I don’t know what possessed my father to take me and my brother to the movies to see William Castle’s 1961 HOMICIDAL when we were age 5 and 7. But take us he did and there is one scene near the end of the movie I will never forget. There was an old, creepy, invalid mute lady who lived in a mansion. She used one of those lift chairs that was connected to the wall of the stairway to get up and down the stairs. Towards the end of the movie the camera focused on her sitting in the lift chair in the darkened house as it lurched slowly step by step to the ground floor. When it finally reached the bottom of the stairs, the chair jerked to a stop and………. her head rolled off her body!
Talk about nightmare fuel! I didn’t sleep for days and I had nightmares about this for many a year. I saw the movie a few years ago and it is not really that scary (and the special effects were laughable). But the 5 year old me got the shock of his life. Thanks alot Dad!
NOTE: Careful folks, this clip brings new meaning to the term “spoiler”!
There is a theater here in LA called the Orpheum, which is an old theater from the 20s or so. They used to have something that was called a Spook-a-thon and show all kinds of horror movies through the week. I saw both Straight Jacket and Homicidal there on different years. I quite like this movie. It’s a lot of fun, especially in the venue I got to see it in. So, I wasn’t in 1961 but the theater was old enough that I got a feel for what it must have been like!