Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Video Demons Do Psychotown - Psychic Slashers Stalk Students

Video Demons Do Psychotown
Directed by Alessandro De Gaetano 
Written by Alessandro De Gaetano

Starring Ron Arragon, Donna Baltron, Dave Elliott

Rated R - Approx 87 Min
Troma Entertainment

 - You wouldn't want to live there, but it's a nice place to die!
 - WARNING:  The Psychotown Surgeon General Has Determined That Television Viewing Is Hazardous To Your Heath!!!

Alternate Titles:
Bloodbath in Psycho Town - Original Title 

"I've taken nine hours of Abnormal Psych.....I've read it all!"
                                                                                               - Eric

This took me by surprise a bit.  While I was expecting the usual kind of late 80's/early 90's fare that Troma distributed back in the day, what I got was something quite different and definitely not for everyone. Video Demons Do Psychotown is perhaps a more fitting moniker than the original Bloodbath title because there really isn't too much going on in the way of bloodshed.  Sure there's a few murders but I would hardly call it a bloodbath.

Eric and Karen are fighting before the title screen even hits!  

Wow.  That's a very artsy craftsy town sign you guys got there....

Eric, a film student, and his girlfriend Karen head to Casa Della, which is small town that is filled with witches and psychics.  Eric's father bought an old house and is renovating it to turn it into a hotel for psychics.  Eric decides that this strange town will be a good subject for his final film project for school and heads out to make a documentary about the town.

Right off the bat they get a chilly reception from the locals.  Karen is getting bad vibes and having premonitions (she apparently has The Gift as well) which Eric discounts because he doesn't believe in such stuff.  Karen's visions and feelings grown stronger after arriving at the hotel and discovering that there was a deadly accident a week before they arrived.  She starts to see walls covered in blood and a man being stabbed in the gut.

Anyone with hair that poofy has GOT to be evil

It would seem that the locals can sense Karen's abilities and they want her gone before they expose their secret.  What secret is that?  Well to be honest it's never really fully revealed, but if you've been paying attention thus far then you can pretty well figure out that they murdered fellow by the name of Packard who pretty much owned the town and was a world class douche nugget.

What we are left with is essentially a murder mystery, combined with a haunted house story, combined with a tale of psychics and witches, combined with a slasher film, topped off with some possession undertones and a general sense of strangeness.  The film is extremely slow paced, but there is also something mesmerizing about it.  Perhaps it's the bad acting.  Perhaps it's the wonky dialog.  Maybe it's the melted crayon blood that they use.
YAY!  Melted Crayon Blood is the best!

"Hey, you okay?"

Let's talk about the acting and dialog for a moment, shall we?  Eric and Karen are seemingly perpetually at each other's throats.  Either they are sneering at each other or making a snide remark to one another.  If they're not doing either one of those things, then Eric is once again telling Karen how he doesn't believe in psychic powers after she tells him that she's had another vision or premonition.  This will lead to another fight which will then lead to a really awkward sex scene.  Though one of my favorite moments is when Eric is trying to explain away all of Karen's psychic feelings and visions by saying "Maybe you're allergic to electricity!"  From that moment on, I completely fell in love with this film.

Midnight Cinephile Tally

Death Toll - Four, if you wanna count the flashback murder of Mr. Packard.  We get a couple of stabbings, one head impalement and one death by tree!

Nude O Meter - We get to see Karen's boobs and her butt a few times.  You ladies can look forward to Eric's butt and a shot that reveals that he keeps up on

Things That Go Bump In The Night - While there are no supernatural monsters per se....we do get some rather foul tempered psychics (they might be witches) and we get the disembodied voice of Mr. Packard as he tries to communicate with Karen.

Nothing to see here.....

Final Thoughts
This film was all over the place.  Ghosts coming back from beyond the grave, evil psychics trying to keep a lid on the illicit goings on of their small town and a slasher in a yellow rain coat.  The film even tries to delve into the mysteries of the human mind and whether or not it is possible to communicate with machines!  Some of that was actually fairly effective.  Every time Karen has a psychic flash when she's filming with the camera, it causes an anomaly when played back.  This anomaly is a psychic imprint of sorts and another attempt at communication from Mr. Packard's ghost.  There are some decently effective scenes of the students sitting in front of TV monitors watching the tapes trying to unravel the mystery.

Cause that's not creepy having a video face stare at you while you sleep....

As I said in the beginning....I was very surprised by this film by the end of it.  What started out as slow and plodding eventually morphed into strange and surreal.  This is absolutely a film that will make it's way into my repeat viewing rotation.  You can rent the disc from Netflix or you can watch the entire film on You Tube!  If you are willing to put some time and work into the film, then you will be rewarded.  Just don't go into it expecting a non stop thrill ride!

Final Rating
Three out of Five Pizza Rolls


  1. Where do you find this stuff? Better question, I guess: where does Troma find this stuff?

  2. Back in the early 2000's Troma was releasing these three packs of movies called Toxie's Triple Terrors which Best Buy carried a bunch of.....this was in the same three pack as Horror of the Humongous Hungry Hungan and Croaked: Frog Monster From Hell!

    Troma is......well they're Troma! I wish I had their resources!

    1. Troma is truly an American institution. I just read a positive review of the new Class Of Nuke'Em High on a mainstream website. Never thought I'd see the day. I have VHS tapes of Redneck Zombies and Troma's War from back when VHS tapes weren't sell-through. Someone (young) at work saw me reading that Nuke'Em High review, and I was at a loss as to how to explain the weird beast that is Troma to someone who was unfamiliar with it. Maybe she's seen the Toxic Avenger cartoon?

  3. I just watched the new Nuke 'Em High flick not that long ago. It wasn't bad at all! Though I cringed a little at some of the bad was still rather well done and I'm looking forward to Volume 2. I've got a bunch of Troma tapes still....stuff like Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town, Surf Nazis Must Die, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD and Troma's War were staples of my youth. I remember watching stuff like Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell on USA Up All Night with Rhonda Shear back in the day.

    With the direct to video market so saturated with a million different flicks that all take inspiration from Troma, it really is difficult to try and explain to a younger generation what was so special about it back in the day. Before flicks were weird and wonky in an ironic way.