Bloody Psycho (1989)

bloodypsychocoverDoes the fact that the there were at least four different moments during the completely expected “shock” ending that I didn’t understand mean that that movie was incompetent crud? Or am I in the presence of deranged movie genius when a drunked up bum asked our hero if he just shit his pants?

Normally, you’d just write a potty-mouthed wino off as just so much filler and atmosphere, but there’s an important reason why he’s turned to the bottle and hangs around outside the haunted castle cussing out the wimpy parapsychologist in the area to perform some psychic surgery on the castle’s owner.

As expected though from a film with an insanely boring story about a vengeful ghost who seems vengeful only when someone is snooping around, I never quite got what this guy’s problem was, but since he had an unnatural attachment to a child’s doll I knew that something extra spooky was happening here!

And while that doll would get a decent amount of spooky scenes (it even got its head run over in a traumatic yet ultimately pointless flashback!), director Leandro Lucchetti’s utter lack for the feel of how a film should be constructed, what story elements are important, and just generally knowing where to point the camera are perhaps the spookiest aspects of Bloody Psycho!

It is while Dr. Werner Vogler is at the castle to hover his hands over the half-paralyzed body of the lady owner that he gets mixed up in a ghost story. The lady’s mother was mysteriously killed years ago, something also happened to her son-in-law that she may have been having an affair with and her granddaughter ran away after she was killed. The lady herself was paralyzed in a car accident which was barely referenced. I guess when you have a life like that some events are bound to get lost in the shuffle.

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In addition to being a psychic surgeon, Dr. Werner Vogler also has a touch of ESP. This allows him to have visions of events that have already occurred, which give him clues about the strange happenings at the castle.

As he so unhelpfully explains, when he was young he was cautious, but once he got older he really developed his extrasensory perception. And since his visions usually involve stabbing and a rotting corpse in a wheelchair, we’re damn glad he did!

The film details Vogler’s efforts to unravel what happened and is generally quite boring with scenes of him talking to a priest, talking to the family lawyer, buying the doll off the bum, and doing some shirtless Tai-Chi in his bedroom after a grueling day of faith healing.

Further hobbling Bloody Psycho is Lucchetti’s seemingly inattentive or random choice of editing. When Vogler meets up with the granddaughter (she ran away to the horse training school down the street), we get a lingering shot of her heading out on a trail ride accompanied by western-themed cow poke music which would normally be obnoxiously out of place with the rest of the movie except that it provides a welcome respite from the droning stock horror music that fills the rest of the film.

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There’s also the scene where Vogler and a reporter are walking and the camera inexplicably focuses on the ground which is strewn with trash. So it is that we find ourselves in the midst of a ghost story while looking at a shattered television and a broken toilet! It’s like this movie was shot in the backyard of some guy living in Missouri!

Luchhetti didn’t make six movies you’ve never heard of (including The Web of Silence – A.I.D.S.) without knowing how to deliver where it counts though. Of course I’m talking about implied lesbianism!

While feminists will undoubtedly be outraged when the maid is ordered by the lady of the castle to get down on her knees and clean up a broken dish and is also called a whore, male viewers recognize that this is just simply a super hot part of an all-woman relationship! Besides, they end up snuggling in bed later, so it was all in good sapphic fun, right?

And don’t think Dr. Vogler is going to let himself be left out of the tacky sexcapeds (the milk feeding and slurping scene if not exactly tacky, is at least quite sticky) that fill the days of the castle in between gruesome killings. He screws the runaway granddaughter who moves into the castle with him shortly after dumping a table full of beer on him at local cafe!

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But it is the murders where Bloody Psycho really shines with its memorably underwhelming use of a wheelchair-bound rotting corpse. I know what you’re thinking. What’s this thing going to do? Run over my neck with its wheelchair? That’s exactly what’s it’s going to do! But only after dramatically crashing through the same rickety window about five times!

There are of course a few other murders though I wasn’t sure why those responsible felt threatened, especially considering that the film ended in such a way that the same thing could have been accomplished about 80 minutes sooner than that. And for all his psychic superpowers, Vogler only succeeded in putting himself in danger again and again.

Bloody Psycho was one of five films (the others being The Murder Secret, Massacre, Escape From Death, and Hansel & Gretel) Lucio Fulci was involved with that he took footage from to make his Cat in the Brain. Whatever its distinctly turd-like properties then, Bloody Psycho can be praised knowing that it was the bad horror movie equivalent of an organ donor!

© 2016 MonsterHunter

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