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Dare I confess to admiring this misogynist wallow in depravity? Say what you will about its politics, THE PSYCHO LOVER is way above average of its type in terms of cinematography, editing and entertainment value. The plot concerns a psychiatrist who is treating a patient who police suspect of being a serial rape murderer. The film is punctuated by several almost psychedelic attack scenes, which bristle with an energy rarely seen in films of this budget. Ultimately the doctor tries to use the killer as a tool to release him from his miserable marriage, attempting to hypnotize his patient to do his bidding. This sequence must be seen to be believed: as the diminutive woman-hater sleeps he is plagued by visions of his victims. Acid rock cranks on the soundtrack, a woman with Gene Simmons makeup whispers "Kill...kill," another go-go dances. It doesn't get any better than this, folks. And hardly anyone lives happily ever after. The director also made the equally mean-spirited BLOOD MANIA which is worth a look, but PSYCHO LOVER deserves a cult following.
Marco is a psycho lover,a misogynistic rapist and stocking strangler of some beautiful young women.He is suspected by the police of a series of shocking nylon murders.His psychiatrist Kenneth Alden wants to use Marco's insane personality to his advantage by helping him to murder his wife.Kenneth hypnotizes Marco into committing the perfect crime..."The Psycho Lover" is a scummy and psychedelic early 70's piece of exploitation.The murders are pretty intense and there are some brilliantly hypnotic sequences.This is a taut and quite suspenseful little thriller with plenty of delicious sleaze and a bit of nasty misogyny thrown in.I enjoyed it and you should too,if you are into Something Weird Video's exploitation.7 out of 10.
This is the kind of film that can only be truly appreciated in
hindsight. It's one of my most guilty of pleasures, the other being
'Ice House' a nasty little thriller of similar vintage.
Director ONeill I would wager saw his share of Bava, probably at least 'Blood And Black Lace'. The murder sequences in 'Psycho Lover' are marvelous set pieces. And interestingly, the women fight back & get in some good licks, these are not generally weak defenseless women.
The music through-out the film is spot on for the time period. There's just something very edgy about the entire proceedings that I really enjoy. Combined with this are some goofy sequences that again, I rather enjoy. ONeill is a capable director. His use of camera, editing approach, story telling ability, use of lighting & mood is first rate. Absolutely I'd rate this as grade A cinema in terms of technical marks, he gets an 'A' on all counts, good work.
Acting as well is first rate. No one really slows it down & everyone has ample time to work their characters into the plot & develop them fully. Dialogue is sharp as well. You may recognize Laurence Montaige from his stint is several Star Trek original series episodes playing a Vulcan, he looks like Spocks Brown Haired Cousin actually & was a natural for Star Trek. He's a capable actor & I always enjoyed his performances albeit I've not seen too much of his other work or am even aware of his professional career much outside this film & some TV work.
I first saw this title in a Drive-In theater before there was such a thing as the internet. Since then I was on the search having even forgotten the name proper of the film. However, images were burned into my brain forever & I was not going to forget this film & as luck would have it I finally struck pay dirt, first in VHS format. This current version is near pristine, good transfer & excellent condition.
I for one think the Dream Sequence is excellent. I like the whole film so sue me! You've got cool frantic music, a wild Daddy Roth style car, a speed boat, a super intelligent psychiatrist with a lake side cabin hide away, a hot to trot mistress, cool gadgets like cassette tape recorders, radar in his car ?! You've got a psychotic killer on the loose, a frustrated cop, a bitter drunken floozy of a wife...the psycho's land lady is named 'Mrs. Gerber'!?! yowza!
This is not however, the kind of film most of your friends will appreciate. The murders are fairly brutal & graphic (by standards of the time) & there's' definitely not too many PC moments a-happenin in this flick. We'll just have to accept the fact that some pleasures are purely esoteric & to explain them or expect too many others to feel the same way is unrealistic.
'The Psycho Lover'; if you love 60's / 70's psychotronic film, bizarre concepts, definitely NON-PC material, this film is for you. Any film that couldn't be made in todays climate gets 2 thumbs up from me anyways, just on principle alone. Check it out.
