Crime Watch
USA 1961, 87 min, Dir: William Castle
  • Tuesday April 21, 2015 at 7:00PM

Homicidal is a variation on the old-dark-house-with-a-family-secret formula coupled with a sex change twist, a perverse allusion to the then-current tabloids' fascination with Christine Jorgensen, one of the first people to have gender reassignment surgery. Warren, the half-brother of Miriam Webster, has returned from Denmark and moved back into the family mansion with Helga, his childhood nurse, now a mute invalid, and Emily, Helga's companion - or is she Warren's wife? Miriam and her fiancé Karl sense all is not right in the Webster home and a series of strange incidents including the brutal slaying of the local justice of the peace convince them to alert the police. Unsatisfied with their investigation, Miriam decides to do her own sleuthing and visits the creepy Webster mansion alone, encountering something much worse than she imagined. (TCM)

Although Castle rarely made forays the crime genre, he produced his rendition of cinematic madness just one year after Psycho’s release, and helped initiate the 'slasher' genre. Aesthetic similarities with Hitchcock’s Psycho are apparent, as are thematic parallels, from voyeurism to Freudian neuroses. Meanwhile, Psycho’s marketing campaign, was apparently influenced by Castle’s notorious penchant for gimmicks in his films and their promotions. With Homicidal Castle upped the ante in that department, making viewing this shocker as much morbid fun as the story itself.

Hi-Def HitchcockLogo

This screening is part of the larger thematic series:
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