Friday, October 22, 2010

Homicidal (1961)

Notes: 10/22/10
Strange, unusual William Castle chiller. Creepy, kooky characters.
Shocking and bloody first death scene. Effectively shifts tone from kooky to frightening.
Elements of Psycho: title, driving scene after first murder, woman running away from crime, woman has a lot of cash with her, bathroom to wash blood off knife, hotel, staircase, invalid 'mother' figure
Richard Rust – cute in a John Ireland sort of way
Glenn Corbett – adorable
Fright break is rather amusing. 45 seconds of time provided prior to the film's finale for audience members to decide if they will be able to handle it..
Intriguing twist, in some ways. Homosexual/transsexual undertones.
Possibly the first Psycho rip-off/clone. Even the tacked on ending is lifted!

Review: B-
William Castle's psychological chiller is so obviously influenced by last year's Psycho that it's a bit difficult to fairly assess. To its credit, it does have an effectively frightening moment or two, and it has some rather unusual subtext that isn't as evident until the finale plays out. The dialogue and acting are probably the least interesting part of the movie, but the characters themselves have some interesting enough backstories and the staging is amply creepy to make it worth recommending. Not a classic, but certainly worth seeing for it's campy shock value.

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