Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"Psychos in Love"(1987)d/Gorman Bechard

Get outta my fuckin' head, Carole.After having just laid out the screenshots and poster art for tonight's review a few hours earlier, I was carousing Carole's current content as I often do(as should you mugs, if art, metal, dead shit/weird shit, and/or the female form are your fancy), and lo and behold, the same low budgeted, guerilla SOV slasher comedy by director Gorman Bechard decorating her wall, so I just thought I'd take a moment to say: Knock it off, cyclops, you're creeping me out.Anyway, this one takes me back to the dusty shelves of a local M & P vid joint that I've recently namedropped for an upcoming documentary on the era, but that's another story.The obligatory huge Wizard Video box adorned with marvelously splattery artwork guaranteed it a rental that I remember coming away from feeling satisfied despite the obvious budgetary limitations and amateurish gore.The self-aware dialogue rolls along wittily at a furious pace, and the two leads, Carmine Capobianco, who's also the asst. director/writer/musician/FX tech/you get the damned idea already, and Debi Thibeault share good on-screen chemistry and sense of comedic timing together.The whole thing plays like a romantic comed-umentary as dreamed up by Troma; in fact, I was pretty surprised to find out that those rascals weren't behind this, the second feature by Bechard.Don't let the chick flick reference scare you away, the production, as finally lovingly released on an extra-packed dvd through Media Blasters' Shriek Show label, is still pretty twisted.
The strawberry preserves! Aunt Eula's gonna cream ya.
Joe(Carmine Capobianco) is a sociopath who slings shots at a neighborhood boobie bar when he's not rending unexpected nekkid chicks limb from limb, while Kate(Debi Thibeault) is a murderous manicurist compelled to off men she's stalked with the instruments of her trade.Both share an innate hatred of grapes.Grapes? Grapes? They hate grapes.They loathe grapes, all kinds of grapes.They hate purple grapes, they hate green grapes, they hate grapes with seeds, they hate grapes without seeds, they hate them peeled and non peeled. They hate them in bunches, one at a time, or in small groups of twos and threes. They fucking hate grapes(though Joe mentions an affinity for running nude through a field of mayonnaise, whatever the fuck that means)!!!It's inevitable then, that when they meet one night at his bar, they fall hopelessly in love with one another, almost like two psychos in love, huh.After a particularly satisfying date together, Joe finds himself drawn to snuff Kate's candle like so many dames before her as we saw in an early date montage(strangled in a toilet, strangled in the woods, stabbed up in bed, shanked in the shower), but confesses his groove on homicide to her, instead."Really?!!? So am I!" she responds, wide-eyed.And thus begins a romantic killing spree for the ages, with enough sauna-poisonings and chainsawed dudes for ev'rybuddy.During one particularly brutal/phony-looking murder of an unfortunate bastard where blood impossibly flows into every shot, Kate bumps her head on a nearby boom mic as the camera pulls out to reveal the FX team obliviously pumping stage blood into the scene."Come on, guys, knock it off already!", she scolds, as they sheepishly stop pumping.That's some funny shit right there.
Hand-burgers for dinner again? But Maaaaaaa...
Halfway through the homicidal hijinks, we meet Herman(Frank Stewart), a plumber and would you believe, serial killer number three?After Herman unclogs people's drains, he dispatches them, dismembers them, then gormandizes them, attaching plungers to his nipples in a state of sexual arousal afterwards, explaining: “I admit it’s hard to get a good ‘word-of-mouth’ business that way, but, oh well.”.The cannibalistic plumber urges the kill-weary couple to continue to feed their habit, and in turn, his stomach.But, these star-crossed psychos have more than mere love going for them, there's also a maddening 80's synth n' drum machine title track with some serious grape hatred in the lyrics that they croon together like a shot-on-video-Sonny-and-Cher-if-they-looked-like-Jon-Lovitz-and-Molly-Ringwald that just might overcome the tedium they've been experiencing when they're a-throat slashin' and stabbing weathermen in the eye with manicure tools.The burning question remains:Can Joe and Kate's love survive the inevitable end of their killing spree(they all reach a climax, sadly, don't they?)?Will Joe ever attain a less-embarrassing level of flexibility?Does the freckle-faced pixie, Kate, own nothing but suggestive lingerie(let's hope so) in her wardrobe?Doesn't anybody just fuck anymore?All these questions and more will be answered for you when you screen this one for yourselves.
We'll return to Jon Lovitz in "Jeu Wave Hookers" right after these messages...
Bechard followed this one up with Galactic Gigolo(1987) and Cemetery High(1989) for Empire Pictures, directing You Are Alone(2005) and Friends(With Benefits)(2009) more recently.Capobianco appeared in both of Bechard's Empire efforts, the direct-to-video Bikini Bloodbath(2006) and Bikini Bloodbath Car Wash(2008), and I Spill Your Guts(2012) most recently.Thibeault can be seen in Galactic Gigolo, Cemetery High, Assault of the Killer Bimbos(1988), and Death Collector(1988).Psychos, shot over a few weekends on leftover film stock with Bechard's apartment the main location, was obviously a labour of love for everyone involved, and it actually translates pretty well to the screen despite it's glaring deficiencies.Whether you're into romantic comedies, serial killers, or all three, you won't be able to help yourself from chuckling at the antics, a worthy predecessor to the Scary Movie franchise, and just as blockheaded in serving up its cheap arterial spurt-astic entertainment.Give it a look, you'll probably appreciate it more than the technical score on the scale that it merits, would lead you to believe, which, for the record, is:
You just got yer punk ass Savini-ed*, bitch.

*(suh*veen*ē) v To rub a bladed weapon with a section missing back and forth over a body part to give the illusion of sawing into it on film, as popularized by FX wizard Tom Savini in the late seventies/early eighties.

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