Review: “Psycho Biddy Double Feature” Starring Joan Crawford: “Strait-jacket” (1964) And “Berserk” (1967); Mill Creek Entertainment Blu-ray Disc Release

  • CinemaRetro
By Fred Blosser

Two 1960s murder thrillers with Joan Crawford have been released by Mill Creek Entertainment on single-disc Blu-ray. The cover sleeve bills the package as a “Psycho Biddy Double Feature.” The films are “Strait-Jacket” (1964), the first of Crawford’s three pictures with producer-director William Castle, and “Berserk!” (1967), her first of two with producer Herman Cohen. In using the possibly ageist and definitely sexist phrase “Psycho Biddy,” Mill Creek’s marketing department clearly hopes that audiences will have fond memories of the frenzied, middle-aged Joan Crawford in 1981’s “Mommie Dearest,” shrieking “I told you! No . . . wire . . . hangers -- ever!” at her terrified adopted child, Christina. Never mind that the belittling term “biddy” is problematic in the case of Joan Crawford. There may be plenty of biddies in the world, but the imperious Joan was never one of them. Never mind either that it was Faye Dunaway impersonating Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest,
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