61 Days of Halloween- Homicidal

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.


Jean Arless and Eugenie Lenotovich in Homicidal (William Castle Productions)

Homicidal is worth seeing for showmanship alone. William Castle was one of the great marketers in the history of cinema. Aside from putting together an impressive resume of hits he also had some of the legendary gimmicks in the history of the medium.

His marketing genius is shown in full force here in his response to Hitchcock’s Psycho. First, there is Castle himself introducing the film but there is also a “Fright Break” in which three quarters of the way through the film a clock appears on screen to countdown a minute allowing anyone who is too scared to keep watching the film to leave.

Having said all that the film is very much worth seeing. It has a twist that I fell for hook, line and sinker. What’s more is that it is alluded to very theatrically in the end credits. If you’re into film pairings you should see this one and A Blade in the Dark back-to-back.

It also is bloody for its time and is bloodier than its predecessor and has a very different kind of twist in store than Psycho had. Interestingly enough this film does have a MacGuffin of its own which plays out very quickly compared to its predecessor. Comparisons aside it is a film that ends up standing on its own and it worth watching based on its own merits.