The plot of this film isn't exactly original; the film itself even
admits to this by mentioning the classic film 'The Manchurian
Candidate' halfway through, but for what it is; The Psycho Lover easily
provides eighty minutes of entertainment, and it's an above average
film to boot. The film centres on the idea of brainwashing someone into
committing murder, although this plot doesn't come through until half
an hour in, and it is a little difficult to ascertain what is going on
at certain points. After the first half hour, I really wasn't expecting
this to develop into anything, but things pick up once we see where
things are going. Psychologist Kenneth Alden has a problem; he's got
himself a hot girlfriend named Stacey, but his relationship with her is
being held back by wife, who doesn't want to be with him because she
doesn't loves him - but also doesn't want to give him a divorce because
she knows not doing so will wind him up. When Stacey tells Kenneth
about a film she has seen, 'The Manchurian Candidate', he gets the
bright idea of brainwashing someone and having him kill his wife...
One problem I have with this film is that many of its scenes are far too drawn out. However, this isn't always a bad thing as many of these sequences are more interesting than they should be given the type of film. The scene in which we are introduced to Kenneth's wife is very strong, and the sequence that sees our serial killer stalk a victim through an empty house is actually quite exciting. The film was shot on a low budget, and this is always obvious although not that important; as there are no big stunts and the film admirably overcomes its budget restraints. The acting isn't bad either, and Lawrence Montaigne is good in the lead role. He receives good support from Jo Anne Meredith as his wife, while Frank Cuva and Elizabath Plumb bulk out the rest of the central cast. The ending is nice and ironic, and works well considering what has gone before it. Films like this are usually ten a penny, but this one stands out above similar movies, and I will say that if you consider yourself a fan of cult seventies cinema - this one is more worth tracking down than most!
You have to love a film that so freely admits that it has stolen a
major plot element from a (then) current popular film... in fact a
character actually mentions that she had just seen this great film
called "The Manchurian Candidate" and goes into detail about the plot
that the film then goes on to replicate... you have to admire their
Other than that there is the delightfully silly scene where they attempt to stage a suspenseful cat and mouse scene in a fully lit, sparsly furnished room that is about the size of a small car... and somehow manage to drag it out for several minutes AND make it work (to a point at least).
Being a huge fan of cult, camp, and psychotronic cinema, I absolutely
adore Something Weird Video. Their releases of vintage exploitation
films rarely disappoint and are almost always very entertaining and
breezy for weirdos such as myself. However, they're usually just
bizarre camp, which makes "The Psycho Lover" all the more surprising.
Not since "Johnny Firecloud" have I seen a Something Weird release
thats also a very well made film in addition to a shocking drive-in
flick. The plot of manipulating a killer isn't original (the film
doesn't deny this either, as the main psychiatrist character gets his
idea from his mistress mentioning "The Manchurian Candidate"), but its
a remarkably suspenseful and stylish production that raises above the
The film, directed by Robert Vincent O'Neill (who later made the popular softcore title "Angel" and wrote the sleaze classic "Vice Squad"), is very well paced. The murder sequences are colorful and effectively brutal. In fact, the heavily stylized combination of sex and violence often brings to mind Brian DePalma, even though this was released before "Blow Out" and "Body Double". There's also a nice psychedelic dream sequence. Plus, there's plenty of campy and kitschy moments in addition to the effective ones, but these are entertaining in a dated 70s fashion. Sure, the movie is probably misogynist, but I wouldn't take it too seriously and it does work as a shocking exploitation thriller. Plus, the nudity and violence here are usually only included when necessary to the plot. "The Psycho Lover" is recommended for fans of classic drive-in schlock. (7/10)
While THE PSYCHO LOVER does have a lot going for it, including a mean-spirited script and decent acting, plus a strong script, the story is too heavily padded out with pointless scenes of the Doctor and his mistress slappin' lips to hokey 60's music that would make Donovan want to plug his ears with candle wax to keep out the pain. Overall, the film is worth at least one look for the violent, kinetically-edited attack scenes, where Marco slaps on his panty hose over his head, giving him a sadistic sneer as he goes crazy on the women. However, these scenes are too far apart and by the time the next ones comes along, the film has almost lost its viewers with the dull exposition used to pad out time, until the final 15 minutes when the film locks into overdrive to the surprising climax, which almost makes it all worthwhile.
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