In the 1970’s British cinema was taking things to another level, with the Hammer films being the most iconic and copied to this day. In 1973 Director Don Sharp made Psychomania, although not a Hammer film, this film has gone onto become a well-regarded cult classic. It even holds an 80% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which for what this is, is actually quiet astounding.
Psychomania is the story of Tom, a young man who leads a biker gang called The Living Dead. Kind of a punk rock type gang. They terrorize the town, sort of and they worship frogs, and they really like to have sex in graveyards. Turns out Toms dad was in a frog worshiping cult and he learned how to come back from the dead. Tom, having grown tired of his biker gang lifestyle wants to try something bigger. His mom, and her rather odd butler perform séances for the local free of charge. She’s a devil worshipper of some sort who explains the secret of rising from the dead during a wacked out mirror scene complete with a graveyard, and of course frogs.
Tom hops on his bike drives off a bridge, and right after being buried by his gang, on his bike of course, he rises up from the dead and kills a couple people. He is very lucky that his gang buried him instead of his family, as they had him propped up on his bike instead of in a coffin making it that much easier to drive back to life. One by one he convinces his gang to commit suicide and come back to life, basically invincible. Only problem his is girlfriend sort of like the idea of being alive.
I don’t know what to really say about this film. It’s considered a horror classic, but I’ve never figured out why. There is very little horror in the film. It’s not really a biker film either, its more so just weird. Really weird. Trust me, this review does not do the weirdness justice. From the bizarre scenes with his mom, to some laughable overacting. To the fact frogs can reanimate the dead, but only if you believe that before you kill yourself. Watching this play out is definitely entertaining. It was so far out and ahead of its time with the exception of some of the dialogue the film does not feel dated at all.
Arrow Video has picked this one up and has given it a beautiful Blu-ray to say the lease. The colors are crisp, and the soundtrack, which I’ve always enjoyed sounds great. Plus they packed it with special features.
· 2K restoration from preservation negatives
· High Definition (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
· Original 1.0 mono audio (uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
· Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
· Brand-new interview with star Nicky Henson
· Return of the Living Dead, an archive featurette containing interviews actors Henson, Mary Larkin, Denis Gilmore, Roy Holder and Rocky Taylor
· Sound of Psychomania, an archive interview with composer John Cameron
· Riding Free, an archive interview with Riding Free singer Harvey Andrews
· Hell for Leather, a brand-new featurette on the company who supplied the film s costumes
· Remastering Psychomania, a look at the film s restoration from the original 35mm black and white separation masters
· Theatrical trailer
· Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet containing writing by Vic Pratt, William Fowler and Andrew Roberts