I just turned 50 last week (still trying to figure out how THAT happened?) and I loved watching horror and science fiction movies during my formative years. I checked the archives but didn’t see a mention of a fairly obscure 1966 movie called “The Psychopath“. Although it wasn’t a big hit at the time, it was written by Robert Bloch, directed by Freddie Francis and starred Patrick Wymark. As a child, I used to beg my parents to allow me to spend Friday nights at my best friend, Julie’s, house. Julie’s family always stayed up to watch horror movies on the Big Chuck & Hoolihan show (Cleveland, Ohio – REPRESENT!) and I really enjoyed this Friday evening ritual. I saw “The Psychopath” in 1975 when I was 10 years old, on an old black & white TV in my friend’s basement/rec-room. It disturbed me on a level I wasn’t even aware existed! Suddenly, I realized that not all ‘monsters’ were covered in thick fur, or drank blood, or had large bolts sticking out of their necks. Sometimes a ‘monster’ can be the normal-looking person who lives next door…
I can’t begin to convey how the ending of this movie terrified me. My friend and I would always bunk down in sleeping bags (on the shag-carpeted floor!) after the movie was over, but I didn’t get any sleep that night because it was spent clutching the pillow up around my face! The mental image of the movie’s shocking ‘reveal’ played over and over in my head for a looooong time afterwards….and even years later, I would still get the chills thinking about it.
I couldn’t recall the name of this movie for the next 27 years but thankfully, the internet and IMDB came through for me and at the age of 37, I had the opportunity to purchase a bootleg copy of this film and watch it again as an adult. Perhaps it’s due to my childhood memories, but – honestly – the movie STILL manages to frighten and disturb. While it can be a difficult title to track down, I strongly recommend viewing this one to anyone who loves a good, psychological horror story!
Taryn, Happy Birthday! Thanks for this perfect traumafession! The Psychopath looks great, I’m so sad it’s not on Youtube. I’ll have to find some way to see it!
Thanks for posting this for me, Unk! LOVE the site (looooong-time lurker). I don’t believe The Psychopath has ever been released for home viewing – believe me, I’ve searched! I do have a grainy bootleg copy if you’d like one. And I have to admit, I was disappointed by the movie posters, once I found them on the internet – they’re pretty much a dead giveaway (pun intended)! Still, the reveal at the end was horrifying to me as a child and it *still* gives me the creeps when I think about it.
I’d like to check this one out too, looks interesting.
Hey Unkle — just checking to see if you’d managed to find time to watch “The Psychopath” yet?
Yes, PSYCHOPATH is such a cool movie! I can’t believe it has not found its way to DVD. All of the doll imagery is so darn creepy and I love the music box theme they play whenever a doll is shown. The scene where the inspector visits the doll maker is astounding. Actually, that scene and how she keeps calling the dolls “her children” and her “friends” reminds me of when Deckard meets Sebastian in BLADE RUNNER and that is my favorite movie.
I can’t believe PSYCHOPATH is not more notorious. Thank you so much for letting me know about It and sharing it with me!
Awesome!! So glad you got the chance to finally see it! It’s definitely an underrated little piece of cinema. And how about that ending, huh? *nudge/nudge* Creeped the hell out of my 10-yr-old self and still gives me the willies to this day!