Psychomania AKA The Death Wheelers (1973)

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This is perfect late night horror comedy gold. Caught this gem sometime at the tail end of the 80’s after a night on the tiles. Stumbled in, collapsed on the sofa and stared like a zombie at the tv transfixed by the berserk bat shit antics of this ridiculous goofy film. Just the title alone, Psychomania, is enough to pull you in. It does go by another name too the equally brilliant The Death Wheelers.

The Dead Still Ride…the living howl in TERROR!

This cult classic ticks all the boxes, low budget, cheesy, pretty bad acting, ludicrous plot and above all it’s hilarious and so much fun.

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Here’s Tom with one of his gang.

A rough description of the plot is Tom Latham (Nicky Henson) is a tearaway ruffin and leader of the local bike gang which loves nothing more than terrorising the locals of the town. His mother is Beryl Reid and along with her butler (George Sanders) participate in the dark arts and the occasional séances.

With the help of these two Tom makes a pact with the devil to return from the dead and then pass the secret of the living dead on to his gang members.

To get to this state though you have to first commit suicide then the black magic will do the rest. Then follows the absurd comical proceedings of the bikers coming up with bizarre ways to kill themselves. Driving off bridges into rivers, flying through the sides of lorries etc.

By the way did I say Tom has a pet frog!

Seven Suicides – and they roared back as The Living Dead

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Directed by Don Sharp who made a fair few Hammer House of Horror films and who I’ve just found out did the film version from the series Callan which starred Edward Woodward. Which I fondly remember as a boy because he toughed up his fists by punching a bucket of sand! Weird the things you recall so many years later.

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Pull up chair and join me rewatch this cult classic of British Horror on youtube. I’ll even let you have some of my homebrew before I have to hit the night trying to stop lunatics copying Tom’s antics. Happy viewing…. Wolfie

Further reading links

The Soundtrack by John Cameron has been released on Trunk Records

It’s Streaming On Fandor

British Film Institute Blu-Ray Release

Trailer

Psychomania IMDB

Film Inquiry Article About The Film

Psychomania Wikipedia

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