It’s time for #TrashOrTerrorTuesday
…when I examine a film that’s been languishing in my personal library to determine if it is #Trash or #Terror
– or more importantly, if it deserves to stay in my collection.
And so, out from the dusty shelves of #VHS tapes comes…
w/ #TomBasham #JohnAshton #MargaretAvery
A children’s television show host named Mr Rabbey stalks and murders abusive parents.
“Nobody can escape him… Nobody!”
I’ve had this one in my collection for many years, and it’s a in a cheapjack VHS box that looks a lot like the picture above. Family Tyme Home Video the company is called. Family time? This movie hardly conjures up images of Mommy and Daddy gathering the kids around the TV set on a Sunday afternoon. On the other hand, Psychopath / An Eye for an Eye (1973) is about a children’s performer, so maybe that’s where Family Tyme got the idea to release it. What’s really odd to me is that I don’t think the movie has ever been given a proper re-release on DVD on Blu-ray. I certainly have never come across it – and it seems like it would be a perfect candidate for one of the better niche companies that release special editions of weird, cult horror movies.
I’m not sure if Psychopath ever developed much of a cult following, but it really should have. The story, about a children’s entertainer murdering abusive parents, is about as close to brilliant to any cult horror plot that I’ve ever heard. And just to add to the mystique, Joe Spinnell – who gave one of the greatest performances as a psychopath in horror movie history in Maniac (1980) – attempted to remake Psychopath as Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie (1986). I’m not sure how official a remake it was, but the original movie features a children’s performer named Mr. Rabbey, and Joe called his character Mr. Robbie – coincidence? I think not.
Honestly, Psychopath is nowhere near as good a movie as Maniac. Still, it’s fairly entertaining for what it is – and what it is is a PG rated early ’70s portrait of a weirdo going over the edge. It’s light on gore, violence, and nudity, but it’s a pretty twisted story that manages to deliver a few unintended laughs as well as some seriously creepy moments. The fact that it’s a little hard to come by on home video also adds to it’s understated appeal.
So what’s the verdict?
I would have to say that Psychopath / An Eye for an Eye (1973) is a mild #Terror. Hardly the best of its kind, but an acceptable way to spend eighty some odd minutes once every fifteen or twenty years. I will be hanging onto my VHS tape in the hopes that I might live that long.
Psychopath / An Eye for an Eye (1973) by #LarryGBrown
A children's television show host named Mr Rabbey stalks and murders abusive parents.
— Angus Kohm (@AngusKohm) June 16, 2021