By Tim Murr
Psychomania has been on my list to watch for a long time, though I never knew anything about it outside of the trailer. It features troublemakers that return from the grave to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting English town; there are motorcycles, action, cool costumes, witchy undertakings, shades of A Clockwork Orange and The Wild One, a badass 1970s soundtrack. That’s what the trailer for promises. The film itself breaks most of these promises and is instead a dry, absurdly comic B-movie, that’s too slow and doesn’t play up any of its strengths.
Son of a Satanist Tom (Nicky Henson) leads the motorcycle gang and persuades his mother (Beryl Reid) and their butler (George Sanders) to teach him the secret of returning from the dead. They do; it works and he teaches the technique to his gang. They do it, come back, wackiness ensues.
I don’t want to be hard on this movie, as it does have some good things going for it, like the stunts and the fact that there are some genuinely funny parts. It’s just so disappointing that the trailer and the posters wound up being the best part of it overall. I mean, even the new cover art by the Twins Of Evil is misleading. It’s a great cover, as most Arrow releases are, but it deserves to be on a better release. In fact, this is the first Arrow release I haven’t enjoyed (granted I haven’t seen all of them).
If Psychomania had been edited down to a short and included in an anthology like the original Tales From The Crypt, then it would be a much more enjoyable experience. I know the film has its fans and there are people who will buy it because it’s an Arrow Video release, but for the uninitiated, I recommend you proceed with caution before you pull the trigger. It’s currently streaming on Shudder, so you could preview it before buying, which I highly recommend, considering the $30 price tag.
The set comes with a collector’s booklet and a good documentary called “Return Of The Living Dead” from the 2010 Severin Films release. The new interview with Nicky Henson, though, is a bit redundant as he tells me of the same stories in the same way in both features.
Psychomania will be out on February 21 from Arrow Video.