Psycho Thrillers

Cinematic Explorations of the Mysteries of the Mind


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About the Book

Mind control, madness and altered states of reality can make for exciting nights at the movies—which explains the enduring popularity of a film genre that might be called the psycho thriller. Psychiatry and film came of age simultaneously, and characters such as the evil psychiatrist and the pathological killer were often developed in direct reference to the psychological themes that inspired them. For example, the penchants of Hitchcock’s famously creepy Norman Bates represented real psychological disorders, and his actions were explained through psychoanalysis. The psycho thriller presents a world where psychology represents a dimension of supernatural and metaphysical wonders.
The introduction analyzes what makes a psycho thriller, and subsequent chapters are devoted to each of the archetypal psycho thriller characters (the mad scientist, the psycho killer, the individual with psychic powers, and the psychiatrist) and themes (mind control, dreams, memory, and existential issues). The concluding chapter lists the top twenty psycho thrillers. Stills from classic films in the genre illustrate the text, which also includes filmography, bibliography, and index.

About the Author(s)

William Indick is Professor of Psychology at Dowling College in Oakdale, New York. He is the author of several books on media psychology, and has written for numerous psychology journals. He lives in Islip, New York.

Bibliographic Details

William Indick
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 195
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2371-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0876-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1. Doctors of the Mind      7

2. Psycho Killers      28

3. Mad Scientists      40

4. Psychic Powers      61

5. Mind Control      75

6. The Dream World      96

7. Memory and the Problem of Existence      104

8. Psy-Fi Disorders Not Otherwise Specified      121

9. Masters of Psy-Fi      131

Conclusion: The Top Twenty Psy-Fi Movies      147

Filmography      155

Bibliography      179

Index      181

Book Reviews & Awards

“interesting…worthy of your attention”—John Kenneth Muir, Reflections on Film/TV.