS, ONLY TO BE RESCUED AND BECOME ALL SCARED OF TOM AND THE GANG, AS THEY KILL THE POLICE AND DESTROY VARIOUS PLACES. IT TAKES BERYL REID AND A JAWDROPPING ACT OF SELF-SACRIFICE, WHICH YOU HAVE TO SEE FOR YOURSELF, OTHERWISE YOU’LL ASK ME ABOUT THE MUSHROOMS IN MY WALLS, TO STOP THE GANG WITH THE HELP OF GEORGE, WHO MAY BE THE DEVIL.

THIS IS A TIME CAPSULE FROM AN ERA OF BRITISH CINEMA, WHICH IS TIMELESS. THE MUSIC, THE STYLE, AND THE IDEAS ARE EXCELLENT, BUT THE BUDGET HAD TO RELY ON IMAGINATION RATHER THAN GRATUOUS EFFECTS… I WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY. FORWARD WIND TO THE MILLENIUM AND ON YOUTUBE, NICKY HENSON IS INTERVIEWED AFTER SEEING THE FILM FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS… “IT’S CRAP.” YES, NICKY, SO IS YOUR RIDICULOUS UNDER THE RADAR BRITISH T.V CAREER SINCE PSYCHOMANIA. DICKHEAD!

out of

©2010 Cinematic Horror Archive, Dave J. Wilson – All work is the property of the credited author(s) and may not be reprinted or reproduced elsewhere without permission.

THE FULL FILM

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