Samuel Frye has a schizophrenic (I think?) patient who he has to make leave the hospital he's trying to no longer work at ... or something. You know, the first fifteen or so minutes of this movie aren't really important. Plot devices happen so Doctor Frye and Veronica will end up at Doctor Langston's insane asylum.
What appears to simply be a weirdass asylum where the patients are allowed to run amok turns out to be far weirder and more fucked up than that. You see, Langston has decided the world would be a better place if everybody had one mind and he's setting out to accomplish just that.
Because Doctor Langston was played by Patrick McGoohan, I couldn't help but see Hysteria as a royally screwed up successor to The Prisoner.
I almost began my review like this:
"Hysteria stars Patrick McGoohan and is about a man who seems to be held captive in a bizarre society where everyone thinks alike and tries to bring that man around to their way of thinking."
Except this time McGoohan's the new Number Two (he's also not truly the star of the movie so I couldn't go with that description). He's come up with a crazyass scheme to get all the Villagers conformed and, to be honest, I was pretty disturbed by the whole movie.
Disturbed and intrigued.
Amanda Plummer plays one of the inmates, a bewheelchaired teacher's pet named Myrna who loves to dance. I've always liked Amanda Plummer and, between her and Patrick McGoohan, it was pretty much a guarantee I'd enjoy Hysteria on some very basic level ("The presence of these actors makes me smile"). The subject matter was interesting enough, disturbing enough and handled well enough, though, that I'm pretty sure Hysteria is going to be one of those movies that sticks with me for a very long time.
End of line.