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Homicidal (1961)

Glenn CorbettPatricia BreslinEugenie LeontovichAlan Bunce
William Castle


Homicidal (1961) is a English movie. William Castle has directed this movie. Glenn Corbett,Patricia Breslin,Eugenie Leontovich,Alan Bunce are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1961. Homicidal (1961) is considered one of the best Horror,Mystery,Thriller movie in India and around the world.

The story centers around a murderous scheme to collect a rich inheritance. The object of murder is Miriam Webster, who is to share in the inheritance with her half brother Warren, who lives with his childhood guardian Helga in the mansion where Warren and Mariam grew up. Confined to a wheelchair after recently suffering a stroke, Helga is cared for by her nurse Emily, a strange young woman who has formed a close bond with Warren.

Homicidal (1961) Reviews

  • Fascinating b-grade thriller that deserves to be rediscovered. One of William Castle's most effective and interesting shockers.


    William Castle's 1950s camp classics 'The Tingler' and 'House On Haunted Hill' are lots of fun, and highly recommended to all horror fans with a strong sense of the absurd. I expected 'Homicidal' to be a similarly silly but entertaining affair, especially as it was also written by Robb White, but was quite surprised at just how dark and effective it was. Apart from Castle's typically hammy introduction, and the "fright break" towards the climax (a not too dissimilar idea to the one Gaspar Noe used several years ago in his shocking 'I Stand Alone'!), 'Homicidal' is nowhere near as gimmicky and tongue in cheek as most of Castle's best known movies. Maybe that is why it is rarely mentioned when his work is discussed. Too bad, to me it is one of his most interesting and effective shockers. While obviously inspired by 'Psycho', and made on a shoe-string budget with variable acting, I was quite impressed by it. The opening sequence is memorable - a beautiful blonde (Jean Arliss) checks in to a swanky hotel, and offers a shocked bellhop cash to marry her, assuring him that the marriage will be annulled immediately after the event. He is puzzled but agrees, and at the ceremony the next day the mysterious blonde quite unexpectedly murders the JP! We then follow her to a house where she looks after an elderly woman (Eugenie Leontovich) who is mute and confined to a wheelchair after a stroke. The old woman is obviously terrified of her, but is unable to convey this to any visitors to the house. Pretty soon we meet the other characters, and learn of a $10 million inheritance, and things start to get real interesting... I won't elaborate any further for fear of spoiling the plot. The major twist will no doubt be guessed by the viewer fairly quickly but there are still some surprises and shocks in store. Arliss (actually Joan Marshall) gives an intriguing performance. Why she didn't go on to bigger and better things after this is beyond me. I urge fans of Castle's better known movies to check out this little gem. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to all fans of b-grade thrillers and horror movies.

  • William Castle: Spinning Psycho


    William Castle "borrowed" rather liberally from Hitchcock's slightly earlier PSYCHO for this tale of a knife-wielding blonde beauty--but as usual, he gave it his famous showman's tacky spin. In theatrical release, the film featured a "fright break:" as the action approaches a climax, a clockface appears on the screen and Castle himself urges those too terrified to return to the lobby for a full refund. But there was, of course, a catch: you had to walk in yellow footsteps applied to the carpet past the jeering audience and agree to sit in "The Coward's Corner" until the movie was over and every one had filed out past you! Needless to say, few (if any) movie-goers ever took him up on it. But the famous "Fright Break" isn't the only thing HOMICIDAL has going for it. The story itself is more sophisticated than that of most William Castle films, and the female leads are quite effective. Jean Arless, a surprising beauty, is quite startling as "The Homicidal Girl"--a blonde bombshell who has a way with a knife--while both Patricia Breslin and Eugenie Leontovich are quite convincing as two of those on her list of intended victims. And lastly, the film offers a surprise conclusion that can still blindside some less suspecting viewers even today. That aside, HOMICIDAL has plenty of camp appeal, all of it resting on Jean Arless' WAY over the top performance as she entices, ices, and slices her way from one victim to the next--and as one reviewer has already remarked, you'll feel pretty sure that Annie Lennox borrowed Arless' look (and in some pretty unexpected ways, too) for several of her videos. I must admit that I don't consider HOMICIDAL in the same league with other William Castle schlock-favorites such as 13 GHOSTS, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, or STRAIT-JACKET--largely, I think, because it seems Castle really is making a bid for cinematic respectability here and that sorta detracts from the fun. But all the same, most fans of Castle's silly horror flicks should get a stab--I mean, a KICK--out of it! Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

  • A strange film and stellar performance by "Jean Arliss"


    I had heard about this film for years and caught the end of it on pay-tv recently. I taped it when it was shown again and I was blown away! "Jean Arliss" who is the real star of the film is fantastic in her dual role. But the dialogue is also a little off-centre and even Glen Corbett and Patricia Breslin get to engage in some of it. The eerie first 20 minutes is justly praised by all but it is the mood of the film and its puzzling construction ( where is the story heading ?; it is hard to say) which make it quite unique. The kid who played Warren as a child was so perfect that I believed his adult "look" even more and the casual conversations about sanity and homicide left me feeling like I was in another world. I think this is a really European feeling film. With wonderful atmosphere and dread , it is a classic of its kind.

  • There's something not quite right about Warren


    I just had my first viewing of HOMICIDAL, having already heard that it "steals shamelessly from PSYCHO". Well it does do that, but it's also a surprisingly effective chiller that manages to set out on its own course and strikes up enough originality to make it well worth watching. The acting is mostly competent, given the film's era and genre. But I kept wondering all the while why such an unattractive actor was cast to play the role of Warren. Certainly, I thought, they could have found a trainload of reasonably handsome men to cast in this role(?) Of course, this odd point becomes somewhat cleared up in the end...that is, if the viewer is able to navigate the rather complicated (and rapid) unraveling of the family's dark history. I expect I'll have to view it again to make sense of it. But HOMICIDAL is cheesy campy fun of the best kind, so it will be a guilty pleasure to have a second stab at it.

  • Fun stuff


    William Castle's little fright flick was obviously rushed into production to cash in on the Psycho craze. However, it is surprising how well it stands on it's own. Indeed there are elements and moods that seem directly lifted from Hitchcock's masterpiece....hotel scenes, driving scenes and the full explenation of the story at the jail house. And while the film does not come close to the sheer artistry of Psycho it manages some good things all on its own. First and foremost, the structure of the script is very good keeping you out of the loop and in a state of confusion and always trying to guess what is going on. It's a nifty little storyline. Secondly, the performance by Jean Arliss is very good! Yes, her take on the Warren character is believable (though the actor dubbing the lines could have been better)but her performance as Emily is what really drives the piece. Her discomfort is very believable and she puts just enough glee in her evil side to give the film it's campy charm. An attractive, strong actress who should have had a more succesful career. The rest of the cast serves it's purpose in more generic roles. I did enjoy the character of Helga....a woman who happens to know more about what's going on right in front of her face but just can't tell anyone because of her inability to speak. Taken in the right vein, this film is very enjoyable. This is a good companion piece to the Roger Corman produced Dementia 13 (directed by Francis Coppola and also made to cash in on the success of Psycho)as low buget gems of that time.

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