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A sincere but confused attempt to imitate the Italian giallo slasher films of the 1960s, PSYCHOTIC! tells a loosely constructed tale of two roommates in Brooklyn, New York who spend most of the movie stumbling around the underground music scene while they and a clutch of hipster friends are stalked by a masked killer.
Stuart, a singer-songwriter who has just been evicted from his own band and is looking for love, and his roommate Tim, a part-time peeping tom, who stagger through a couple of delirious nights always in close proximity to the routine killings. Consistent with the style of an Italian giallo, the plot of PSYCHOTIC! is fairly incoherent but it benefits from a hallucinogenic set design and eerie, fog-shrouded blue and red visuals.
On the debit side, co-writers and co-directors Maxwell Frey and Derek Gibbons make the mistake of also starring in their own movie, treating the viewer to sadly amateurish performances that result in a different sort of murder, punctuated by several prolonged moments of embarrassing, unintentional humor.
Despite a raft of gory killings, little suspense is generated around the killer's identity, which is the script's most interesting twist but is treated as a throwaway by directors Frey and Gibbons. What is most striking here is that all of the characters are constantly getting high or drunk, making them obvious kill targets but with the attendant inarticulate line readings by actors that teeter and sway instead of delivering meaningful characterizations or dramatics.
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