February 21, 2017


The Psychopath – 1966 | 82 mins | Horror | Colour

Plot Synopsis

The Psychopath

Freddie Francis‘ The Psychopath was scripted by Psycho author Robert Bloch and went into production under the working title ‘Schizo’. The story is a pretty elementary reversal of the situation in Hitchcock’s Psycho. The Amicus production turned out to be an inventive riposte to Hammer’s suspense thrillers but during the previews Subotsky discovered the audience effortlessly identified the killer – so he judiciously edited the film in an unsuccessful attempt to mask the perpetrators identity. The character of Inspector Holloway played by Patrick Wymark would be resurrected four years later in Bloch’s The House That Dripped Blood (1970) with a different actor in the role.

Inspector Holloway (Patrick Wymark) is called in to investigate a series of grisly murders in which the perpetrator leaves a small effigy of the victim by each body. The victims were all members of a commission responsible for convicting a German industrialist of using slave labor during World War II. The tycoon hung himself, but his invalid wife Mrs. Von Sturm (Margaret Johnston) and son Mark (John Standing) now live in England and have been fruitlessly appealing for the case to be reviewed and their family fortune to be restored. The Von Sturm’s are obvious suspects, and Holloway focuses on visiting Mark at his workplace. When questioned about his mother his temper snaps, a fight ensues in which Holloway is knocked unconscious and Mark entangled in an anchor chain. When Holloway regains consciousness Mark is gone. When they pay a visit to the home of his demented mother she is discovered to be preserving her broken-backed son in the house as an obscenely rouged doll.

Production Team

Freddie Francis: Director
Bill Constable: Art Direction
John Wilcox: Cinematography
Oswald Hafenrichter: Editing
Henry Montsash: Makeup Department
Jill Carpenter: Makeup Department
Elisabeth Lutyens: Music Direction
Philip Martell: Music Direction
Milton Subotsky: Producer
Max Rosenberg: Producer
Robert Bloch: Script
John Cox: Sound Department
Janet Davidson: Sound Department
Baron Mason: Sound Department


Patrick Wymark: Inspector Holloway
Margaret Johnston: Mrs Von Sturm
John Standing: Mark Von Sturm
Alexander Knox: Frank Saville
Judy Huxtable: Louise Saville
Don Borisenko: Donald Loftis
Thorley Walters: Martin Roth
Robert Crewdson: Victor Ledoux
Colin Gordon: Dr Glyn
Tim Barrett: Morgan
Frank Forsyth: Tucker

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