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The Psychopath
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Psychopath More at IMDbPro »

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17 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Underrated Thriller

Author: Space_Mafune from Newfoundland, Canada
22 December 2002

Freddie Francis continues to be one of my all-time favorite directors(not to mention his superb work in Cinematography) and here's another fine effort from him for Amicus.

A serial killer seems bent on striking at 4 men involved in a common conspiracy. Each victim is found murdered under bizarre and unusual circumstances and in each case a little doll in the victim's likeness is left at the death scene. One Inspector Holloway(played by the then promising talent Patrick Wymark) investigates and uncovers a whole bunch of unusual connections between nearly every character in the film.

This film is terrific visually and in terms of story(it does display some similarities to Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO)--one is always left guessing. Great stuff!

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Decent thriller, but lacking

Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England
25 October 2006

First of all, I have to say that my copy of this film is poor in the extreme and so I might not have got 'the full effect'. But even so, Freddie Francis' The Psychopath is a rather mundane thriller that takes most of its influence from superior works such as those of Alfred Hitchcock, and doesn't particularly do anything new. The plot focuses on post-world war 2 revenge, and follows the murder of four men. The men were involved in the murder of a German millionaire, and the only other clue that Inspector Holloway has to go on is the fact that small dolls were found next to each corpse. Are the murders something to do with a doll maker and her son? Freddie Francis made a lot of the best films that Amicus had to offer, and although this is both an Amicus and a Freddie Francis film; it's not a high point for either. The plot has just about enough about it to hold the audience's interest for the film's duration, although it does drag at times and I think I'd have enjoyed this film more if it was a little more streamlined. The dolls are what ties the film to the horror genre, as they're eerie looking and creepy; but otherwise, this is more of a by the numbers thriller with only a couple of twists thrown in. The Psychopath is rather difficult to come by, and since it's not all that good; I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to find a copy.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Freddie Francis at his peak

Author: solitaryman2 from Brescia, Italy
27 January 2000

Is it a thriller or is it a horror? I don't know; the only thing I'm sure of is that this Freddie Francis' movie is a little jewel in its own genre. Supported by a solid plot and well acted, "The Psychopath" has got a real thrilling atmosphere, owed to the experience of its director. After starting as a detective story, towards the end it becomes a horror, cleverly avoiding a ridiculous or banal ending. In my opinion, Freddie Francis at his peak.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Effectively creepy horror flick!

Author: Celtbug from Northeast Ohio
11 May 1999

I saw this movie when I was 10 years old, but it left quite a lasting impression on me! Pretty standard horror/suspense/murder-mystery stuff....except for a shocker of an ending! Check it out for yourself! If it doesn't at least give you a good case of the creeps, you should check yourself for a pulse!

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Little known but worth watching

Author: heedarmy from United Kingdom
18 January 2000

This is one of Amicus's lesser-known films and not one in their usual omnibus format. But it's an effective, creepy tale in what would be known today as the "serial killer" genre. Patrick Wymark is good as the detective, and director Freddie Francis, a multi-Oscar winning cinematographer, always brings a fine visual sense to his films. According to director Subotsky, the ending was re-edited and overdubbed to change the identity of the murderer (!) although this is not discernible on screen.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

horror/thriller in the Psycho mode

Author: blanche-2 from United States
16 January 2013

Freddie Francis directed The Psychopath, a 1966 horror/thriller. The stars are Patrick Wymark, Margaret Johnson, Alexander Knox, and Judy Huxtable.

Inspector Holloway (Wymark) investigates murders by what appears to be a serial killer, who leaves a lookalike of the victim in the form of a doll next to each body. Four men are killed, none in the same way. These men play in a string quartet but actually knew one another in the war.

The dolls are traced to Mrs. Von Sturm (Johnson) who lives with her son in a house that has dolls everywhere. She considers them human, and talks to them. The men killed were in fact part of a committee that discredited Mrs. Von Sturm's husband during the war, so she seems a likely suspect. However, Mrs. Von Sturm, though she seems bonkers, is confined to a wheelchair. Holloway's interest turns to the fiancée of Louise (Huxtable), who is the daughter of one of the men (Knox) who was murdered.

This is pretty good - some people reviewing on this site saw the film as children, and I can see where it would have left a major impression on them. It is a derivative story, very strange, and Francis has a good atmosphere going, if the pace at times is a little slow. If you like this kind of film, you will like seeing this one.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: LeonLouisRicci from United States
13 January 2013

Cinematographer and Director Freddie Francis who is best known for his work at Hammer Studios in Britain, (a classy outfit that remade the Universal Horror classics with verve and in color and produced some of the most remembered movies of the 50's and are Baby Boomer favorites), was behind the camera on this one.

With the help of Psycho (1960) author Robert Bloch, they went into familiar turf here with this little seen, and slightly disappointing, entry.

It does look pretty good and has some creepy setups, but suffers from some poor editing (some say it was re-edited after initial screenings) and a bit of a talky atmosphere. The ending is memorable and it is worth staying for the denouement, it just takes its time getting there and is clumsy at times, but not at all to be dismissed.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Saw this movie on late-night TV....

Author: Foo-Dog from United States
22 October 2006

....when I was around 9 years old, and it scared the HELL out of me. The ending, especially, haunted me for many years. I even slept with the covers over my head for several weeks! As I got older, I desperately wanted to find and view this movie again, but couldn't remember the name of it or anyone who was in it. Thank God for IMDb! The message boards, here, helped me to finally recall the title. Then it was off to eBay to - hopefully - find and purchase a VHS copy. I was thrilled that repeat viewings proved to be just as creepy as I remembered, and that ending? WOW. If you can find a copy (it's never been made available for retail purchase), I highly recommend checking out this movie!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

What an Ending!

Author: catfish-er from Orlando, Florida
25 June 2009

I have to admit that my copy of this film is very poor. I bought it on e-bay; and, it looks to have been transferred from VHS (white fuzzy bars on each side; and, very dark; and, it skips all the time.) But, you get what you pay for; and, this one is awful hard to find.

The story is that a London killer is bent on revenging a wartime conspiracy; each victim is found with a little doll in the victim's likeness.

This stylishly done thriller unfolds as the investigators uncover the unlikely connections between the varied characters in the film. I think the plot is quite solid; and, plausible. The story is well acted, as well.

The director has given THE PSYCHOPATH a taught, thrilling atmosphere that keeps you off balance throughout… even when the story drags a bit.

The dolls definitely land this film in the horror genre. When we first meet the doll maker and her son, these innocent dolls already seem eerie and sinister.

And, WOW, watch out at the end!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining and enjoyable without too many flaws

Author: GL84 from Los Angeles, Ca
21 January 2013

When a series of strange murders is found to contain a miniaturized doll next to the victim, the resulting police investigation leads to a mysterious doll collector and her deranged son that has far more connections than they expected.

Not all that particularly memorable 60s-era slasher, as it's mostly helped along by a clever little twist that adds immensely to the chill-factor of the film by having the dolls' be a likeness of their victim left at the murder scene and they're quite creepy when shown. Several of the stalking scenes are overall above-average and rather thrilling, and the ending revelation is overall one of the better parts of the film, though there's several difficult areas here. The biggest is the slow-pace involved where it tends to focus on the police investigation and their rather laid-back nature that doesn't make for a real exciting time, the series of red herrings doesn't have any real value since they don't impact the investigation at all, and there's a few mishandled scenes that don't really need to be there. Overall, there's a lot to like and not a lot to dislike here.

Today's Rating/PG: Violence.

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