The Psychopath

The Psychopath is a 1966 British Technicolor horror film directed by Freddie Francis and written by Robert Bloch in Techniscope. It stars Patrick Wymark and Margaret Johnston and was an Amicus production. [1]

The Psychopath
German poster
Directed byFreddie Francis
Produced byMax Rosenberg
Milton Subotsky
Written byRobert Bloch
StarringPatrick Wymark
Music byElisabeth Lutyens
CinematographyJohn Wilcox
Edited byOswald Hafenrichter
Distributed byParamount British Pictures
Release date
  • May 20, 1966 (1966-05-20)
Running time
82 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom


Police inspector Holloway (Patrick Wymark) investigates a string of murders where the victims have dolls attached to their bodies. The trail soon leads to a disabled German woman named Mrs. Von Sturm (Margaret Johnston), who knows a set of dark secrets that may hold the key to the murders.



The film was originally known as Schizo. Shooting started September 1965.[2]

The Psychopath was an attempt to capitalize on the success of Hammer Films' recent series of psychological thrillers, including Taste of Fear.[3]

Robert Bloch recalls in his autobiography being taken with his wife to the country in England by Ronald Kirkbride, and "the next morning a limo took us to Shepperton Studios, where we lunched after watching Freddy Francis helm a scene for The Psychopath. The scene that morning was one I had indicated as taking place at the bottom of a staircase leading to the upper floor of a house. But everything they actually shot now took place at the top of a staircase which descended to the cellar. What I wrote up they put down. And when I took director Francis aside and questioned him about the change he pointed out that building a set with a stairway was expensive. Shooting from a high angle into the redressed recess beneath a soundstage trapdoor saved money. In other words, I was right back on The Couch (film) with The Night Walker. A low-budget film always operates on the same principle, that is to say, no principle whatsoever except saving a buck, even if it means losing the potential of the picture". [4].


The film was very popular in Europe, particularly Italy.[3]

Michael Weldon writes of the film as "a good shocker". [5].


  2. Ed. Allan Bryce, Amicus: The Studio That Dripped Blood, Stray Cat Publishing, 2000 p 40-42
  3. Nathaniel Thompson, "The Psychopath", Turner Classic Movies accessed 23 February 2014
  4. Robert Bloch. Once Around the Bloch: An Unauthorized Autobiography. NY: Tor Books, 1993, p. 328
  5. The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film. London: Plexus, 1989, p. 569
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