Following in the bloody footsteps of a vampire flick and a demon flick, the budding Bushwick horror genre now has a slasher flick. Psychotic! comes to theaters in Greenpoint and Williamsburg this week.
Like other entrants in the genre, the tale of the Bushwick Party Killer is unapologetically campy, with all the gore and saturated colors of ’70s Italian horror movies. The highlight is easily the soundtrack, by Brooklyn synth-wave band Blazing Galaxies (comprised of two photographer-composers, Tom Starkweather and Mark Thyrring). It’s a chilling, pulsating throwback to John Carpenter– hence its release on blood-red vinyl.
As with another Brooklyn director’s horror movie, Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, the plot of Psychotic! revolves around the members of a band, Mass Psychosis. In the film’s opening scene, their bassist’s surprise birthday party is ruined when his girlfriend is slashed by a creepily masked man. (Okay, I say “creepy,” but he looks more like the Saw killer if Adam Green created him while high on ketamine.) The band’s “lazy hipster” keyboardist (played by co-director Derek Gibbons) butts heads not just with his bandmates, but also with a lovelorn roommate (co-director Maxwell Frey) who moonlights, Rear Window-style, as a peeping tom.
There’s more to the plot (at one point a Wild Honey Pie-esque music blogger named Mama Sweet Beats makes the scene), but really it’s just a vehicle for some trippy, drug-drenched parties where people make jokes like “Corn on DeKalb [Avenue]” and bongs end up full of burbling blood.
The movie culminates with a scene at Silent Barn, where the “big, bad Bushwick boys” of Mass Psychosis perform under their new name, Star Fossils. (When you’re not big enough to close an episode of Twin Peaks, this’ll do.) Needless to say, all hell breaks loose.
“PSYCHOTIC! A Brooklyn Slasher” plays at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg on Jan. 25 (tickets $16), at Film Noir Cinema in Greenpoint on Jan. 26 (tickets $10), and Videology in Williamsburg on Jan. 27 (tickets $10); it’s available on demand starting Jan. 26.