Director - William Castle (House on Haunted Hill, Zotz!)
Starring - Joan Marshall (Star Trek, The Munsters), Glenn Corbett (Fantasy Island, Night Gallery), and Patricia Breslin (I Saw What You Did, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour)
Release Date - 1961
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "The story of a psychotic killer"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
After the Ivan Cordoso marathon I recently had it was great to follow that up with some movies that were actually good. So I turned to two William Castle double features. That is two double features from the king of gimmicks. The first set, of "13" films, which consisted of 13 Ghosts and 13 Frightened Girls. The second set of films consisted of Homicidal and Mr. Sardonicus. Both of these films were new to me so I was a little excited to check them out. They were sent my way from my friends at Mill Creek Entertainment and was released on blu. Thanks guys for sending me a copy.
The film begins with a beautiful young lady as she checks in to a hotel and then convinces the bellboy to marry her for a large sum of money. They visit the county clerk late at night to quickly get married when she pulls out a knife and kills him before rushing off. She rushed back to her home where she is the caretaker for an older woman who is mute and confined to a wheelchair. She lives there with a heir for a fortune and the two are secretly married. When his sister starts to suspect something is going on with her she unravels a deep, dark secret that has been running decades.
When I shared that I was watching this film on social media I had several friends comment on it and tell me that this was their favorite William Castle flick. I can see where the appeal is but it is far from my favorite Castle film. The acting in this one is easily the best out of any Castle film. Joan Marshall is great in her duel role. Without giving away too much of the film she does a great job playing the unhinged female lead that is unstable. She is creepy as fuck and great to watch. Her supporting cast is solid but nowhere near her level. She was by far the star of the show. The story for this one starts out with some blood, slows down to a crawl, and then hits with a pretty racy twist ending for the time. Sadly, I saw it coming a mile away but did shed some light on where Sleepaway Camp got the idea from. The film uses suspense wisely and does one hell of a job building tension. Finally, the film does have some blood but the gags we get are done poorly. The film's first stab scene shows blood coming from one side of the body where the person was not stabbed. A film like this could have delivered some better kills or at least some fun gags. Overall, Homicidal is the working man's Psycho. The film looks great and has some chills but I could see the ending coming a mile away. Well worth a watch.