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Homicidal (1961)

Unrated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | June 1961 (USA)
The brutal stabbing murder of a justice-of-the-peace sparks an investigation of dark family secrets in a sleepy small town in Southern California.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Karl Anderson
...
Miriam Webster
...
Helga Swenson
...
Doctor Jonas
Richard Rust ...
Jim Nesbitt
...
Alfred S. Adrims
Gilbert Green ...
Lt. Miller
...
Emily (as Jean Arless)
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Storyline

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. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THE PICTURE WITH A "FRIGHT BREAK!" See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

June 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den mystiske knivstikker  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the 1962 family comedy "Zotz!", also directed by William Castle, a boy and girl go to see Homicidal at a drive-in. A short clip is shown from the POV of the drive-in audience. The boy makes a wisecrack "What's she hanging' around there for? What a kook!" and is told to be quiet by his date. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, the calendar in the hotel shows the date as September 5th. Emily tells the bellhop they must marry on September 6th (this is so they will be married by Warren's 21st birthday). But in a close-up of Warren's birth certificate, it shows August 7th, 1940 as his birth date. So they're gonna have to wait nearly a year to celebrate. See more »

Quotes

Alfred S. Adrims: Take this woman for your lawful weddded wife?
Jim Nesbitt: I guess so.
See more »

Crazy Credits

William Castle does needlepoint as he introduces the movie, then shows it as the movie's title, followed by the beginning credits which are also in needlepoint. See more »

Connections

Featured in Psychette: William Castle and 'Homicidal' (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Homicidal
Performed by Rawniggaz
Written by D. Michaeltine & B. Handsum
Lyrics by Scary D Satanik Buztz & Doorclosing
Courtesy of God Bap Ltd., AEP Inc.
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User Reviews

Fascinating b-grade thriller that deserves to be rediscovered. One of William Castle's most effective and interesting shockers.
2 February 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

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.


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