Psychomania (1971)

PSYCHOMANIA (1971)
Article #1774 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-22-2006
Posting Date: 6-21-2006
Directed by Don Sharp
Featuring Nicky Henson, Beryl Reid, George Sanders

A young member of a motorcycle gang discovers the secret of eternal life and invincibility, and kills himself with the intent of rising from the dead. He does so, and convinces his fellow motorcyclists to do likeways. They then go on a rampage.

The opening credits of this movie roll while we see slow motion images of the motorcyclists riding through a grassy area populated with large stones. This sequence is incredibly eerie. The rest of the movie doesn’t live up to it, but that doesn’t make the movie a waste of time. The sheer strangeness of the story makes it somewhat watchable, as do the presence of Beryl Reid and George Sanders (in one of his last movie roles before he committed suicide). For a movie that features a motorcycle gang going on a violent homicidal rampage, it’s surprisingly subdued and bloodless. In fact, much of it is played as comedy, especially the sequences where the motorcycle gang members commit suicide. Somehow, it all has to do with deals with the devil, frogs, and a strange mirror locked in a room in a mansion. There are some clever scenes; in particular, I like the scene where the police set a trap for the cyclists, in which the set-up and final results are told by a roving camera that pans across the room in such a way that you get to see none of the middle action. It doesn’t quite all hold up, but it made for interesting viewing. Doctor Who fans should keep their eyes peeled for John (Sergeant Benton) Levene as a constable.

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