HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
X - Night of Vengeance
Bunny Drop
Acts of Vengeance
Asura: The City of Madness
In This Corner of the World
Dirty Pair: Project Eden
Pyewacket
Disaster Artist, The
God of Cookery, The
Zatoichi and the Chess Player
Ingrid Goes West
Boys from Fengkuei, The
Runestone, The
Catch Me a Spy
   
 
Newest Articles
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
   
 
  Criminally Insane Food Glorious FoodBuy this film here.
Year: 1975
Director: Nick Millard
Stars: Priscilla Alden, Michael Flood, Jane Lambert, Robert Copple, George 'Buck' Flower, Ginna Martine, Cliff MacDonald, Charles Egan, Sonny La Rocca, Sandra Shotwell, Lisa Farros
Genre: Horror, Trash
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ethel (Priscilla Alden) is admitted to a mental hospital very much against her will, and is subjected to shock treatment to iron out her personality disorder. Her grandmother (Jane Lambert) is trusted to look after Ethel, even though her doctor is strongly advising against her release, nevertheless she is returned to her grandmother's Victorian house. The first thing she wants to do, in fact the only thing she wants to do, is eat, despite being told to take care of her weight, and it's not long before Ethel is cooking two frying pans full of eggs and bacon for her breakfast, along with a dozen slices of white toast. She doesn't care about her enormous size, but what she really hates is anyone trying to get between her and her food... woe betide them...

When Robert de Niro put all that weight on to portray a deeply unlikeable character in Raging Bull, he won an Oscar for his trouble. Priscilla Alden, however, was already pretty heavy for her villainous role in the sensitively titled Criminally Insane, and did she receive any plaudits or awards? No, she did not, although you can see she is just as committed to her film as de Niro as she wolfs down platefuls of cakes and gulps milk straight from the carton. Scripted by the director Nick Millard, here using the alias Nick Philips, the film won nothing but the attention of those horror fans who had heard of it - until it was released on DVD it was fairly obscure, and even then didn't exactly hit the headlines.

One of the comparitively few horrors with a female serial killer at its heart, Criminally Insane sees Ethel claim her first victim when her grandmother puts her foot down and locks up the food after Ethel eats her out of house and home. It's a childishly simple premise - fat woman kills anyone who dares get in the way of her ravenous appetite - and seems to have been mostly shot in one single house as the budget is plainly miniscule. It's almost like a home movie that somehow was released on the big screen (mainly drive-ins), and the acting lives up to that level.

Or down to that level. As the bodies begin to pile up, Ethel's prostitute sister arrives looking for a place to stay and bring back men, leading to complications for the sizeable psychopath. The sister also brings her pimp along, and they both begin to wonder at what that strange smell behind a bedroom door is - of course, that's where the corpses are being stored. Featuring a rip-roaring climax with Ethel trying and failing, very slowly, to dump the bodies she has amassed, it does feature a punchline that wraps things up in the only way possible, if you use the twisted logic of the film. Good for cheap laughs, the film isn't scary and at just over an hour doesn't outlast its welcome, although that will probably be more than enough for some viewers, but Alden's weird, unfriendly, obsessive performance (she gets a dream sequence too) sticks in the memory. Followed by a sequel that used most of this film in flashback.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3378 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
  Rachel Franke
  Butch Elliot
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: