Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Homicidal (1961)


Written by Robb White
Directed by William Castle

Emily...Jean Arless
Helga...Eugenie Leontovich
Miriam Webster...Patricia Breslin

The movie opens (following a great brief introduction by William Castle) on a cold, blond bombshell checking into the swanky Hotel Ventura under the name Miriam Webster. You know it's swanky because it costs $7.50 a night. And you know she's swanky because she bribes the bellboy a cool two grand to marry her promptly at midnight, which he promptly agrees to.

When the ceremony is over, she murders the Justice of the Peace, hops in the car, and drives away, leaving her new hubbie holding the proverbial bag. She returns home where we meet Helga, the mute old lady that she cares for that can communicate only by slamming a doorknob onto the armrest of her wheelchair.

Then we find out that this isn't Miriam Webster at all. Her real name is Emily, and the real Miriam is the half-sister of Helga's adopted son Warren. Warren, a strange-looking businessman, may or may not be Emily's husband--it depends on who you believe.

As you may be able to tell, all of these characters have a convoluted back story that's never fully explained, so it may take a while to figure out everyone's relationship to each other.

With the police investigating the murder of the Justice of the Peace, the real Miriam and her boyfriend Carl suspicious, and Helga the only one who knows what the hell is going on but unable to do anything about it, Emily continues her crazy escapades while trying to place the suspicions onto everyone else. It all has something to do with an inheritance...I think.

As noted before, the back stories and relationships can sometimes be rather confusing, as are much of the character's motivations; and there are great gaps of logic everywhere you look. But none of that really matters by the time this puppy is over, because there is a great twist ending that will really blow your precious little mind--one whose sheer authenticity makes it outshine even the great twist ending of 2009's Orphan, which I also never saw coming.

If you haven't seen Homicidal, then you're missing out on a real treat. And if you're too frightened to see the finale, don't worry. Castle gives us a "Fright Break", where we have the option to throw in the towel and run from the theater in terror.

Somehow I doubt anyone ever actually made use of that option...

View the trailer below!

87 Minutes
Black & White
United States

"If you do not leave this house in the next minute, I will kill you!"

HorrorBlips: vote it up!


  1. This is one of my favorite all-time movies...I can watch it over and over and never get bored. Castle is clearly trying to make his own "Psycho" and comes up with something much more bizarre. "Jean Arless" is so great in this movie!

  2. It's a weirdy all rightee. Damn!


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