Film Review: Psychomania

Posted: June 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

1973

directed by Don Sharp

Saturday, Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective launched so I didn’t have any time to do a film review. I am remedying this with something unique.  George Sanders. Satanic bikers.  A match made in Heaven…or HELL! MWA HA HA HA!  Sorry. That was as unprofessional as linking to my new book for no good reason at all. Anyway, Psychomania seems like grindhouse gold. But is it?  This  psychedelic candycoated film is the story of a gang of motorcycle hooligans called The Living Dead  and their otherworldly dedication to hassling squares. Last month, I saw the very disappointing Satan’s Sadists, a biker movie with a promising title but with very little good quality square hassling. I opted not to review this on account of this. The film begins with the leader of this gang taking a toad from a graveyard and bringing it to the creepy Mr. Shadwell (Sanders) asking him questions about the mysterious death of his father and about the secret of living death. Sanders is a master of smugness, a paragon of smarmy who knows more than you do regardless of who you are.

Shadwell and Tom’s  mother give him the key to a mysterious room that he is by all accounts not ready to enter. Because he’s George Sanders and he wants to start trouble.  Like he did for Dorian Gray. In this secret room, he discovers a door though which he can see his mother engaging in occult rituals and signing a dark contract with Shadwell. He freaks out. At this point watching the film, one might wonder how he’s going to go about hassling squares if he has such a weak constitution.

But the bikers  do go into town with a pretty good hassling montage, which in my opinion is the key to a good biker movie. Carts, carriages and vendors are given the business. Fun stuff. The gang leader then jumps his bike into the Thames and dies.. The gang buries him at standing stones that may or may not be petrified witches. And they sing a horrible song that is pretty square. Shadwell shows up and buries a magical talisman bearing the symbol of the frog found at the beginning of the film, which is his personal signet. Some sucker ventures near the grave and suddenly…zombie biker! With zombie super strength for hassling squares! It’s a shame that he looks exactly like he did in life. He calls Shadwell on the phone and receives his hearty congratulations. It’s very silly.

He returns to the gang bringing them the gospel of suicide and revenantdom. And they go along with it. Why? Because they’re ridiculous. One of them has his name in pink on his leather jacket. And that name is Betram. The bikers return and they, like Tom are no different. Not zombified at all. Psychomania is bright, pretty, campy and disappointing with almost entertaining over-the-top acting. The gang turns out to be more whimsical than it is frightening.

If anybody can recommend a good, smutty biker film please let me know. Werewolves on Wheels and Satan’s Sadists broke my heart and Psychomania trampled on the pieces.

4.5/10 solely because of George Sanders

Comments
  1. Lee Widener says:

    Here is the film you seek:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067559/

    Peacekillers! Bikers, hippies, drugs, nudity, violence, horrible acting, cool soundtrack…

    Seriously, this film is so wack you won’t believe it. They drag a girl behind their bikes through the woods so they can take her somewhere to rape her and then have a drunken orgy fueled by COORS! Talk about awesome product placement! There’s a rival gang led by a black woman named Black Widow. It’s crazy campy violent, morally quationable fun the way only the 60s could serve up.

    Check it out.

    And congrats on Jimmy Plush… I can’t wait to order it as soon as I have the cash.

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