Psychomania is Back From the Grave

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 9, 2017 07:18pm | Post a Comment


By Brett Stillo

Get on your bikes and ride! That devilish blackguard Tom Latham and his gang of shaggy-haired, cycle-Psychomaniacrazy delinquents, the Death Wheelers, have come back from the grave—AGAIN—in a deluxe Blu-ray/DVD release of the 1973 horror favorite, PSYCHOMANIA!

Psychomania is an Aleister Crowley-on-Wheels, black-magic-meets-black-leather tale of witchcraft, reincarnation, myth, and motorcycles. The aforementioned Tom ('70’s favorite Nicky Henson, displaying brutish charm and swagger) and his motorcycle gang, The Living Dead, tear up the English countryside while his spiritualist mother (Beryl Reid) and her sinister butler (the elegantly satanic George Saunders in his final screen appearance) conduct weird séances at the family manor. What more could a saucy lad like Tom ask for, except maybe immortality by way of a suicide pact with the Dark One in the guise of a frog?

From there, Psychomania opens the throttle as Tom convinces his gang of baby-faced Bikers (who look like members of Badfinger) to kill themselves so they too can return to this world as indestructible, undead hooligans. The horror shifts to action as Tom and his gang roar down country roads and Psychomania Nicky Hensonancient, fog-shrouded cemeteries on their classic British racing bikes, terrorizing the local villagers.

This is a hip, horror-comedy that isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself. The film has also become a bit of time capsule, capturing the restless energy of anti-establishment English youth in the early-1970s punctuated by composer John Cameron’s moody fuzz and wah-wah-drenched soundtrack that accompanies Tom and his mates as their bikes tear through the fog.

Psychomania was a staple of late night cable TV horror shows of the '70s and '80s, but it seemed to fall under its own curse from the Frog-Demon of home video marketing. A score of underwhelming VHS and DVD releases of varying poor quality stained the cinematic legacy of Pyschomania for several decades. That is, until earlier this year, with Arrow Video’s comprehensive release of this quirky horror gem restored to a crisp, pristine state.

Psychomania will always have one foot in the grave and the other in the 1970s, but now you can truly enjoy it today as the darkly sweet treat it is, like black leather licorice.


Psychomania, Geoge Saunders

Relevant Tags

Psychomania (1), Cult Films (25), Horror (218), Don Sharp (1), Brett Stillo (13), Witchcraft (10), Occult (20), Occultsploitation (1), Nicky Henson (1), Beryl Reid (1), Bikers (1), George Saunders (1), John Cameron (1), Biker Gangs (1), Motorcycles (4), England (23), 1970s (45), Blu-ray (32), Soundtracks (39)