Review: Paranoiac (1963)

If you’re after a drunk, chain-smoking Oliver Reed playing the church organ, this is definitely the movie for you…

blu“PARANOIAC”
1963
Horror/Thriller
UK

Director: Freddie Francis
Stars: Janette Scott, Oliver Reed, Sheila Burrell
Distributor: Eureka
Runtime: 81 mins
BLU RAY REGION ALL

“You saw something, didn’t you?”

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Simon Ashby is a psychopathic drunk who is trying to scare his sister to death to get her share of their inheritance. Then their brother Tony who supposedly committed suicide years before shows up. Is this their real brother or just an impostor?

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A script that reminds me of an Italian Giallo. Hammer’s usually used bright colour, but for some reason switched to black & white this time. The story is interesting enough, and Oliver Reed is the perfect casting of the deluted drunken psycopath. Still, the slow paced tempo and the “correct” dialogue reminds of a dull theatrical tv play. It’s to reserved compared to most of the Italian genre films at the time. Not one of the best gothic thrillers out there, but worth watching because of Reed.

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