Mental patient Arnold Masters, hospitalized for a murder he didn't commit, learns astral projection--the art of leaving one's physical body and transporting the soul someplace else--from a fellow inmate. Upon his release, Arnold uses his new powers to bump off the people he holds responsible for his arrest, his mother's death while he was imprisoned and the price of meat! Lt. Morgan and Lt. Anderson are the cops on his trail, while his caring shrink, Dr. Scott, tries to prevent any more deaths.
A Great Piece of 70's Exploitation Cinema
Arnold Masters has several axes to grind. Hes in prison for a crime he didn't commit (his mother who had a tumour who due to be operated on but wasn't. The doctor who was due to undertake the procedure was then found dead in his office by Arnold who was then framed for his murder).
He tells his backstory to a fellow prisoner who confides his story to Arnold in return. His daughter was turned into a prostitute by a pimp. He says to him that he will seek revenge on this man by carving his name into his chest and slitting his throat. Lo and behold, sometime later he tells Arnold that hes done it and without leaving his prison cell. Before Arnold can ask him how, his confident scales the prison fence and jumps from the very high prison wall killing himself. It is later confirmed in the paper that the pimp indeed was murdered in the way the prisoner stipulated.
Arnold then inherits his friends belongings one of which was an amulet. This allows the owner to leave their body and travel psychically anywhere they want. Perfect for seeking revenge against your perceived enemies and enacting revenge.
Arnold is then found to be innocent and released. Those who failed his mother are then one by one found dead in very strange circumstances that defy logic and reason.
I remember seeing the trailer for this film on almost VIPCO video back in the 80's. The trailer was extremely evocative and I'm glad to say that now that I've seen the film it is every bit as brilliant as it's trailer.
Early/mid 1970's America is captured beautifully and the film has it's own very eccentric character. Check out the murders and how unorthodox they are- whether they involve a shower, a new building's cornerstone or a bacon slicer and mincing machine! The sequence involving the nurse before she steps into the shower from Hell could have been lifted from one of the great Russ Meyers' movies.
This is a great concept for a horror movie- someone spiritually leaving their body to avenge their grievances through the power of their minds. Transcendental meditation and other New Age concepts were very fashionable in the 70's and so it's great that this should mind it's way into an exploitation movie made for 42nd Street and the Drive-Ins.
And if you need any other recommendation for seeing this I'll just say this. It stars Neville Brand!!!Now if that isn't enough of an incentive then I don't know what is.
Nifty 70's horror outing
Former mental patient and falsely accused killer Arnold Masters (an intense and convincing performance by Jim Hutton) uses the psychic power of astral projection to exact a harsh revenge on the people who he believes wronged him. Director Ray Danton keeps the compelling story moving along at a snappy pace, builds a good deal of tension, and stages the lively murder set pieces with lip-smacking ghoulish gusto. The sound acting by the able cast of familiar B-cinema veterans helps a whole lot: Paul Burke as hard-nosed detective Jeff Morgan, Julie Adams as compassionate psychiatrist Dr. Laura Scott, Nehemiah Persoff as cagey parapsychology expert Dr. Gubner, Aldo Ray as Morgan's gruff partner Dave Anderson, Neville Brand as irascible butcher Lemonowski, Whit Bissell as horny old goat Dr. Paul Taylor, Della Reese as sassy welfare recipient Mrs. Gibson, co-writer Greydon Clark as ill-fated cop Sowash, Stack Pierce as the helpful Emilio, and Mary Wilcox as sexy, yet sadistic nurse Burnson. Moreover, this movie is surprisingly gory and sleazy for a PG-rated item, with the definite trashy highlight occurring when yummy blonde Wilcox happily dances around in her underwear before taking a shower. Herb Pearl's fairly polished cinematography boasts a few funky stylistic flourishes. William Kraft's spirited shivery score hits the stirring shuddery spot. A really fun fright flick.
The cast alone makes it a must see
Almost all actors from 50's and 60's film and TV. Aldo Ray? Neville Brand? Are you serious? I was all over this one. The plots a bit weak, but it Was the 70's - just take some acid, smoke some weed - and it all makes sense. LOL!
Psyhic Killer - Better than I thought it would be...
To be honest, I actually looked forward to watching the entire movie...but then again I'm used to watching the worst of the worst Blaxploitation movies.
But the acting was actually really good. Of course all the characters names have already slipped my mind, but the female psychologist was really good, can't remember if I've seen her in anything else - guess I should research that.
The 'meat' scene was a lot more graphic than I expected. It was cool to see Judith Brown in something else other than all the Pam Grier movies I've seen.
One thing to improve Psychic Killer would have been more of Stack Pierce (THE black Visitor from the TV Series 'V') in the film (at least some more flashback shots would've been cool). Another thing may have been a non-matted widescreen print. Couple of things were cut off in this print. In other words, I think it was shot in 4:3, but matted for the DVD/theatre release.
I really liked this movie, and will keep it in my collection.
Norman Bates goes psychedelic !!
As a result of being wrongfully accused of murdering a doctor and being put in a mental institution, Arnold Masters plans bloody vengeance on everyone directly or indirectly responsible for the death of his poor old mother. Luckily (for him) he inherited a medallion carrying a supernatural force and this allows Arnold's spirit to step out of the body and to commit the murders without leaving a trace. The premise of "Psychic Killer" is giant nonsense but it does guarantee a lot of fun and thrills. Besides, there are more than enough elements that indicate that this movie shouldn't be taken too seriously, like the over-the-top acting and the exaggeratedly ludicrous killings. This movie looks suspiciously much like a standard Roger Corman production: the budget is extremely low, but the ingeniousness of the script and the enthusiasm of the B-cast widely make up for it (Neville Brand and Julie Adams are particularly splendid). In case you like older horror and you have a morbid sense of humor, you're destined to like this cute piece of 70's schlock. The climax is tremendously hilarious and it looks quite a lot like a demented version of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". No essential viewing whatsoever, but a gigantically entertaining 'video-nasty' I can't recommend highly enough.
