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Homicidal

Dir: William Castle (USA, 1961, 16mm, 87 min.)

Famed director of Straitjacket (with Joan Crawford), schlockmeister William Castle creates a wonderfully shameless descent into 1960s gender psychology. Jean Arless (whose actual gender is never revealed) plays dual roles in this confused tale of forced marriage, murder, and mayhem among an odd cast of characters in a lonely mansion. This obvious Psycho rip-off - original audiences were given a "fright break" five minutes before the climax - exploits the transgender/homocidal maniac equation, but all values are inverted in Castle's world. Ultimately an eerie commentary on what makes boys boys and girls girls.