Psychomania – Movie Review
This month Born To Ride reviews the 1971 film “Psychomania.” If you like old British horror films, then this one’s for you. Maybe I should have said horrible old British films. Either way, Psychomania has a lot to like or dislike, depending on your level of intoxication.
The film centers around the life of “Tom” who is the leader of a ‘motorcycle gang’ called the Living Dead. Tom and his ‘gang’ ride authentic period Triumph motorcycles, and meet in a field with several large vertical stones which somewhat resemble Stonehenge.
When they gather there, they often discuss what they will do in the particular day, but there is always talk of committing suicide, so they can live forever. Where could they get such an unsavory idea? From Tom’s occultist Mum of course! In a dream like sequence, Tom has the pleasure of seeing his lovely Mum sign a deal with the Devil to have eternal life. His soul is assumed to be part of the deal, as there is a tot in a basket screaming as Mum signs the deal. All this weirdness is further accelerated by a frog. I dunno? It’s just strange. We’ll get to the Frog—plus stones thing later.
On one particular day, Tom and his gang decide to ride through town and wreak havoc on the locals. They ride through a mall square like setting, tipping over shopping carts, baby carriages, and other things until the Bobbies arrive. A chase ensues and most of the members escape the long arm of the law. Tom hell-bent on killing himself rides his motorcycle through a guardrail and into the river. In a strange ritual, Tom is buried sitting upright on his motorcycle near the stones. His gang makes wreaths of flowers and other artifacts, which are buried with him as a guy plays the guitar and sings. Mum’s weird butler buries a frog necklace with him and all the other stuff. Later, a motorist breaks down near the stones, and has the horror of seeing Tom ride his motorcycle out of the grave. He of course is struck by the speeding Triumph and assumed dead. Tom then proceeds to call home from a local public house, and speaks to the butler and his Mum. Later he kills several people from the pub, and escapes into the night. The next day he arrives at the stones where the gang is trying to figure out who stole Tom’s body, and motorcycle. Thinking Tom is the thief, the gang begins questioning him and one of the members sneaks up to stab him in the back. This is where they realize that Tom had really come back from the dead. Seeing how cool it is to be immortal, the rest of the gang sets out to be just like Tom and each one kills him or herself in increasingly more bizarre ways. All succeed but Tom’s girlfriend, who after a failed attempt, really wants to live a normal life.
In the end Tom gives her the ultimatum to join him in the ‘living dead.’ While she is deciding what to do with the gun he has handed her, his lovely Mum performs a ritual which turns her into a frog, and the rest of the ‘dead gang’ into stones while she shoots Tom. Sound confusing? Yeah, it does to me too! I guess the moral of the story is: Don’t feel too froggy, cause you might get stoned.
The Phantom Movie Review