Homicidal is directed by William Castle and written by Robb White. It stars Jean Arless, Glenn Corbett, Patricia Breslin, Richard Rust and James Westerfield. Music is by Hugo Friedhoffer and cinematography by Burnett Guffey.
From the showman stable of William Castle, comes this weird psycho chiller that hinges on its twist reveal and comes out in credit. Story essentially follows the unravelling of one off kilter family, enter gruesome murder, inheritance issues and cruelty. Gone is the camp value normally associated with this period of Castle's career, though we do get one of his gimmicks here, a 45 second countdown clock as Castle gives the audience chance to leave the cinema before the ending is revealed, they would then have to go and stand in "cowards corner" before claiming a refund on their admission ticket.
Nicely shot in broad black and white by the talented Guffey, Homicidal is often considered as being either a homage or a rip-off of Hitchcock's Psycho released the previous year. Which ever way you view it, it is hard not to refer back to Hitch's superior movie, but what film of its type can compare to Psycho? With that in mind, Homicidal is one of the best there is, and it's not as if Castle's movie is not without its own ideas. Critics remain divided on the film's quality, though it should be said that there were one or two who stood up say it was better than Psycho. That appears to be folly now and still further gives Homicidal an uphill battle to be judged on its own entertaining terms. It's a tough ask, but if first time viewers can do this then they should enjoy a devilishly constructed picture made by a man with a glint in is eye and a cigar on his lips. 7/10