Derek Gibbons and Maxwell Frey wrote, directed, and starred in slasher film PSYCHOTIC! now on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, Sony PSN, and Xbox. They make their contribution to the B-movie slasher genre with a film whose screenplay pretty much comes across like they were high while writing it. While I watched it sober, it may be best viewed under the influence of alcohol or another substance, if that’s your thing. In their first feature-film undertaking, the pair delves into the hipster world of Bushwick, Brooklyn, where a killer is on the loose. With an opening scene that had me laughing out loud, it captured my interest early on. Unfortunately, by the end, I didn’t have quite the same enthusiasm for it, largely due to the performances.
It’s always a shame to have a decent film marred by challenged acting, but filmmaking is an expensive undertaking, and often one must resort to casting friends, family, and even oneself in critical roles. PSYCHOTIC!‘s almost porn-quality performances distracted from everything else, and by the time the film was over, I needed to watch something with Daniel Day-Lewis to cleanse the palette.
Granted with a film like PSYCHOTIC! no one’s really looking for Oscar-caliber performances, so as long as you temper your expectations, you might be surprised at what this film does well. Not only does PSYCHOTIC! display some originality in both storyline and kills, it proves visually entertaining. While not capturing Suspiria’s level of “gore”-geous visuals, Cinematographer Brian Stansfield crafts beautiful shots throughout the film, almost pulling it out of B-movie territory and into artistic cinema. Some of the special effects were better than others, but some of the onscreen kills were so bonkers, I kind of loved them.
In addition to bizarre murders and beautiful cinematography, the original songs gave it a little extra pizzazz. The original score of synth music called back to 80’s horror films and was almost entirely written and performed by Blazing Galaxies, with one additional song written and produced by Phantomize.
After viewing, I found myself contemplating if I would have enjoyed it more with drinks and friends. I’m almost certain for those who imbibe in cannabis, they would likely enjoy it far more than I did. As if making the point for me, the NYC Cannabis Film Festival awarded PSYCHOTIC! with Best Feature.
I would love to see a remake of PSYCHOTIC! with Seth Rogan as Tim and James Franco as Stuart, although they may be a little older than the characters. I just think that they could throw in some ad lib and really get the audience rolling with laughter. Then a person wouldn’t need cannabis for the film to take them to new heights.
At times PSYCHOTIC! straddles the line between entertaining and pretty bad, but tends to stay on the entertaining side more often than not. If borderline ridiculous is your thing, or you’re just too high to mind, you can get it and watch it here: http://www.areyoupsychotic.com