Enjoyable horror thriller
Arnold Masters was wrongly locked up for murder but once he is released the police find themselves investigating a series of brutal and unexplainable deaths, all related to his case. He is chief suspect but the murders happen when he is at home, being under police surveillance. Matlin's Movie Guide described this as "a violent shocker" but also rated it as a bomb. I disagree with the latter. It certainly is violent with deaths including an elderly lady pushed off a cliff, a sexy nurse being scolded to death in the shower nudity) and a butcher being butchered in the back of his shop (very well done). However we also have a deliberately comical death involving an Italian business man and a crane. I enjoyed this film, it's a killer on the lose (before the slasher boom) but with a difference. Acting is all good. It's pretty violent but as mentioned does have a streak of humour and is well paced.
"Psychic Killer" is quite amusing, and at the least can boast a twist on the usual sort of vengeance-themed murder spree. Some viewers might say that the ideas being explored deserve a much better cinematic treatment, but as schlock goes, this movie does show its audience a decent time. There's a fair bit of gore, and a little bit of imagination in terms of the death scenes. As guided by former actor turned director Ray Danton ("Deathmaster"), this has also got a hell of a cast of familiar faces to keep things watchable.
Jim Hutton plays Arnold Masters, a Norman Bates type who was wrongly convicted of murder and sent to a mental institution. While incarcerated, he makes the brief acquaintance of fellow patient Emilio (character actor Stack Pierce, who has a strong presence). Emilio provides Arnold with the tools to orchestrate murders while not being physically present at the murder scenes. As a result, flustered police lieutenant Jeff Morgan (Paul Burke) has to try to solve killings that don't make any sense.
The concepts of Kirlian photography (which can be seen behind the opening credits) and astral projection are good enough of a hook to reel viewers in. Hutton is good as the unbalanced protagonist. Making appearances are Julie Adams and Whit Bissell from "The Creature from the Black Lagoon", Nehemiah Persoff, Rod Cameron, Neville Brand (as a butcher whose only real "crime" is charging too much for his meat), Aldo Ray, and Della Reese. Mary Charlotte Wilcox supplies the T & A as a sexpot nurse who likes to tease her bedridden patient. In a supporting role is film director Greydon Clark ("Without Warning"), who co-wrote the picture with Danton and Mikel Angel.
This movie is "good" fun, although it does lead to a pretty horrific finale.
Seven out of 10.
A pretty decent 70s horror movie
"Psychic Killer (1975)" its not that bad, its actually a pretty fun and enjoyable B movie. When it comes to 70s low budget exploitation is hard to find one that actually has some decent elements, and "Psychic Killer" certainly has some notable moments in the middle of all its absurdity.
Its decently made and its not boring (its mostly entertaining) even if it has some scenes that are quite dull. It delivers the usual dose of gore and nudity that these movies are known for and it does it in a very amusing way.
With an interesting plot, halfway decent scenes and a good pace, "Psychic Killer" stands out from the average 70's schlock.
A cast of B-vets vs. an astral projection-powered Jim Hutton!
"Psychic Killer" is fun 1970's horror at its best. Peppered with a cast of B-vets such as Paul Burke, Aldo Ray, Nehemiah Persoff, Julie Adams, and Whit Bissell, and starring Jim Hutton (in a nicely scary performance), the movie goes at a nice pace and features some tense moments. There are even bits of gore tossed in for good measure.
The film has Hutton as a man wrongly convicted in the death of his terminally ill mother's doctor. It seems the doctor refused to treat the lady once he found out she had no medical insurance. An argument between Hutton and the doc results in a brief scuffle where the doctor falls to his death. Hutton is arrested, found guilty, and sent to a mental institution. Once there, he encounters a fellow patient who has the power of astral projection with the aid of a medallion and several books. After this patient uses this power to kill one of his enemies, he dies and leaves the medallion and books to Hutton. Shortly after, Hutton is finally exonerated (the real killer confesses to the crime)and freed. He goes home and uses his newfound power of astral projection to begin a mission of revenge against the people who wronged him and his mom. Police Lieutenant Morgan (Burke) and his partner (Ray) are baffled at these seemingly unrelated "accidents". Hutton's psychiatrist (Adams)and a local expert on paranormal research (Persoff) try to help.
"Psychic Killer" benefits from tight direction by former actor-turned-director Ray Danton, good camera-work and location shooting to cover up a small budget, clever dialogue that mixes in bits of humor amongst the hokum, and solid turns by a top cast of veteran genre stars. Even Neville Brand and Rod Cameron show up in bit parts.
"Psychic Killer" is not the type of film that pretends to be anything other than what it is: sturdy, B-grade entertainment for genre fans.
Mostly fun movie with a terrible script
A man falsely imprisoned man gets revenge on the people responsible for it and also on those responsible for his mother's death after he's released - but he does it through a some kind of out of body travel ability given to him by a man while he was imprisoned.
The story itself is interesting and the kills scenes are pretty good - one is hilarious! But the dialogue is terrible. Kudos to the actors for delivering their lines with straight faces.
I find this movie frustrating with how it treats the main character. He's unjustly imprisoned and the victim of this whole thing. When he starts getting revenge I'm rooting for HIM, but they try to make a jerky lieutenant the hero? He's a complete dick. He even gets the girl! I would have liked this so much better if they would have made this harassing lieutenant another victim of this guy's justifiable revenge. But oh well.
A little confusing and awkward in many places, but ultimately entertaining.
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