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Homicidal [VHS]

12 customer reviews

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3 used from £12.74

Product details

  • Actors: Glenn Corbett, Patricia Breslin, Eugenie Leontovich, Alan Bunce, Richard Rust
  • Directors: William Castle
  • Writers: Robb White
  • Producers: William Castle, Dona Holloway
  • Language: Castilian
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Laser UK Ltd
  • VHS Release Date: 25 Nov. 1996
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000575V4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 353,688 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Jean Arless plays a pretty young nurse who returns from a murderous wedding ceremony to the house where she looks after a mute, wheelchair-bound stroke victim and her wimpy son. Includes a special 'Fright Break'.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 July 2004
Format: DVD
Do you have fond memories of shrieking and giggling with horror and delight at William Castle's old black and white spook-fests? Well, make the popcorn and settle in for one of his best: Homicidal. The story opens as a beautiful but strangely Stepford Wife-looking blonde woman checks into a run-down hotel, pays a bellboy to marry her, and promptly stabs the man who performed the ceremony. Back in the sleepy town of Solvang, California, we meet a peculiar young man named Warren, who has returned to his childhood home with this mysterious blonde, to care for his ailing childhood nurse, Helga. Warren is about to inherit a fortune on his twenty-first birthday, but strange things start happening - and what secrets are hidden in the old house?
This movie is short on actual violence, but long on creepy atmosphere and things that go bump in the night. In true Castle-style, there is a gimmick in this movie: Just before the final scene, a clock appears on screen to allow those too frightened to watch the end to leave the theatre - and sit in the Coward's Corner booth in the lobby. You'll recognize many scenes, themes, and characters that were freely borrowed from Hitchcock's Psycho.
All of Castle's thrillers were equal parts suspense and sly manipulation and Homicidal is no exception. You'll be caught up in the thrilling action (horror would be too strong a word) and ready to giggle as soon as it's over. A fun movie that will take you back to the more innocent times of 1961.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Griffiths on 6 Jun. 2006
Format: DVD
Homicidal" is a very odd horror film from the master of gimmicks, William Castle. Well it's not really that odd, as the plot and structure are inspired and almost stolen from Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". But it is notably weirder and schlockier, not least of all due to the inclusion of the "Fright Break"...but more on that later! The film begins by introducing us to a mysterious blonde woman named Emily who gets married to a complete stranger and then stabs the man conducting the wedding ceremony to death, right in the middle of it. Not bad for starters! Emily flees the scene and turns up back at the home she shares with a mute, wheelchair-bound, elderly woman named Helga. As Emily's behaviour starts to attract suspicion, it's clear that Helga wants to warn people about Emily, but being unable to speak she is unable to make her fears known.

Let me say straight away that the actress playing the character of Emily is terrific. To be honest I don't know how much of the effectiveness is down to her being a bad actress or a good one, but I've seldom seen such an out-there performance by someone playing a psychopath, and the mysteriously named Jean Arless (not really an unknown actress, but actually Joan Marshall under a pseudonym) manages to pull it off with great aplomb. Wavering between seductiveness, brittle anger and sheer hysteria, Emily will keep your attention on the screen every time she appears...when her eyes start widening and she grits her teeth, you really believe this is a character capable of doing anything. The fact that she's dolled up like some crazed Doris Day-style, apple-pie cutie with candyfloss blond curls and big starched skirts only adds to her obvious dementia...no wonder Emily is one of my all-time favourite horror movie psychos!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Oct. 2012
Format: DVD
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
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD
It takes a certain amount of cojones to not only rip off Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," but think you can one-up one of the greatest twist endings of all time.

And for that reason alone, you have to kind of admire William Castle for "Homicidal," which copies a lot of the superficial aspects of "Psycho" -- an icy blonde, an old lady confined to a house, a small California town, a brunette in peril -- but also tries to outtwist the twist. It's pure, unadulterated cheese with Castle's trademark gimmicks (in this case, a "fright break," during which you could could cravenly flee the theatre for a full refund), and just as silly as that would suggest.

A mysterious blonde woman (Jean Arless) -- whose name is Emily, though she doesn't give it right away -- checks into a hotel, and pays an attractive bellboy to enter an immediately-annullable marriage with her that evening. They head to the local justice of the peace.... and Emily immediately stabs the guy to death and makes her escape. After returning to a luxurious mansion, Emily gloats to the elderly, mute Helga (Eugenie Leontovich), whom she seems to be the nurse/keeper for.

When she was younger, Helga was the nurse for the Webster half-siblings, Miriam and Warren, whose father was a violent misogynist who divorced Miriam's mother for not instantly producing a son, and abused Warren to make him "manly." Helga whisked Warren off to Denmark for many years, and has recently returned with Emily in tow.

And though anyone with eyeballs can immediately tell what the relationship between Warren and Emily is, Miriam is completely clueless -- she thinks that Warren has married Emily.
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