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Psychomania -- For Some Reason I Just Like This Movie
I generally feel I have good taste in movies, but most people think this is a really bad movie. I’ve seen people posting online that the actors must be ashamed to list it in their credits. Some have even suggested George Sanders killed himself because he played in this movie. I still like it.
One of the things I like is the movie theme song. It has a good beat and it goes perfectly with the movie. It never hurts to have a good movie theme song. Listening to it gives you a bit of a sinister feel as you see these motorcyclists driving in a misty meadow with helmets that have been painted to resemble skulls.
It also has a couple of dream sequences that give you something to chew on as you try and figure out the meaning of them. Take the mirror sequence that starts with a frog that the audience doesn’t know until the end of the movie is Mrs. Latham. Then it tells the chronological history to Tom of himself in reverse order until he sees what looks like his mother signing a contract that basically is selling him to the devil aka Shadwell.
There’s also a bit of a love story between Tom and Abby. His love for Abby is really Tom’s only redeeming quality. Otherwise he really is the devil’s spawn. He’s the leader of a motorcycle gang called The Living Dead and he wants to make that name a reality. He and his gang like to hog both lanes of the highway and call it blowing someone’s mind by getting them to run off the road and go flying through their windshield. They also like to terrorize shoppers and even get their jollies running over baby carriages with babies in them. Yeah, they’re not nice people.
I guess you could consider Tom and Abby a very warped version of Romeo and Juliet. Only Romeo wants them to kill themselves so they can come back from the dead and live forever. He offs himself first and it looks like Abby will join him, but when she takes an overdose of pills and her life is saved, she realizes she doesn’t want to die. Instead, she decides to dump Tom. He doesn’t take it well. He hands her a gun and tells her she has three minutes to kill herself and be with him, forever, or he’ll kill her, himself, because he won’t let her go. She decides to empty the gun into him, but since he died and came back, you can’t kill him.
When Abby tries to kill herself she has a bizarre dream. Tom rejects her and Shadwell brings her back from the dead and is trying to slice open her stomach. It made me wonder if she could be pregnant with Tom’s child. Shadwell seemed to take a little bit less than healthy interest in her. After Shadwell and Mrs. Latham turn all the bikers that killed themselves to become immortal into stone at the Seven Witches, which reminds me of Stonehenge, Shadwell seems to come there to approach Abby. It makes me wonder if he plans for Abby to take Mrs. Latham’s place now she’s gone.
One thing that never occurred to me while watching the movie, until I read someone’s theory on the movie online, is that even though Tom and his gang get encased into stone, they’re all alive under that stone. Since they’ll live forever, they’ll be trapped inside the stone alive for all eternity. But that was why Mrs. Latham broke her deal with Shadwell and agreed to be turned into a frog for all eternity. Despite the fact she made some kind of deal with Shadwell that involved her son to live forever, when he started terrorizing and murdering people, she realized she had to stop him. Encasing him and his gang in stone accomplishes just that.
I also think the whole concept that to live forever you have to kill yourself and believe you’ll come back very interesting. Generally, people kill themselves so they can end their lives. It’s a very interesting twist.
Anyway, I never grow tired watching this movie. I know a lot of people think it’s a piece of crap, but I like it. It has an interesting twist in that these people were already evil before they died and came back from the dead. Coming back just made them more so because they had the knowledge no one could do anything to them because they would never die. They also seemed to have superhuman strength when they came back, too.
I’m sure bikers wouldn’t find this movie amusing as the bikers in the movie embody every worst stereotype about bikers. They’re road hogs who feel they own the road. They’re thugs that will victimize and target you.
While George Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead is considered a classic, I can only watch that around Halloween, while I can watch Psychomania anytime and enjoy it. I think because the ending is better. In Night Of The Living Dead the man who survived all the attacks of the flesh-eating zombies gets shot by a bunch of rednecks. You watch this man fight to survive and in the end there’s no pay-off. In Psychomania the biker gang gets turned to stone before they can kill Abby because she didn’t become one of them and refused to do it. There’s also a big question mark of what Shadwell wants when he arrives in his creepy black cape and devil’s outfit as he walks towards Abby.
I guess in the end taste is subjective. We all have different tastes. While a lot of people turn their nose up at this movie, it’s one of my favorites. I think I’ll go watch it, again.