Psychomania (1973)

“Let’s cross over … to the other side.” If you’re in the mood for some mindless and occasionally tasteless filmic fun, don’t miss this campy British horror flick (AKA The Death Wheelers) often referred to as “the greatest British zombie biker movie ever made.” The sociopathic “Tom Latham” (Nicky Henson), who is obviously modeled on “Alex” from A Clockwork Orange, leads a biker gang of total degenerates called “The Living Dead” who sport nicknames such as “Hatchet,” “Chopped Meat,” “Gash” and “Hinky.” These idiots spend a lot of time just weaving their motorcycles around this ancient Stonehenge-like monument known as “The Seven Witches.” Meanwhile, Tom’s eccentric mother (Beryl Reid) and her creepy butler sidekick “Shadwell” (George Sanders) hang out at her country estate and dabble in the occult. Through their influence, Tom gets the idea to commit suicide so he can return from the dead (it has something to do with willpower as well as a pagan frog symbol!). After he successfully rides his motorcycle out of his grave and plows over an innocent bystander, Tom convinces the other gang members to off themselves in a variety of creative (and comical) ways. The only remaining holdout is Tom’s girlfriend “Abby” (Mary Larkin) – leading to an epic showdown at The Seven Witches. Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds! Directed by Don Sharp (The Kiss of the Vampire), Psychomania also features an eclectic soundtrack by John Cameron. Look for Ann Michelle, who had previously starred in Virgin Witch (1972), as beautiful gang member “Jane.” Psychomania was the last feature film of Sanders, whose illustrious filmography includes Rebecca (1940), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), All About Eve (1950) and The Jungle Book (1967, voice of “Shere Khan”), among many others. An ailing Sanders committed suicide in 1972, leaving behind the following note: “Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck.”

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