Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Psychopath, Italian Horror from the UK

Everything about this film exudes Italian horror. A weird and twisted psychopath and some sultry damsels in much distress (not all will survive) are pulled out of the plot lines of these erotic scary tales from Italy. But wait! This one is from England. From 1966, we take a peek at "The Psychopath." Consistent with Italian horror, everyone is a suspect in this film...and every beautiful woman seems doomed to be gutted.
Inspector Holloway
Some weird murders are occurring in England. The corpses are found, usually mangled, and a doll with their likeness nearby. The gruff Inspector Holloway (Patrick Wymark) is on the case. Ah, the victims seem to be connected. They were all members of an allied war crime commission that prosecuted some Nazi named Von Sturm. Von Sturm's estate in Germany was then seized. Uh oh, Von Sturm's wife (Margaret Johnston) and eerie son Mark (John Standing) now live in England and Mrs. Von Sturm collects, and talks to dolls. Members of the commission continue dying and now anyone who may have an idea about the case also assumes room temperature. In a heartbreaking plot device, the sultry Gina (Gina Gianelli), who works at a doll shop, is gutted in an alley, and a doll with her likeness is found nearby.
Oh no! Not Gina!
As Holloway pursues both Von Sturms', he becomes a target of the psycho. Uh oh...could someone else be doing the murders? The lovely Lousie (Judy Huxtable) has a fiance with lots of debt. Louise's dad was on the war crimes commission. Now she may be a target, and her fiance now has a motive as Louise's dad hated him. As we get more insight into Mrs. Von Sturm, she is indeed angry at the commission's findings and buys many doll bodies from the store Gina worked, and is adept at making dolls, which she considers part of her family. Is this too easy?
Louise meets the dolls
This mystery/horror whodunit is a lot of fun, and Patrick Wymark is fantastic as the driven detective. In Italian horror fashion, will the lovely Louise follow Gina's example, and die horribly? Are the Von Sturms' responsible for the carnage, given they have the best motive? The answer to the mystery is secondary to the extreme creepiness of the conclusion which goes way beyond merely identifying the killer. For some alluring horror, catch "The Psychopath," directed by Freddie Francis.

1 comment:

  1. Freddie was David Lynch's DP on the Elephant Man. This sounds weird but cool weird. Not what in the hell are they going on about. Good review, Christopher!