PSYCHO A GO-GO (1965)
Article 2630 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-17-2008
Posting Date: 10-25-2008
Directed by Al Adamson
Featuring Roy Morton, Tacey Robbins, Nadine Arlyn
When a jewelry robbery misfires, the stolen property ends up in the back of a pick-up truck. When the gang discovers the owner of the truck, they track down the family that owns it and try to find out the location of the jewels from them. One of the gang members, a homicidal maniac, takes it upon himself to find the wife and daughter who have left town for Lake Tahoe.
I’m mostly familiar with this movie from its second revision; several years after this one was made, director Al Adamson edited in new footage and called the result THE MAN WITH THE SYNTHETIC BRAIN, and a few years after that, he added in even more footage and called it BLOOD OF GHASTLY HORROR. The last time I saw the third version of this movie, I entertained myself with trying to figure out which revision footage I was watching at any one moment, and this turned out to be surprisingly easy; not only did each revision feature different actors, but there is a marked difference in the film quality for each version. The oddest thing is that the earlier the footage was, the better it looked; I suspect Adamson used cheaper and cheaper film stock as time went by. By any ordinary standards, this is the best Al Adamson movie I’ve seen so far; it’s got a straightforward, fairly coherent plot, decent acting, and it simply looks more professional. It’s also less sleazy, and, despite the presence of a sadistic homicidal maniac in the story, it doesn’t seem quite as mean-spirited as some of his other movies. Still, I wonder if it’s those very qualities that appeal to his fans, and one could make an argument that DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN is certainly more “fun” than this one, at least partially because it has more of a name cast. Incidentally, much of the fantastic content of BLOOD OF GHASTLY HORROR is from the insert footage; here, the movie is only borderline horror due to the madness of the maniac, and that’s not played especially for horror. It’s recommended for the curious who have seen the later revisions.