Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Favorites :: Fractured Flickers : Taken for a Spin : Psychomania (1973)
Psychomania (Benmar Productions) is an Ultra-Mod British biker flick that's a whole can of weird that inexplicably got under my skin in a good/bad kind of way. Long and the short of it, the leather-clad leader of The Living Dead finds Peter Noonan's specs and uses them to strike a deal with Satan (in the form of the Hypno-Toad) to become immortal and indestructible -- but if, and only if, he'll die willingly and really really wants to come back. Sounds almost too easy, right? But when this works, a mass suicide follows, except for the leader's girlfriend, who watches helplessly as the reanimated Dead buzzsaws through the local constabulary. Pretty good stunts, a decent set-up, and one spectacular Holy Shit! moment follows that eventually culminates in disaster when the Devil Toad comes for his due.
As for our favorite scene, we head to the morgue, where the local police inspector, still not convinced that the dead Dead are coming back to life and that someone is stealing their corpses, sets a trap with the last surviving member as bait after faking her death. And here, director Don Sharp and cinematographer Ted Moore spin the camera for a 360 degree tour of the room -- with a slight twist around the 330 mark, where our inspector and a couple of constables learn a harsh lesson on the folly of skepticism in horror movies.