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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tribeca Review: Crazy is as Crazy Does in PSYCHOPATHS

Films like PSYCHOPATHS, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, are the reasons why horror snobs hate the genre so much: no originality, gratuitous gore, and no identity of their own. But you still watch them because they're fun, and they remind you of other great films you've watched before. So, you don't really expect anything.

Borrowing from films like the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse movies (which are themselves knockoffs from 60s and 70s genre), similarly styled PSYCHOPATHS goes out of its way to be fun, crass, and disturbing all at once. It's just basic as all get out. Several lunatics throughout Nowhere Town USA decide to go buckwild torturing and killing folks in the name of their serial killer idol, who's just succumbed to the electric chair for his terrifying deeds. There's a delirium, a glee that goes into each cheap kill. We learn nothing about neither the victims or the perpetrators, so we don't really care who lives or dies. And I don't think writer/director Mickey Keating (Pod) does either. With the exception of a few characters, none of them even have real names. They go by names like Blondie, Strangler, or Orderly. Keating establishes right away that he's not trying to create a character discussion. It's about watching crazy people be crazy. It's the idea of psychopaths for the sake of psychopaths. Random acts of terror running through a dusty town.

There's nothing new here and the film has nothing to say, new or otherwise. But, you can tell the actors are having a blast with it.While Sam Zimmerman is cuckoo crazy as the masked murderer, Ashley Bell revels in her nightclub act-turned-couple killer role—which is part sexy femme fatale and part delightful lunatic. And Angela Trimbur is just as intoxicating to watch as a killer in a blonde wig getting off on her own bloody prowess. They make the film infinitely more endurable, despite its vapidness.

So, if you're looking for a fun, meaningless throwback thriller, definitely give PSYCHOPATHS a whirl. Otherwise, you might want to stay away entirely.

Rating: ** out of *****


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