Archive for the ‘suicide’ Tag

Psychomania or The Death Wheelers (1973)   Leave a comment


What a bad film.

A gang of way too pretty British bikers called The Living Dead terrorize motorists and generally annoy people. They have so much fun at it, they decide to kill themselves so they can come back from the dead and act like fools forever. Sounds logical. Toads play a part somewhere though the movie never says how. People catch toads, wear toad rings and pendants and feed toads in a weird modern art terrarium.

Psychomania A
“Later, we’ll have toad-kebabs!”

The leader of The Living Dead, Tom Latham (Nicky Henson) lives with his mum (Beryl Reid) in an über modern mansion that looks like something out of A Clockwork Orange. He must be rich because his butler is George Sanders who looks bored and a bit drunk. Honestly, Sanders must have lost a bet. Anyway, the destructive and somewhat aimless bikers discover that if they die, they’ll come back to life so they can do more stupid crap. That seems fun so the thirty-year-old teenagers keep offing themselves and coming back to life.


Since they don’t do anything vastly different when they come back than they did before they died, I’m not quite sure why they bother and after 45 minutes of this I lost the will to live. I guess I was supposed to care if they lived or died, but the characters were so poorly drawn and the story so dull, I just wished it would end. Don Sharp directed this film also called The Death Wheelers. It’s not a tour de force, exactly. Mostly, the camera sits still as the bikers ride around and kill themselves off, which is fun. I did like that part. They also wear nifty motorcycle jackets and turtlenecks with funky, gigantic goggles. I’m not sure that’s enough to hang an entire film on though. As I said, it’s a bad film, but it can be a fun watch.

“Please kill me.”- George Sanders

I’m still not clear on the whole toad thing, but no matter. Toads don’t figure enough in biker films these days.

“Someone point me toward my bike. I can’t see a thing.”

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)   Leave a comment

I almost reviewed this film for my 31 Days of Horror because the idea of a once successful man divesting himself of all his worldly goods to move to Las Vegas and drink himself to death might be more horrifying than any axe-wielding maniac.

Ben Sanderson (Nicolas Cage), a Hollywood screenwriter, has burned all his bridges. His bosses and co-workers acknowledge his talent and charm, but they’ve grown tired of his excuses and drunken scenes. His wife and family are gone and Ben decides to die. He burns his belongings and converts everything to cash which he will live on until he no longer lives.

While in Las Vegas, he chances upon Sera (Elizabeth Shue) and the two form an unusual alliance. Their romance of sorts depends on neither’s interference in the other’s vocation. Ben won’t stop Sera’s prostitution and Sera won’t keep Ben from drinking. Sera, a hooker with a heart of gold, rationalizes that she’s in control much like Jane Fonda’s character, Bree in Klute (1971). Cage plays Ben as a depressed but literate character and he makes you like him. You really don’t want Ben to die.

Eventually, a life on the street and drinking gallons of booze take a toll and we watch the downward spiral with hope, then resignation. Leaving Las Vegas is hard to watch. Suicide and self-abasement are. Stick with it because of Cage and Shue. They make it hard to look away.

leaving las vegas still


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