Review – Psychomania (1973)
Where to begin ??? I do love a good horror movie. My personal favourites are from the early 70s, which threw up such classics as Tales From The Crypt, The two Dr Phibes films, Theatre Of Blood, Scream And Scream Again and this curiosity, Psychomania. I think i can safely say i have never seen a movie quite like this. I hadn’t seen it before, and went into it with only a vague idea of what to expect. Undead bikers terrorising the local community…..or something like that.
First of all we’re introduced to a biker gang calling themselves The Living Dead. They get together regularly at a secret meeting place called The Seven Witches, a circle of standing stones, similar of Stonehenge, only much smaller. The leader of the gang is Tom Latham, played by Nicky Henson, who i remember best from the Vincent Price movie Witchfinder General. Tom has, what can only be described as an unhealthy obsession with death and dying, thanks to his toad worshipping mother, played by Beryl Reid and her sinister butler played by George Sanders, who make a living conducting weird seances.
After asking his batty Mum about the secret of eternal life, he decides to kill himself, in order to come back from the dead, therefore becoming virtually indestructible. This leads to one of the funniest funeral scenes ever, held at the Seven Witches, where Tom asked to be buried. They dig a hole, which is clearly not deep enough, and plonk Toms bike inside, with him sat astride it. His head kind of sticks above the hole, so you know when the grave is filled in, his head will be sticking out of the top like a cauliflower. You’ve also got one of the gang singing hippy tunes throughout the so called service, which makes for a funny as hell funeral, not to be missed.
To cut a long story short, Tom does come back from the dead, and convinces the rest of the gang to follow him on his undead journey, which leads to them to start killing themselves in all kinds of weird scenario’s.
As you can probably guess, this isn’t a movie which needs much of an attention span. It’s great fun though. I really enjoyed it and will definetely be watching it again in the not too distant future. It’s British 70s horror movie making at it’s finest, and would not look out of place as part of a season of films featuring titles such as, Tales From The Crypt, Asylum, Theatre Of Blood and Vault Of Horror. Don’t take it seriously as the whole thing is played very tongue in cheek by everyone concerned, and it’s a better movie for that. Heaven knows what it would have looked like if they had played it straight. Food for thought…..