‘He freed his mind and body to commit the most sensual and shocking acts imaginable!’
Psychic Killer is a 1975 American paranormal horror film about a former mental patient who uses astral projection to kill people.
Directed by Ray Danton (Deathmaster; Hannah, Queen of the Vampires) from a screenplay co-written with Greydon Clark (director of (Uninvited; Without Warning; Satan’s Cheerleaders) and Mikel Angel (Demon Keeper; Grotesque; Love Butcher). It was produced by Mardi Rustam (Evils of the Night; Eaten Alive; Doctor Shagetz).
The movie stars Paul Burke, Jim Hutton, Julie Adams (who was married to director Ray Danton at the time), Nehemiah Persoff, Neville Brand and Aldo Ray.
Arnold Masters (Jim Hutton) is a mild-mannered man who obsesses over his mother but finds himself implicated in a murder he didn’t commit and is sent to an asylum.
While incarcerated, a fellow patient teaches him the techniques of Astral Projection, also known as the Kirlian Effect, which is the ability to use his mind to control objects at will.
When the real killer is found and Arnold is released, only to find that during his time in the asylum his mother has died, he vows vengeance against those responsible for setting him up and begins to use his powers to exact bloody revenge…
“Director Ray Danton never really manages to take control of his bizarre material, but he paces it well and delivers an amazing amount of unpredictable oddity in a short time frame. In short, Psychic Killer will baffle anyone expecting a straight scare-fest but anyone in search of cheap thrills at their most eccentric will have a field day.” All Movie
“An aura of past glory and missed opportunities haunt the film, suffusing the proceedings with a hint of sadness even as the murder set-pieces become more and more outlandish. Certainly, past glory must have been on the minds of all involved as they cashed this easy paycheck…” Arbogast on Film
“Danton shoots Psychic Killer (1975) rather stylishly in some scenes and somewhat sloppy in others. Either way, the film has lots of sleazy potential in both the skin and kill department. It’s not all that gory, but some of the murder scenes are inventive and pretty spectacular in execution.” Cool @ss Cinema
“The revenge killings foreshadow techniques in slasher films to come. Despite inspired moments, this is hampered by an inadequate budget and ordinary direction by Ray Danton…” John Stanley, Creature Features, Berkley Boulevard, 2000
” …the movie turns inadvertently comic during the scary scenes, and since the rest of the movie is taking itself rather seriously, it undermines the movie’s impact. Some of the dialogue is quite bad as well, and the police figure out the culprit far too easily. Ultimately, it’s a failure, but not an uninteresting one.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
” …the film alternates between police procedural and speculative fiction, with some surprising gore sprinkled about, and topped with one of the screen’s oddest stripteases (courtesy of Love Me Deadly‘s Mary Wilcox). Yet for some reason, it doesn’t feel like a mess; it feels like an undiscovered gem of weirdo ’70s cinema.” Flick Attack
” …it all ends with a surprisingly grim and sadistic finale (given away in the trailer, alas) that leaves the viewer with no one to root for. Though far from technically accomplished, Psychic Killer is at least never boring and should please any discriminating sleazy drive-in movie hound.” Mondo Digital
“The cast make the most out of the material and play their parts with no shortage of enthusiasm, and even if the end result is a little hokey the picture remains entertaining, creepy, and a truly enjoyable seventies drive-in oddity.” Rock! Shock! Pop!
” …there’s a hint of a tongue in the cheek, but mostly this turns into a police procedural with a supernatural gimmick […] More entertaining for its bursts of mayhem (Neville Brand killed by his own butcher’s shop) than as a satisfying whole, Psychic Killer passes the time with nasty flair.” The Spinning Image
“Some interesting death sequences highlight, including scalding showers and meat butchering equipment gone haywire. Hutton and Adams (of 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon) both provide good lead performances.” The Terror Trap
“Boasting a feel somewhere between an episode of Mission Impossible and the more serious minded (and therefore less entertaining) end of blaxploitation, Clark’s script takes on the then-popular fascination with Kirlian photography and auras and moves it someplace way the hell out in left field.” Third Eye Cinema
“A good, cheap, diverting horror exploiter with a reasonably developed sense of its own ridiculousness (a couple of funny, bloody murders), and a cast of old hands (Adams, Ray, Brand) who know a hilt when they see one, and boy, do they play up to it.” Time Out New York
“Psychic Killer is marred by its blatant references to Hitchcock films, especially Hutton’s Psycho-derived mother complex. Actor-turned-director Ray Danton’s presentation of this material is pretty mundane and leaves his competent cast of supporting players to inject whatever life they can into the movie.” TV Guide
“Each victim, each situation, and each method of murder is completely different from the others, and this variety keeps you amused and watching, even with the realization that the movie for the most part is just repeating itself – a murder, cut to the investigation, another murder, back to the investigation, etc.” The Unknown Movies
Vinegar Syndrome released Psychic Killer as a Blu-ray + DVD combo on May 31, 2016.
Scanned and restored in 2K from 35mm negative
“The Danton Force” featurette w/ Mitchell & Steve Danton, co-star Julie Adams, and 1st Assistant Director Ronald G. Smith
“The Psychic Killer Inside Me” featurette with Greydon Clark
“The Aura of Horror” featurette with Mardi Rustam
Original theatrical trailer
Multiple TV Spots
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH Subtitles
Buy Blu-ray + DVD combo: Amazon.com