Psychic Killer Film Details
Overview: A former mental patient uses astral projection to destroy the people he believes have wronged him.
Tagline: He thought of a million ways to kill, and he wanted to try them all…
Review: We’ve all heard the expression “if looks could kill,” but how about thoughts? What if it were possible to kill somebody, no matter the distance, using the power of the mind to manipulate objects. Well, that is precisely the setup of Ray Danton’s 1975 horror outing “Psychic Killer,” an undeniably shlocky yet undeniably fun exercise in out-of-body homicide. In the film, we meet a 33-year-old mental patient named Arnold Masters (Jim Hutton, father of Timothy, 42 here in his final film), who repeatedly declares his innocence of the charge of murdering his dying mother’s doctor (his mother had had no health insurance, and so that doctor had refused to perform a lifesaving operation on her; a situation that resonates even more strongly today, 36 years later!). Masters’ luck soon takes a decided turn for the better, however, when his innocence is established, a fellow inmate gifts him with a voodoolike amulet, and he is released from confinement. Too bad, though, for all the folks who crossed Masters in the past, as the amulet soon confers on him the ability to slay from afar. As the film’s trailer proclaimed back when, “The Evil of the Future Has Arrived”…. “Psychic Killer” has a rather simple, straightforward story line, but to the film’s credit, it also boasts a cast of pros who seem to be having fun with it. As the investigating cops on the case, we have TV vet Paul Burke and Aldo Ray (not quite 50 here but looking much older). Masters’ therapist (and God knows he needs one; the poor guy has almost as many mother issues as Norman Bates!) is played by Danton’s then-wife, Julie Adams, who viewers will perhaps best remember as the bathing-suited beauty who is carried off in “The Creature From the Black Lagoon,” and Israeli-born Nehemiah Persoff chews the scenery winningly as an expert on parapsychology and Kirlian auras. As for Arnold’s victims, three of the unfortunate bunch are Whit Bissell, here nudging toward the end of his remarkably prolific career, Mary Wilcox, who had recently greatly impressed me playing the beautiful necrophiliac in the highly underrated film “Love Me Deadly,” and Neville Brand, as a butchered butcher. It is a pleasure to watch these old pros dig into this dubious material and help put the conceit over. As for former actor turned director Danton, he does just fine in this, his third film (his two earlier pictures were “Crypt of the Living Dead” and “Deathmaster”), giving “Psychic Killer” some nice jolts and really keeping things moving; still, the picture cannot help but give off a decided Kirlian aura of cheese. The film is hardly a sleek-looking affair, and seems at times a bit crudely put together, but again, the enthusiasm of the cast, Danton’s evident skill and William Kraft’s occasionally freaky-deaky background score help smooth over the rough patches. Really, my only beef here is with that car that topples over a cliff, falls hundreds of feet…and fails to give the viewer a nice, satisfying fireball explosion to cap things off. Danton, apparently, should have watched some ’60s Bond films to learn how to give such scenes a nice dramatic topper! Other than this quibble, though, my seal of approval to “Psychic Killer”…straight through to its incinerating conclusion.
Country: United States
Duration: 89 min
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Also known as: O Satanas mesa sto kormi tou,Le tueur démoniaque,The Death Dealer,The Kirlian Effect,Psychic Killer,The Kirlian Force,Killer Force,Телепат-убийца,謎の完全殺人