Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 28th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1975
Director: Ray Danton
Writers: Greydon Clark, Mikel Angel, Ray Danton
Cast: Paul Burke, Jim Hutton, Julie Adams, Nehemiah Persoff, Neville Brand, Aldo Ray, Whit Bissell, Rod Cameron, Della Reese
BluRay released: May 31st, 2016
Approximate running times: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC and 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Psychic Killer was co-written and directed by Ray Danton (Deathmaster, Crypt of the Living Dead). Key collaborators on Psychic Killer include, screenwriter / producer Greydon Clark (Without Warning) and screenwriter Mikel Angel (The Candy Tangerine Man, The Love Butcher).
Deaths that defy explanation and a killer with a rock solid alibi drive the narrative of this most unusual psychological thriller from the heyday of exploitation cinema the 1970’s. And though the narrative is fairly straight forward, there are many moments in the film that will have you questioning your own sense of reality. Also when it comes to this film’s protagonist, this film does a superb job filling in their back-story.
From a production stand point, pacing is never an issue, the visuals greatly add to the mood of the film and all of the kill scenes are inventive. With this film’s standout death sequence being a scene involving a very naughty nurse who does a striptease for an old man she is taking care before she takes a shower. Once in the shower things take a turn for the worse when the water reaches boiling temperatures and unable to turn off the water. Her body finally gives out and she falls through glass shower door.
The performances from the cast range from adequate to good. With this film standout performance coming from Jim Hutton (A Time to Love and a Time to Die, The Green Berets) Arnold James Masters, the film’s protagonist. He delivers an utterly convincing performance of a character with the Oedipus complex. Overall Psychic Killer is very satisfying thriller that far exceeds expectations.
Psychic Killer comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used for this brand new 2k transfer is very good shape. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, Details look crisp and black levels fare well. Also grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. The audio sounds clean, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too. Also included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a reversible cover art, three T.V. spots, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 59 seconds), two interviews – the first interview with Greydon Clark titled The Psychic Killer Inside of Me (13 minutes 32 seconds), the second interview with Mardi Rustum titled The Aura of Horror (8 minutes 5 seconds) and a featurette titled The Danton Force (8 minutes 55 seconds).
Topics discussed in the interview with Greydon Clark include, Al Adamson and Satan’s Sadists, his first encounter and initial collaborations with producer Mardi Rustum, Psychic Killer and his role as producer, securing distribution for the film and his thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Mardi Rustum include, how he started out in the film industry as a film critic, how he got his master’s degree in cinema from USC, Ray Danton, Greydon Clark, the film’s budget, how he was surprised that the film despite its content was only rated PG and his thoughts about the film.
The extra titled The Danton Force includes comments from Ray Danton’s sons Mitchell and Steve, 1st assistant director Ronald G. Smith and actress Julie Adams. Topics discussed in this extra include, Ray Danton personal and professional stories about him and Psychic Killer.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall Psychic Killer gets a solid release from Vinegar Syndrome.