Movie Review: Anatomy of a Psycho (1961)

Synopsis: Already on edge after getting his face slashed in a fight, Chet Marco begins to go off the deep end when his older brother, Duke, is executed for a murder he claims he didn't commit. Chet begins to grow angrier and paranoid as he seeks to get revenge on the people he feels are responsible for his brother's death.

Who's in it? The movie stars Darrell Howe, Ronnie Burns, Pamela Lincoln, Judy Howard and Michael Granger.

Review: I added this movie to my library a couple weeks ago but was undecided about whether or not I wanted to watch it, mostly because the description didn't make it sound overly interesting. I wound up watching it this morning regardless, mostly because it was the only film in my library that was short enough to be watched in the limited amount of time I had.

Overall, I have to say the movie was better than I was expecting it to be. However, I still found I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked to.

One of the biggest problems with this movie is the slow pace. As I mentioned, it is a relatively short film (85 minutes) but ends up seeming longer because the action is fairly sparse and doesn't take up a whole lot of the film's time. Basically, there is a whole lot of buildup and not a whole lot to make the buildup worthwhile.

A bigger problem with this movie, in my opinion, is it missed a chance to be a better film by shifting the focus to a better story than Chet's (Howe) mental breakdown. I actually thought the love story between Chet's sister, Pat (Pamela) and her boyfriend, Mickey (Burns) was much more interesting, especially since Mickey's family was responsible for Duke (William Salzwedel) going to prison and being executed. Instead of taking advantage of what could have been a great drama, the film pretty much blows that part off with Pat being a lot more accepting than she probably should have been.

Heck, I think even Duke would have made a better story, at least from the details that were shared about him. I would much rather have watched a movie about an older brother who resorts to crime to keep his younger siblings out of foster care, especially if Duke wasn't portrayed as someone who was necessarily a good person. That would have been a much more memorable film.

Final Opinion: It's not necessarily a bad movie. It's just there were a couple other potential ways this movie could have been written that would have been a lot better and, compared to those potential films, the actual movie does lack something. In other words, I didn't hate it but did think it could have been better.

My Grade: C


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