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Old 01-18-2014, 03:58 AM
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The Psychopath 1966

This amazing Amicus production from 1966 was directed by Hammer/Amicus stalwart Freddie Francis and written by Mr. Psycho himself, Robert Bloch. The plot involves a seriers of murders by a black gloved assassin who leaves dolls in the likeness of the victims at the murder scenes.

With a cast full of top British actors, taut direction by Francis, and a talkative script that never seems talky, due to the great efficiency of writing by Bloch. Every word counts and there's not a spare syllable to be heard.

This is a really fine example of British suspense filmmaking in the 60s. The entire film can be seen on youtube, but the video is quite intertesting. From what I've been able to gather, this film was never actually released on DVD, and the transfer on youtube is actually a working print made by the team working on the video restoration. The restoration isn't quite done- it looks as if some of the color still needs to be put back in, as some scenes, particularly near the beginning are nearly all black and white with just a touch of color here and there, while other scenes seem fully restored.

It lends a very effecgtive, errie quality to the film, an otherworldly appearance that's mesmerising. Francis is at his best here, with framing and scene composition, blocking, lighting, and yes, color all being used for maximum effect. IMO there's a bit of influence on later films here- particularly Gaillo films. In one scene a woman is even murdered by a black gloved killer wielding a big knife, while she's wearing a bright red raincoat.

If this film were better known I have no doubt it would be viewed as one of the top British mystery/suspense films of the 60s. I strongly recommend fans of British cinema check this out. I'm posting a link to the page on youtube where you can see it, rather than linking directly to the video, cuz I want you to go there and watch it fullscreen. The print is gorgeous and sharp.

Enjoy a great 90 minutes here:

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Last edited by neverending; 01-19-2014 at 12:15 AM. Reason: As I said in the post, I didn't want to embed the video. I want people to go watch it on youtube.
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2014, 11:54 PM
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Wow! I'd love to watch a Britt Giallo any day! Thanks a lot for the link, NE! Surely going to check this out soon.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:19 AM
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Thanks for replying, Roshiq! I was afraid this was going to be ignored by everyone- and this is really a film worth watching.

But don't get me wrong- this is NOT a Gaillo film. This is very solidly in the British psychological horror camp. I just think it was influential on Gaillo.

Please - fans of classic horror, Amicus productions, or Robert Bloch, carve out some time and give this a watch.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neverending View Post
Thanks for replying, Roshiq! I was afraid this was going to be ignored by everyone- and this is really a film worth watching.

But don't get me wrong- this is NOT a Gaillo film. This is very solidly in the British psychological horror camp. I just think it was influential on Gaillo.
Great! that's even sounds better; as you know my most favorite sub-genre of Horror is psychological horror. Now I'm more intrigued to watch this flick.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:10 AM
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Definitely gonna check this out
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:27 AM
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One of my favourites - I always wondered why this film didn't get much attention. Was it the generic title or that later audiences confused it with the 70s film of the same name (which I also like).

I never really thought of Giallo when I saw this but thinking back their certainly have elements. The film always makes me think of Agatha Christie (which is odd since I have never read a single one of her books :-)
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:35 AM
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I figured you probably knew this film, Ferox.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:24 AM
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Good movie. Thanks for the link.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by neverending View Post
Francis is at his best here, with framing and scene composition, blocking, lighting, and yes, color all being used for maximum effect. IMO there's a bit of influence on later films here- particularly Gaillo films.
Last night checked this out and absolutely loved it from start to finish. Totally agree with Lee and that's the thing I liked about it most...Francis' excellent camera works...which always required for & gives the perfect tone to view such an engaging psychologically twisted thriller, plus added Giallo flavor here & there. The added twist at the very end changed the game here quite a bit & makes THE PSYCHOPATH somewhat standout than any other psycho-thrillers with mother-issue. I've seen Paranoiac(1963) before, so now I'm very much looking forward to check out Freddie's other thrillers like HYSTERIA & NIGHTMARE.
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