35 user 34 critic

Criminally Insane (1975)

R | | Horror, Thriller | 1975 (USA)
An obese woman recently released from an insane asylum kills anyone who attempts to get her to stop eating.


Nick Millard (as Nick Philips)


Nick Millard (screenplay) (as Nick Philips)


Cast overview:
Priscilla Alden ... Ethel Janowski
Michael Flood Michael Flood ... John
Jane Lambert Jane Lambert ... Mrs. Janowski
Robert Copple Robert Copple ... John
George 'Buck' Flower ... Detective (as C.L. Lefleur)
Ginna Martine Ginna Martine ... Mrs. Kendley (as Gina Martine)
Cliff McDonald Cliff McDonald ... Dr. Gerard
Charles Egan Charles Egan ... Drunk Man
Sonny La Rocca Sonny La Rocca
Sandra Shotwell Sandra Shotwell ... Nurse
Lisa Farros Lisa Farros ... Rosalie
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After her doctors declare her ready to return to society, Ethel leaves the psychiatric hospital and goes to live with her grandmother. She soon develops a few odd habits, in particular an insatiable compulsion to eat massive amounts of food. When Grandma locks up the food supply out of fear for her granddaughter's health, Ethel kills her for the keys to the pantry. Left to her own devices, she now indulges her hunger non-stop, murdering anyone who dares to stand in her way. Will anyone be able to stop her? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She's 250 Pounds of Maniacal Fury!


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Filming took five weeks in the Spring of 1973. See more »


After Ethel knocks the delivery boy unconscious with a glass bottle, she shifts the food box to the side. In another shot, when Ethel starts stabbing the boy - the box has moved adjacent to the body. See more »


John: Come on Rosalie, you know that I love you.
Rosalie: If you love me so much, how come you beat the hell out of me?
John: Rosalie, I'm gonna tell you the truth for once, okay? You need a good beating every once in a while. All women do. And you especially. Okay?
See more »

User Reviews

Fascinatingly bizarre diamond in the rough
5 November 2011 | by SandcoolerSee all my reviews

Vile, crude, disgusting, hideous, degrading, nonsensical: "Criminally Insane" (AKA "Crazy Fat Ethel". Seriously.) is a movie that just has it all. It's a bewildering exercise in bad taste, merely watching it makes you feel like you desperately need to take a shower. Furthermore, it has the unique ability to make everything some people hate about Z-grade schlock into a merit. Just take the film stock this movie is shot on, for example. It looks like someone was embalmed in it, but that's exactly how you want it to look. Forget about the pretty colors and high definition, this right here is what it's all about. The actors also add a lot to the general uncomfortable atmosphere: Priscilla Alden is great as the deadpan lead, but the bit characters are actually just as good. The spineless Sarah Jessica Parker-faced sister who just for the hell of it is also a prostitute, her abusive make-up wearing boyfriend/pimp, the random drunk dude (a sadly brief cameo), the shock therapist, the oddball police inspector, you don't want any of these people living next door. Oh, and then there's the dialogue. This script is so full of gems that it's hard to keep up, can humor get any darker than this? I don't know how "Criminally Insane" was ever intended, but the finished product is incredibly awesome. Dig it up if you can, it's totally worth it.

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Release Date:

1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crazy Fat Ethel See more »

Filming Locations:

Oakland, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$30,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

I.R.M.I. Films See more »
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Technical Specs



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