Director: Johnny Johnson
Starring: Jenna Verdicchio, Steve Hope Wynne, Kristina Dargelyte
UK DVD release July 13th from High Fliers Films.
“Electric shock treatments draining power again.”
Dr. Helen Kingsford (Virdicchio) is working through her last rounds at an old mental hospital which is being closed in favor of a new facility. Only three patients remain and a handful of guards. The office party send off of the old wing is brutally interrupted by one crazy guard who lets out the remaining three patients. Or something close to that. BUT that’s not really the plot. Dr. Kingsford is set on a game of cat and mouse in an effort to evade crazy guard Thomas Reid (Wynne) and his psychotic minions as the patients take over the barely staffed asylum.
Kingsford must join forces with one of the psychos, run for her life, and save a little girl living in the bowels of the asylum who helps them escape certain death. AND that’s not all! There’s an experimental (??) machine in the hospital which turns the troubled and sadistic Reid into a maniac. It also turns his eyes black, and that of another patient. No real explanation is given about the machine. None for the kid living in the asylum. Is she homeless? Did someone leave her? Confused? You aren’t the only one.
Psychotic makes a lot of leaps, both in terms jumpy edits that don’t help clarify the action and logic. Events happen with only the thinnest connection between each other. The strange machine that makes people crazy has no introduction, no explanation, and is only used once.
The special effects are an uneven mixed bag of practical and digital. And neither of them are used very well. One notable digital misfire is use of digital effects for a character getting their throat slit. Which is one of the simplest of all practical effects. A lot of the actual woundings take place off camera, cutting back to the results. It’s not a particularly gory film.
It sounds like Psychotic might be terrible. But it isn’t. The actors commitment is commendable. The only drag is the little kid Chloe (Rosie Cochrane). Everyone else is acting their hearts out, to the point of some amusing scenery chewing. Everyone is giving their all to a rather mediocre thriller with a whacked out plot. Steve Hope Wynne, with his growling portrayal of the broken and dangerous Reid is particularly good. He seems to be so angry he can barely open his mouth .
Kudos for: WTF crazy making machine.
Final lesson: Quit working in asylums. No really. Just stop it.