Psychomania

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Psychomania
Psychomania Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Don Sharp
Produced by Andrew Donally
Written by Arnaud d'Usseau
Julian Zimet
Starring George Sanders
Beryl Reid
Nicky Henson
Mary Larkin
Roy Holder
Robert Hardy
Music by John Cameron
Cinematography Ted Moore
Edited by Richard Best
Release date
1973
Running time
95 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Psychomania (a.k.a. The Death Wheelers[1]) is a 1973 British horror-cult film starring Nicky Henson, Beryl Reid, George Sanders (in his final film) and Robert Hardy.

Plot[edit]

Tom Latham, an amiable psychopath and the leader of a violent teen gang, enjoys riding his motorcycle with his girlfriend and loves his mother. His gang dabble in black magic and call themselves "The Living Dead". In a similar vein, his mother and her sinister butler get their kicks out of holding séances in their home. With her help (and following in his father's footsteps) Tom returns from the dead. One by one, he and his fellow bikers commit suicide with the goal of returning as one of the "undead". One of them fails, but the ones who do return gather together at a secret place called "The Seven Witches" (a circle of standing stones), after which they continue to terrorize the locals.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Psychomania was filmed at Shepperton Studios in 1971[2] with some exterior scenes filmed in the (now demolished and rebuilt) Hepworth Way shopping centre and Wellington Close housing block in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.[3] It was produced by Benmar Productions, which predominately made Spaghetti Westerns in Spain but also produced Horror Express later that same year.[2]

Soundtrack[edit]

The film's soundtrack, composed by John Cameron, was released on LP and CD in 2003 by Trunk Records.[4][5]

Two of Cameron's pieces from the score—"Witch Hunt (Title Theme from the Film Psychomania)" and "Living Dead (Theme from the Film Psychomania)"— were released in 1973 as a 7" single on the Jam label, using the artist name "Frog". This Frog record was reissued in 2011 by Spoke Records as a limited edition vinyl 7".[6]

Reception[edit]

The initial reception was mixed,[2] but over time, the film has come to be more highly regarded.[2] It holds a rating of 80% at Rotten Tomatoes.[7]

Shock Till You Drop called the film "a great one-shot horror movie filled with weird, something eerie atmosphere, crazy stunt work, cheeky performances, mild kink and a unique charm all its own."[8] Variety called it "a low-budget, well-done shocker with a tightly-knit plot and a believable surprise ending".[9] Nerdist called it "very effective thanks to the mixture of heavy action, moody guitar music, and dreamy visuals."[10]

Home media[edit]

Severin Films released a restored print on DVD in 2010.[11]

Arrow Films released a dual-format Blu-ray/DVD edition on 22 February 2017.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. (2015). The Encyclopedia of Film Composers. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 115. ISBN 978-1442245495. 
  2. ^ a b c d Smith, Adrian (2016), "Psychomania", Screem, 1 (32): 14–16 
  3. ^ "Psychomania Locations". Psychomania.bondle.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  4. ^ "Psychomania: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  5. ^ "Psychomania". Trunkrecords.com. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  6. ^ "Spoke Releases: Home Page". Spokerecords.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  7. ^ Psychomania at Rotten Tomatoes
  8. ^ Alexander, Chris (23 February 2017). "Psychomania Blu-ray Review". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "Review: 'Psychomania'". Variety. 31 December 1963. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  10. ^ Anderson, Kyle (23 February 2017). "Schlock & Awe: PSYCHOMANIA". Nerdist. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  11. ^ "PSYCHOMANIA STREETS TODAY, PRESS ROUND-UP PART 1". Severin Films. 26 December 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  12. ^ "NEW US TITLE: Psychomania Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD". Facebook. 11 November 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 

External links[edit]