Psychomania (1973) (1973)
March 21, 2022 8:24 AM - Subscribe

An amiable, psychopathic leader of a violent teen motorbike gang is spurred by his mother, a Satan-worshiping spiritual medium, into committing suicide and returning to life as an "undead" [CW: Suicide]

AKA The Death Wheelers. IMDB. Wikipedia. Currently streaming on Shudder.
posted by rodlymight (8 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is a pretty good bad movie. Somewhere at the crossroads of biker exploitation and occult horror, with a whiff of hippie moral panic.

The delinquent bikers are stealing shopping carts one minute, and then “blowing minds” the next, by which they mean running a car off the road seriously injuring or killing its driver (bikers in movies are always doing this, but I can’t imagine it would work to well irl) and that’s before they become zombies.

I do kind of want one of those helmets but they look dangerously impractical.
posted by rodlymight at 8:58 AM on March 21, 2022 [4 favorites]

Recommend adding the "folkhorror" tag since this one if featured prominently in the Severin folk horror doc.

I've been wanting to see this since seeing it mentioned on Woodlands Dark with soundtrack the captions described as "dramatic funk music."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:07 AM on March 21, 2022 [3 favorites]

posted by rodlymight at 9:13 AM on March 21, 2022

I love this movie. I might be wrong, but I think there's some classism swirling around in there too.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:13 AM on March 21, 2022

Oh yeah there's definitely classism percolating in this one. Tonally it has a really interesting vibe and might be one of the few occult movie I've seen that involve a supernatural toad. Nicely shot by cinematographer Ted Moore, who had worked on a bunch of Bond films by that point and directed by the solid Don Sharp who gave us Kiss of the Vampire among other Hammer delights. Has the dubious honour of being George Saunders' final film before he died. Might be a good double feature with Werewolves on Wheels.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:22 AM on March 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

Oh wow I've never seen Werewolves on Wheels! Thanks for the tip.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:02 PM on March 23, 2022

So I gave this a watch last night. I was highly entertained.

Side observation: I don't know if stats are kept on things like this, but Psychomania had to set some kind of record for stroller/pram-based stunts.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:27 AM on March 24, 2022 [3 favorites]

Oh wow! I used to own this on VHS, some sort of crazy $1 bargain basement thing. This was... not the cover; I vaguely recall a kind of "hippie tie-dye" vibe to the box, with bright colours, those big goofy Grateful Dead style block letter titles.

I don't remember much of the movie except it was not scary as much as deeply weird for a teenager who liked horror movies but didn't know much about the English counter-culture of the 1970s.
posted by Shepherd at 8:44 PM on March 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

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