• Psychos In Love

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: September 26th, 2017.
    Director: Gorman Bechard
    Cast: Carmine Capobianco, Debi Thibeault, Frank Stewart, Patti Chambers, Carla Bragoli
    Year: 1987
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    The Movie:

    Joe (Carmine Capobianco) is an overweight balding guy who runs a low rent, sleazy strip club with one dancer and about three regular customers. In his spare time he likes to pick up women and then slice their throats – and for some reason, he just can’t quite seem to find ‘the one.’ This all changes when he meets a pretty woman named Kate (Debi Thibeault), a manicurist by trade who spends her free time cutting up men into tiny little pieces. What do these two have in common? Well, aside from their mutual love of serial murder, they both hate grapes. They REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hate grapes.

    Soon after meeting, they’ve clearly fallen for one another and when Joe realizes he doesn’t want to kill Kate, he confesses to her, and she responds in kind. With no more deep, dark secrets to hold them back, they get married and move in together, initially keeping their murderous exploits separate. That changes when Kate suggest they do one together, at which point they decide to slice up the stripper that works at Joe’s bar. When they do, things get… different. They start to get jealous of one another and find that they no longer share the love of mass murder they once did. Meanwhile, a sleazy cannibalistic plumber named Herman (Frank Stewart) has started making house calls…

    Clearly made for a pretty modest sum, Psychos In Love is as crazy gory as it is strangely charming. Played with a wink and a nod to the camera from time to time, the film is far more self-aware than most horror pictures of its time, never playing anything seriously at all. At the same time, it features some fairly strong gore – throat slicing, shower stabbings, meat grinding and finger eating – as well as some plentiful nudity, giving the picture plenty of exploitative content to latch onto. Given that this was made in the eighties, it goes without saying that all of the effects work featured in the film is practical and most of it is actually quite well done. The filmmakers aren’t going for absolute realism here but the carnage that makes its way to the screen is effective.

    Although the film feels about ten minutes too long, for the most part it works really well if you’re in the right frame of mind for it. You could describe some of the humor as Troma-esque, such as the gore gags like the scene where Joe and Kate try to kill the stripper that just won’t stay dead, but at the same time there’s a weirdly sweet vibe to the way that Joe and Kate interact with one another. Carmine Capobianco, who co-wrote the film with producer/director Gorman Bechard, might be a big, hulking murderer but with Kate, he’s gentle. She might get off on stabbing guys with manicure scissors and ail files, but she clearly takes comfort with her husband. This gives the film a genuinely unique thematic and tonal contrast, predating later ‘serial killer couple’ movies like Natural Born Killers that would follow in the years to come. Both Capobianco and Thibeault are genuinely good in their respective roles, doing a much better job than the various supporting players that populate the background of the film (though to be fair, those characters aren’t given nearly as much to do).


    Presented in its original 1.33.1 fullframe aspect ratio in an AVC encoded presentation taken from a new 2k scan of the original 16mm negative on a 50GB Blu-ray disc, Psychos In Love looks surprisingly great. Detail is impressive as is depth and texture. There’s some minor print damage evident in a few spots and in one scene there’s what looks like a hair caught in the frame but by and large this is a very clean and film-like presentation. The image is as grainy as you’d expect given the 16mm origins but that grain resolves nicely, it never clumps up or looks too noisy. Color reproduction is spot on, especially the reds of the blood, while black levels are nice and deep from start to finish while simultaneously avoiding any crush. The disc is also well authored and as such there are no compression artifacts to note, neither is there any obvious edge enhancement or noise reduction. The picture quality here is, in a word, impressive.

    The only audio option for the feature is a DTS-HD Mono track in the film’s original English language. Optional English closed captioning is provided as well. No issues to note, the audio here is clean, clear and properly balanced. There aren’t any problems with any hiss or distortion and there’s about as much depth as you could expect to find.

    Extras start off with the first of two commentary tracks that are carried over from the old DVD release, this one with writer/producer/director Gorman Bechard and writer/actor/musician Carmine Capobianco. The second commentary tracks finds Bechard flying solo. Between the two tracks, you’ll get a lot of information about the history and making of the film. They cover casting, shooting on location, where the ideas for the story came from, some of the gore effects, budgetary issues and lots more.

    From there we move on to a wealth of featurettes beginning with Directing The Psychos, an eleven minute interview with Gorman Bechard. Up next is the fifteen minute long Playing A Psycho, an interview with Carmine Capobianco. The twenty minute long Discussing Psychos gets both Gorman Bechard and Carmine Capobianco in front of the camera. And to top it all off, there’s also a thirteen minute long Making Psychos making-of featurette. These interviews are again carried over from the old DVD release, but if you haven’t seen them before they’re worth checking out even if they wind up covering some of the same ground that’s covered in the commentary tracks.

    Also be sure to check out the new forty-nine minute long Carmine Capobianco Q&A session recorded at the 2016 installment of the Cinema Wasteland convention. This piece sees Capobianco fielding questions from a pretty enthusiastic crowd attending a screening of the picture at the convention, it’s fairly amusing, the guy has a great sense of humor.

    Also included on the disc are ten minutes of rough edit outtakes and extended scenes. Moving right along, we next get the chance to check out fourteen minutes of Highlights From The “Psychos In Love” Stageplay, also new to this release – there seems to be a trend lately of bringing horror movies to the stage (The Toxic Avenger, Evil Dead and Re-Animator have all been adapted for the stage). Some of them work better than others but the footage here… it looks like it could work quite well.

    Vinegar Syndrome has also included a quartet of short films directed by Gorman Bechard: the two and a half minute long The Only Take, the thirty second Pairs (32 seconds), a six and a half minute long piece called Bartholomew The Strangler and the fifteen minute Objects In The Mirror Are Further Than They Appear.

    Rounding out the extras are a quick intro from Bechard and Capobianco, the film’s original trailer, a fairly extensive behind the scenes photo gallery, a promotional image gallery, an alternate opening credits sequence, animated menus and chapter selection.

    As this is a combo pack release there’s also a DVD version of the movie included inside the Blu-ray keepcase. Also included inside the case is a full color insert booklet containing new essays on the film from Art Ettinger and Matt Desiderio. Vinegar Syndrome has also supplied some nice reversible cover art for this release. The first 2,000 copies ordered off of the Vinegar Syndrome website also come with a very cool slipcover.

    The Final Word:

    Psychos In Love receives the red carpet treatment from Vinegar Syndrome that presents the film in an amazing transfer with solid audio and more extras than you can shake a stick at. As to the movie itself? It’s a bit ahead of its time in how self-aware it was, but simultaneously very much a product of the eighties. The performances are solid, the gore is gonzo and the humor as ridiculous as you could want. It’s not a film for all tastes, but for those who can appreciate what the filmmakers have done here, this release comes highly recommended.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!