Psychopath (1973)

Genres - Horror  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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An explicit message about child abuse distinguishes this strange little thriller. The Psychopath doesn't quicken the heart enough to score as horror and its potential camp value is muted by the workmanlike direction of Larry G. Brown, but its uniqueness and rarity is sufficient to recommend to those who can find a copy. Tom Basham isn't a great actor, but within his performance as a deranged children's television show host lurks something genuinely disturbing. His pudding-bowl haircut and big staring eyes are perfect to portray a man with the emotions of a child, prone to tantrums and communication through puppets. Despite deaths by lawn mower and baseball bat, the violence isn't overtly graphic, although there's enough simulated child battery to make most viewers uncomfortable, and the action moves along at a decent pace. Both director Brown and leading man Basham were previously involved in the bizarre gay biker flick The Pink Angels, but neither continued a visible film career after The Psychopath, leaving behind a decidedly curious cinematic legacy.