by Don Sharp
What can I say?
I love it.
If movies about violent zombie biker gangs are your
sort of thing then you might like it too.
There are no special features or hidden extras on this DVD, by the way,
so I will tell you that up front. In fact there isn't even a menu
screen. Once the disc is inserted there are a few intro-screens and
then the movie just plays automatically. But that's okay because it's a
The first scene shows a gang of bikers riding around a stone circle, in
the fog. It is quite an eerie-looking sequence and when the music kicks
in it only adds to the effect. Whoever chose the soundtrack for this
movie chose it well, it's perfect.
The gang are called The Living Dead and their leader is a guy called
Tom Latham (played by Nicky Henson) and The Living Dead don't seem to
have an ounce of respect for anything or anyone. They are extremely
violent and cause mayhem wherever they go, forcing cars off the road,
and riding through pedestrian districts and knocking people over like
skittles. And that's just in the first few minutes of the movie. The
Living Dead are not nice people, and yet, as you view the movie, it is
hard not to like them.
Tom lives in a large house with his mother (played by Beryl Reid). She
is a medium, and from the first moment the camera shows her, sitting at
a table and surrounded by black candles, it is apparent that she is no
stranger to the black arts. The only other person in the house is the
family's mysterious butler, Shadwell.
Tom has an unhealthy obsession with the idea of dying and then
returning from the dead. The fact that neither his mother nor Shadwell
ever seem to get any older, may, or may not, be the reason for this,
but it certainly fuels Tom's interest. Tom is also extremely keen to
learn what secrets are hidden behind the door of a locked room in the
house—the same room his father died inside.
Although Tom's mother is not keen on him entering the room, when
Shadwell provides him with a protective amulet, she grants her son's
Once inside the room, Tom experiences what can best be described as
being some very strange shit, and, unable to get out of the
room, he passes out. In the next scene he is still unconscious and
lying on the sofa. Thinking that he is still out for the count Mrs
Latham and Shadwell discuss the secret of returning from the dead. Only
to hear the words: "Thank you mother." They turn and see a very smug
Tom standing with his arms folded in front of him.
Tom is doing a ton when his bike crashes through the railings of the
bridge and down into the river below. The gang are mortified
and Tom's girlfriend, Abbey, asks for Mrs Latham's
permission to bury him in their own way. With her permission they do
just that. They dig a hole inside the stone circle, known locally as
The Seven Witches, and bury him there, still sitting on his bike.
Before they cover him up with the cold, cruel dirt they sit very
hippy-like, singing songs and making wreaths of flowers.
The scene where Tom rides his bike out of the ground is absolute
class—excellent! He's back, he's as bad as ever and now he's
indestructible too. He manages to cause enough trouble on his own, and
goes on a mini-killing spree, but when he shares his secret with the
gang, the trouble is tenfold—psychotic zombie bikers all revved up and
raring to go.
is one of my all time favorite horror movies. It has a great
soundtrack—although it is a little distorted in places—it's a good
storyline, and a very capable cast. Nicky Henson is perfect in his role
as the leader of the gang and Beryl Reid is an excellent choice as the
mother of the man that would be dead. She seems both maternal and
sinister at the same time (no easy feat). If you decide to
watch the movie keep an eye out for a young Robert Hardy (Siegfried
from All Creatures
Great and Small) playing one of the police detectives.
is a horror movie and it is quite violent at times, but it was made in
the 70s, so it is still pretty tame by modern standards. In fact, now I
come to think of it, I can't remember seeing a single spot of blood
anywhere in the movie. Psychomania
works just fine without it though. You can have horror without blood,
believe it or not, much of the horror element in Psychomania comes
from the dark atmosphere created by the soundtrack, the actor's
portrayal of their roles, and the way the full shebang was
filmed—somebody knew what they were doing and did it well.
Even with all of the violence and horror, Psychomania still
manages to find space for a little humour and some of the scenes are
quite surreal. So violence, horror, and few laughs too, this movie
really does seem to have it all, but I suppose it won't be to
everyone's taste. Me though, I love it. Love it. Love it. But I think I
already said that.
... Tom Latham
... Abby Holman
Miles Greenwood ... Chopped Meat
... Chief Inspector Hesseltine
... Mrs. Latham
George Sanders ...
Andrew Laurence ... Grandfather
... Coroner's Assistant
... Petrol Pump Attendant
... Mr. Pettibone
... Mrs. Pettibone
... Blind Man
... Girl with Parcels
Penny Leatherbarrow ... Woman in Police
& Rental Options~