6.8/10
2,754
84 user 62 critic

Homicidal (1961)

Unrated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 28 June 1961 (USA)
Trailer
2:20 | Trailer
The brutal stabbing murder of a justice-of-the-peace sparks an investigation of dark family secrets in a sleepy small town in Southern California.

Director:

William Castle

Writer:

Robb White
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Glenn Corbett ... Karl Anderson
Patricia Breslin ... Miriam Webster
Eugenie Leontovich ... Helga Swenson
Alan Bunce ... Doctor Jonas
Richard Rust ... Jim Nesbitt
James Westerfield ... Alfred S. Adrims
Gilbert Green Gilbert Green ... Lt. Miller
Joan Marshall ... Emily (as Jean Arless)
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Storyline

The story centers around a murderous scheme to collect a rich inheritance. The object of murder is Miriam Webster, who is to share in the inheritance with her half brother Warren, who lives with his childhood guardian Helga in the mansion where Warren and Mariam grew up. Confined to a wheelchair after recently suffering a stroke, Helga is cared for by her nurse Emily, a strange young woman who has formed a close bond with Warren. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a psychotic killer! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Castle: [gimmick] In the final reel, when Miriam is about to go into the house for the big climax, there was a one-minute "Fright Break" in which producer/director William Castle advised the audience that anyone too scared to see the climax could go into the lobby and get their money back. For this gimmick, Columbia shipped a cardboard "Coward's Corner" to theaters playing the film. Supposedly, audience members too frightened to see the climax could go to the "Coward's Corner" and wait there until the film ended and the rest of the audience filed past. Apparently no one took the offer. See more »

Goofs

The position of the knocker in Helga's hand changes between shots numerous times whenever she's using it. See more »

Quotes

Miriam Webster: I remember when we were kids, you took this doll away from me and I never saw it again.
Warren: You want it? Take it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the film Joan Marshall's characters Emily/Warren come out to face the audience, via split screen, and take a bow! See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pop Culture Beast's Halloween Horror Picks: Psycho (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Homicidal
Performed by Rawniggaz
Written by D. Michaeltine & B. Handsum
Lyrics by Scary D Satanik Buztz & Doorclosing
Courtesy of God Bap Ltd., AEP Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Fascinating b-grade thriller that deserves to be rediscovered. One of William Castle's most effective and interesting shockers.
2 February 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

William Castle's 1950s camp classics 'The Tingler' and 'House On Haunted Hill' are lots of fun, and highly recommended to all horror fans with a strong sense of the absurd. I expected 'Homicidal' to be a similarly silly but entertaining affair, especially as it was also written by Robb White, but was quite surprised at just how dark and effective it was. Apart from Castle's typically hammy introduction, and the "fright break" towards the climax (a not too dissimilar idea to the one Gaspar Noe used several years ago in his shocking 'I Stand Alone'!), 'Homicidal' is nowhere near as gimmicky and tongue in cheek as most of Castle's best known movies. Maybe that is why it is rarely mentioned when his work is discussed. Too bad, to me it is one of his most interesting and effective shockers. While obviously inspired by 'Psycho', and made on a shoe-string budget with variable acting, I was quite impressed by it. The opening sequence is memorable - a beautiful blonde (Jean Arliss) checks in to a swanky hotel, and offers a shocked bellhop cash to marry her, assuring him that the marriage will be annulled immediately after the event. He is puzzled but agrees, and at the ceremony the next day the mysterious blonde quite unexpectedly murders the JP! We then follow her to a house where she looks after an elderly woman (Eugenie Leontovich) who is mute and confined to a wheelchair after a stroke. The old woman is obviously terrified of her, but is unable to convey this to any visitors to the house. Pretty soon we meet the other characters, and learn of a $10 million inheritance, and things start to get real interesting... I won't elaborate any further for fear of spoiling the plot. The major twist will no doubt be guessed by the viewer fairly quickly but there are still some surprises and shocks in store. Arliss (actually Joan Marshall) gives an intriguing performance. Why she didn't go on to bigger and better things after this is beyond me. I urge fans of Castle's better known movies to check out this little gem. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to all fans of b-grade thrillers and horror movies.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 June 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Homicida See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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