DVD Review: Psychomania

psychomania-1973This one’s for Mr. Bruno, who asked how this 1973 British “horror” flick was. Here’s your answer in the form of an opinion, sir. While it’s got a cult following, is fun as hell to watch, has some striking imagery, Psychomania (aka The Death Wheelers) is very much a “meh” genre flick overall that hasn’t aged well and isn’t even remotely scary. It has some fine ideas and even a solid John Cameron score holding things together. But a lack of “edginess” or even a true sense of danger doom it as a “serious” scare flick.

That said, it’s got that cult following that adores it for a few key reasons such as a brilliant opening sequence, those GREAT skull painted motorcycle helmets worn by The Living Dead cycle gang, a killer shot of a formerly deceased biker bursting from the grave on the bike he was buried on, and a bunch of hilarious demises as most of the gang kills themselves in order to return as immortal bikers… from helllllll!

(Thanks, BFI!)

The plot goes like so: Death-obsessed cycle gang leader Tom Latham (Nicky Henson) discovers he can die via suicide and come back as an un-killable death-obsessed cycle gang leader with the aid of his frog-cult worshiping mum (Beryl Reid). Once risen, he lets his gang, The Living Dead in on his secret and they follow suit, save for his girlfriend Abby (Mary Larkin) who doesn’t want to join the ranks of the undead. There’s a bunch of bloodless murders and pre-Mad Max road crimes and chases, a lot of talking and a very weird finale that may baffle you if you weren’t paying attention to the kooky story and just wanted a more brainless flick to chill out to.

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2001: A Space Odyssey Gets a New Trailer. Time Travel Seems To Work After All!


 
Well, if you’re a very lucky resident of the UK with an interest in the classics, you get to see Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece as it NEEDS to be seen – in a nice theater with a huge screen for a short run starting November 28. This trailer is quite nice even though it sort of gives away a lot of stuff to people who’ve seen this one many times. On the other hand, it’s also mysterious and unsettling in a “What the heck is this film about?” manner that may pull in a few younger viewers yet to experience this ultimate trip. Fat chance of this coming out here, as I have no idea who would go see this other than people like me who don’t mind hoofing it out to a theater just to see something already viewed multiple times (to the point of knowing certain lines of dialog and timing almost perfectly. “Ham, ham, ham, ham…”) Eh, given that I’d have to travel far to see this anyway (we’re down to two faraway theaters of questionable quality in this borough, boooo!), in a goofball way, it’s almost worth the airfare to London. But that’s not going to happen, ladies and gents…