THE PSYCHOPATH (REVIEW)
Dir. Freddie Francis
Reviewer. Dan Cook
A rather middling effort from Amicus productions, THE PSYCHOPATH is a fairly forgettable mystery thriller that has a fine cast of British talent but has very little material for them to work with.
Directed by Hammer alumni Freddie Francis, THE PSYCHOPATH sees a police detective (Patrick Wymark) on the case of several bizarre murders within a London based string quartet. When it becomes clear that the victims are being targeted due to the continuing presence of strange dolls attached to the corpses, his investigation leads him to the home of an eccentric German woman (Margaret Johnston) whose dark past may hold the key to solving the crimes.
Penned by PSYCHO author Robert Bloch, THE PSYCHOPATH follows many of the beats of the standard mystery picture, lending little in the way of suspense. Would be victims are set up in a very obvious way and the identity of the killer is made clear early on in the films running time - especially for those familiar with Bloch’s much more famous later work. Plus, it also has some of, if not the worst mimed instrument playing I’ve ever seen in a movie.
However, there are some enjoyably hokey death scenes that entertain enough and Margaret Johnston delivers a manically over-the-top performance as a doll-obsessed recluse so there are certainly some elements to mildly recommend THE PSYCHOPATH, particularly as it only lasts for 1 hour and 18 minutes.