Monday, October 11, 2010

Psychomania and Crucible Of Terror

Severin Films have again graced us with two strange ones from the vault.
First up is Psychomania (1972) which tells the tale of a motorcycle gang that comes back from the dead to terrorize the living. And once they come back nothing can stop them. A mixture of biker flick, psychedelic, trippy movie and supernatural clap trap all blended well with George Saunders and you have an idea of what is going on here. Throw is some pretty good motorcycle stunts and you have a film that stays in your memory whether you want it to or not.
There is a great documentary Return Of The Living Dead that talks with a lot of the cast and their remembrances of making the film. A completely worthless introduction by Fangoria editor Chris Alexander along with interviews with John Cameron the composer of the film and Singer Harvey Andrews who sings a song in the film. Severin has given us the best print available of the print which is far better than anything I have seen before. Loaded with extras it's time to get Psychomania before it gets you!

Then there is Crucible of Terror. I had never heard of this or it's star Mike Raven before. I knew Ronald LAcey from RAiders Of The Lost Ark and it was nice to see him in something else. I thought that Mike Raven was channeling the spirit of Boris Karloff in the flick. Unless, he just talks like that all the time and then it would just be a fluke.
Crucible of Terror deals with an artist and his obsession with the female form. I thought it interesting that Severin got the print from a Bodmin Moor coven and I did not see the twist ending coming. Who would? The truly disappointing thing would have to be the complete lack of extras for this flick. No trailers, no behind the scenes stuff, no anything. Just the story of how they got the print would have made for an interesting little featurette.
So, Psychomania is a perfect release with just the right amount of extras while Crucible of Terror is a missed opportunity, albeit a good film.


There is just one thing I wanted to mention about Psychomania that might ruin it for everyone who hasn't seen it. At the end of the flick where the mother turns into a frog and the biker gang turns to stone the ending credits are of George Saunders approaching the grief stricken Abby, the only survivor of the flick. I find it maddening that we never hear what he was going to say to her. Anyone else out there with similar feelings? Makes the flick more fun because you can insert what you think is going on, but we will never know for sure. Pity.

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