British Zombie Bikers

Psychomania

The rules are simple: make a deal with the devil and you get immortality and candy. Break a deal with the devil and you get turned into a frog and eat house flies and grub worms for all eternity. (I’ve only eaten gummi worms, so probably gonna pass on any deal-breaking.)

Psychomania

That’s the premise of the British zombie biker horror oddity, Psychomania (aka, The Death Wheelers/1973). But the young, heck-raising youths wearing spook masks and mocking traffic laws who each commit suicide so that they can come back from the dead in “forever in blue jeans,” think being dead is fun. In fact, it suits them, as their motorcycle gang name is The Living Dead. Cute.

Psychomania

Tom, the gang’s uncombed leader, loves black magic. He was tainted by evil as a crib rat when his mom made an immortality pact with the devil. Now that he’s old enough to make his own satanic bargains, Tom kills himself and returns exactly as he was prior to the expire (no rotting faces or unbrushed teeth), and convinces the rest of the direction-less youth to do the same.

Psychomania

How the gang commits suicide is not very imaginative or graphic: Jumping out of a plane and not pulling the parachute cord, wrapping oneself in chains attached to a cement brick and taking swimming lessons, jumping out of a hi-rise window, driving face first into oncoming traffic… If you waver, you actually die and don’t get to rejoin your zombie biker brothers and their quest to be bothersome to the community.

Psychomania

They drive their motorbikes into the grocery store (punks – there’s tons of parking outside), crashing into carefully stacked canned goods (good marketing). Then they drive into a police station holding a few of their rapscallion pals in conjunction with murder (lots of bloodless associative deaths) and break them out. Then they meet at a fog-drenched place called “The Seven Witches” (a field filled with standing stones) and question one members’ lack of pact. It’s Tom’s girlfriend. She tried offing herself with pills, but goofed up with the goofers and didn’t die. Now Tom and the gang want to die her for good.

Psychomania

Meanwhile, Tom’s mom has had enough of her son’s troubleness and summons the devil (some old guy in a suit, with a sword and a jeweled magic ring) to renege on their arrangement. She’s warned about the whole “frog for eternity” thing, but she doesn’t care — just get it over with and stop that Tom.

Psychomania

With absolutely no blood, gore or even salty language, Pyschomania wraps up with The Living Dead turning into cocooned corpses and finally into stones, which the devil further augments his collection, which he keeps in “The Seven Witches” front lawn. And Tom’s girlfriend who was about to be killed? She’s now single, but lives to die another day.

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