Established in 2009 as a home for the ‘waifs and strays’ of British cinema, BFI Flipside have built up a distinctive DVD catalogue (including The Bed Sitting Room and Peter Watkins’ Privilege) as well as hosting a popular series of events at their Southbank home. Now they’ve donned skull-head bike helmets to venture beyond the M25 for the first time, and here present an evening of two-wheeled entertainment as part of our Bikermania strand.
Tonight’s feature attraction is one of the shining oddities of 70s cinema, a supernatural thriller about a gang of undead bikers who worship frogs and terrorise the innocent shoppers of Walton-on-Thames. Written by two blacklisted Americans, directed by a jobbing Australian (Don Sharp, who died late last year), and blessed with a bizarre cast which mixes well-spoken youngsters with confused pros like Beryl Reid and George Sanders (plus a Dot Cotton cameo), Psychomania is an accidental masterpiece. By way of a warm-up we’ll also have short 1965 documentary Chelsea Bridge Boys, and a half-hour drama about bikers at the seaside.