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Movie review: “PSYCHOTIC!” brings giallo horror to Brooklyn

Monday, February 5, 2018 | Review


Starring Maxwell Frey, Derek Gibbons and Kristen Martin
Written and directed by Derek Gibbons and Maxwell Frey
Destruction Inc.

Do you hate hipsters? How about millennials? How about millennial hipsters who live in Brooklyn? If you said yes to any of those questions then this bloody and trippy flick might be for you!

As for me, I can’t honestly say I have anything against so called hipsters or millennials (considering I am one) or people who live in Brooklyn, millennial hipster or otherwise. But I do hate parties, especially the kind featured in this film. As someone who is straight edge and an introvert, parties consisting solely of people getting high and increasingly becoming more obnoxious are not my idea of a good time. The few parties like this that I have attended usually ended with everybody (save for me) becoming increasingly incoherent and me becoming increasingly bored.

Thankfully, in PSYCHOTIC! there’s a killer on the loose, making the possibility of boredom obsolete. In the end, I guess what I’m saying is, you don’t have to hate hipsters to enjoy this film. You just have to hate boredom. And you’ll be anything but bored if you watch PSYCHOTIC!

Written and directed by Derek Gibbons and Maxwell Frey, PSYCHOTIC! is a fun and funny throwback to the garish giallo genre only set in “Bushwick” Brooklyn. The film features a black gloved killer and a cast of colourful non-conforming young folk as they attempt to survive not only the cost of living in the city, but the cost of going to parties while “the Bushwick Party Killer” is at large.

The film features copious amounts of synth music, drugs, drinking, death and flannel shirts and plays its ridiculousness to the hilt, while retaining a faux sense of seriousness and keeps the viewer in a perpetual state of confusion and fear (much like the characters). It is, on one hand, a celebration of the people and culture who made the film possible, and on the other a tongue-in-cheek critique of those same people. I can see PSYCHOTIC! becoming a cult classic, and not just among horror fans but also among the hipsters it skewers, much in the same way that James Merendino’s SLC PUNK! has gone on to become a cult classic among punks. Both films serve as celebrations and cautionary tales to two counter-culture scenes that can prove to be dangerous if not treated with some self-deprecating humour.

Glenn Tolle
Glenn Tolle grew up with a healthy interest in the macabre. His dad worked, and still works, as a grave digger, and much of his childhood was spent running around cemeteries and reading creepy books. All this combined with early viewings of the classic Universal monster movies led him to writing about the genre. He writes not only for RUE but also for under the pen name Glenn Strange. When not writing about horror Glenn talks about and interviews people within the horror and film community for the YouTube channel Psychic Celluloid Signals and creates original horror stories for publication.