"It's a Shocker !"
"A mad man roars out of Texas and sends a beautiful young girl's dreams down the drain.....and a whole town into shock !"
Produced and directed by Jim Feazell (who worked as an uncredited stuntman on several late 60's westerns), this oddball & off kilter Arkansas produced thriller was originally released regionally in 1974 under the title of WHEELER with a PG rating. In 1980 Feazell shot some additional footage with bit more sleaze and nudity to spice it up for the drive-in crowd with one sequence featuring future scream queen Linnea Quigley in an early role as a barmaid tormented & humiliated by the title character, along with some flashback sequences. With this footage (along with some additional editing done by the distributors) the movie was re-released in 1980 as PSYCHO FROM TEXAS bearing a new "R" rating. The original WHEELER cut has yet to surface, but over the years PSYCHO has turned up occasionally on budget DVD's that all were seemingly sourced from the old Paragon VHS tape. Code Red recently released this as part of one of their "6 packs", which although sourced from a somewhat battered 35mm print is a welcome upgrade none the less.
Forcing Phillips to write him a check he brazenly walks into a bank to cash it and wonders about a town bit, buying some KFC (with the constant prominent placement of the KFC logo you know who supplied the catering), smashes a drug pusher in the crotch with a pool cue and ends back at Phillip's house where he's welcomed by by his daughter who's busy planning a party along with her friend (who happens to be the sheriffs daughter). Things go from bad to worse at the Phillips house and back in town he walks into a bar (still clutching his predominately displayed KFC box) and forces barmaid Linnea Quigley to strip nude & dance while he dumps beer over her and finally forces her to straddle an unconscious bar patron.
Periodically we're shown flashbacks from Wheeler's perspective (with close-ups of his eyes) that show his childhood with his abusive Mother (played by Angela Carnon from 1970's THE BOOBY TRAP) who works as a prostitute bedding down with traveling salesmen while little Wheeler spies on them. There's also a flashback concerning an earlier murder that was likely inserted to add some more blood and a bit of nudity to the proceedings. John King III knocked around both behind and in front of the camera in several low budget films and rather bizarrely would later pop up in a small role in an episode of CAGNEY & LACEY. As Wheeler he brings a strange presence to an already strangely shot & edited movie. Lethargically going about his business he exudes a creepy low key psycho vibe that would send most right minded people fleeing in the opposite direction a few seconds after encountering him.