BIKER WEEK: Psychomania (1973)

Is there such a thing as a perfect movie? Maybe. Maybe not. But if you ask me, this combination of the occult and biker culture ranks really close.

Tom Latham (Nicky Henson, Witchfinder General) leads The Living Dead, a motorcycle gang that causes trouble and occasionally dabbles in black magic. The worm filled apple didn’t fall far from the tree — Tom’s mother, deceased father and butler Shadwell (George Sanders, All About Eve and Rebecca) follow the Left Hand Path. With their help, he learns how to die and come back from the dead — roaring from his freshly buried earth on his motorcycle (later Lemmy would do this in Motörhead’s “Killed by Death” video).

Soon, one after another of the gang commit suicide and return from the dead. Soon, the gang is killing cops and menacing babies. And their names! Gash, Hatchet, Chopped Meat, Hinkey and Bertram! This movie is about pure mayhem! I wonder, was all of England in the grip of Satan in the early 1980’s?

Director Don Sharp keeps things stylish and moving. This isn’t his first go-round with frogs in cemeteries, pacts with the devil, mysterious suicides and zombies. Check out his other film, Witchcraft. He was also behind Dark Places, Hammer’s Rasputin: The Mad Monk and the final movie in The Fly series, Curse of the Fly. This is his best work, though.

You should pretty much quit whatever it is you’re doing right now and go watch this. Luckily, it’s streaming for free on Amazon Prime.

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