Well, this was a fun way to start 2018. Psychotic! is a mesmerizing mix of horror elements with a killer that resembles Stan “The Coffee Guy” McNer from MAD TV. I was here for it. In Maxwell Frey and Derek Gibbons’ Psychotic!, a group of hard-partying Brooklyn hipsters are stalked and murdered by a masked lunatic known only as The Bushwick Party Killer. It’s a simple concept, and one that closely mirrors other titles in its category, but Psychotic! is absolutely enthralling in regards to its production design and cinematography, and that’s going to set it apart from similar movies. A press release describes the new film from Destruction Inc. as a psychedelic slasher and that’s the perfect way to describe this flick. Watching this movie made me want to go to Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York and attend one of these fancy parties, and risk being gutted by a slightly comedic killer that should have been foiled or caught at every murderous attempt. Buckle up, kids, because Psychotic! is a modern take on the old school slasher genre, which read like Halloween, Black Christmas and The Prowler combined and with lots of booze and lots of pot. And you should probably enjoy this title with equal amounts of both.
Psychotic! was written, directed, produced and edited by Maxwell Frey and Derek Gibbons. It was executively produced by Noah Lerner with fellow producers Clint Keepin and Elizabeth Koe. Frey, Gibbons and Keepin also star in Psychotic! alongside Kristen Martin, Adam Maid, Danielle Grace, Rachel Laforest, Holland Kemp, Maria Wojciechwoski, Cirocco Dunlap, Dominic Reno, Aldous Davidson Chris Donahue and Katie Hawthorne. Cinematography was handled by Brian Stransfield with original scores made by Blazing Galaxies and editing performed by Michael Coelho. As I mentioned above, the production design and cinematography alone make Psychotic! a worthwhile addition to your Blu-ray/DVD shelf. It’s a trippy, mesmerizing experience and a blood-soaked, somewhat dramatic adventure. And it could possibly be a metaphor for underground life in NY, but I’m not willing to explore that equation any further. When trying to look for negatives, I can only find two. First, the movie contains a stereotypical “is that you?” moment and it’s a cliche in horror that makes me grate my teeth. Second, in one of the gore shots, the blood looked way too watered down and not believable at all.
So, with that said… Let me go back to praising this movie and rambling about its highlights. (That’s all that this is at this point – rambling. I know it.). I can say without a doubt that every actor in this movie pulled out a great performance. There’s absolutely no weak spots in terms of acting. The music mash-up is fitting, effortless and cohesive. The original scores are retro and bring balance to the suspense and throwback story built around Psychotic!, and the songs from Mass Psychosis were fun to listen to and the perfect anthem for late night rock parties. Both forms of music melded into a distant, cinematic character that didn’t strike me until the very end. Did this movie win any awards for cinematography and scores? Seriously. Throw in an above-average body count and two unexpected twists and switch-ups and Psychotic was pretty stellar. It’s definitely an independent feature at its core, but I think it’s a title that the more rebellious crowd will gravitate to. I didn’t anticipate enjoying it as much as I did. Psychotic! is hitting VOD on January 26, 2018 and I would recommend it to slasher fans looking for a groovy time. Final Score: 7 out of 10.