Friday, April 27, 2012

PSYCHOPHOBIA (Stefano D'Arbo, 1985) When Eva's husband dies in a radioactive plane crash (mmHmmm... hate it when that happens), she is left alone to care for their children, and to continue paying the monthly installments on their house. With no income or support, the stress starts to get to Eva, especially when her lecherous mortgage broker is found dead in his car shortly after making a pass at her. Then, a series of bizarre incidents befall her. She hears shuffling on the rooftop. The kids wake up, screaming in pain in the middle of the night. A creepy old man, who knows far more about Eva's house and children than he should, invites himself to tea. Oh, and a few more people die. But crazy ol' Eva, stubborn girl that she is, refuses to leave the house, and so must discover the source of the disturbances.
*Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrooooan* Sorry, fell asleep there. When I came across this obviously straight-to-VHS title awhile back, I was (faintly) optimistic about possibly discovering another golden, juicy Italian horror nugget. I found a nugget, for sure. A big brown one. The moment I saw the film quality, lighting, acting, and dubbing (all terribly sub-par... sub-sub-ap, actually), I was reminded of another 80's VHS spaghetti horror craptrek: Carlo Ausino's Don't Look In The Attic. It's one of those movies that I recommend only for the most fanatical completists, and even then only if they have the required stimulants and painkillers to get through it. Psychophobia is ridiculously boring. With the exception of one burst melon, the few deaths that do occur happen offscreen, and there's no blood. The story seems to be yet another mishmash of then-popular horror elements, and has one of the most retardedly anticlimactic twists I've been subjected to. There's nothing frightening about Psychophobia - except the acting. The one advantage it does have over DLITA is just a dash of retro appeal. It's strange, but while watching this I felt as though the director had wanted to make a giallo since the 70's, and got his chance to in the mid-80's - except with the script for a crappy psychic thriller. Despite the extremely lazy camerawork, many of the scenes are colorful and have a giallo stlye to them, and it's all topped off by a soundtrack that just flew in from 1974. And to think it was all produced by Orgaro Wax Museum! Seriously, though, steer clear.

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