The thing is, you can’t hesitate. If you don’t want to die you can’t have eternal life. That’s the premise of Psychomania, aka The Death Wheelers, an English horror movie that isn’t a horror movie at all. Yes, the name of the motorcycle gang is The Living Dead; yes, the members of that gang come back from the dead; no, it’s not a horror movie. More on that later.
Tom is the leader of a motorcycle gang called The Living Dead. Even though he’s all grown up now, Tom wears leather pants and a weird helmet and drives around with his motorcycle gang terrorizing the squares. He’s an overgrown child, the kind of kid who pulls the wings off flies. His mother is rich, which is why he’s not in jail.
But Tom wants more from life. His mom made a deal with a toad that gave her eternal life, and Tom wants in. Discovering that the way to immortality is to die, he drives off a bridge. The funeral is awesome. Tom’s biker pals prop him up on his motorcycle, which they put in the grave and then bury. Because it’s the early 70’s, one of the bikers sings a groovy folk song.
Tom doesn’t stay buried long. Back from the dead and endowed with supernatural powers, he’s a bigger asshole than ever. It’s not long before Tom’s buddies all want in on the fun. Indeed, the best part of Psychomania is watching the creative ways they off themselves. Pretty soon The Living Dead live up to their name. The only party pooper is Tom’s girlfriend Abby. Instead of doing something cool like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute or throwing herself into traffic, she takes a bunch of pills and doesn’t die. Wimp.
Psychomania isn’t a horror movie; it’s a black comedy. Why do I say that? Well, that’s what I say when a movie is funny instead of scary or gory or upsetting. Psychomania is full of funny scenes, but my personal favorite is a reborn Tom revving up his motorcycle and driving it right out of his grave. Psychomania is an early 70’s film that with a bit of editing could be an episode of The Avengers. John Steed and Emma Peel would make short work of these bozos.