PSIKOPAT promo poster
PSIKOPAT
(2005,Indonesia)

2 stars  
directed by: Rudi Aryanto
starring: Ferry Ixel, Mario J Wibowo, Nella Anne, Dian Rasifah, Ronie Galoeng, Secha Laurette, Alice Norin, Egy Fadly

choice dialogue:

“Are you nuts?! You want to molest me?!”

- Lost in translation.

slash with panache?

[review by JA Kerswell]

   PSIKOPAT
  Somewhere a baked potato is missing its foil.

Although occasionally effective, PSIKOPAT is an Indonesian slasher that riffs off the FRIDAY THE 13TH series but is too often hyper and incoherent. A group of friends (and a hamster) head to a remote jungle retreat. Only to be targeted by a psycho in a silver mask with a clawed glove - who isn’t just familiar with Camp Crystal Lake but also a certain mid-1970s giallo from Umberto Lenzi. Utterly obscure and probably going to stay that way. At least the hamster lives to see morning.

Rosma (Nella Anne) invites her friends on holiday to ‘Hello Villa’, an AirBnB-style log cabin so far out of the way they have to cross a rickety bamboo bridge to reach it. However, they first have a pit stop at the beach, a prerequisite for any Indonesian slasher. On arrival, the friends - Alfons (Ferry Ixel), Ricky (Mario J Wibowo), Rere (Dian Rasifah), Dence (Ronie Galoeng), Amel (Secha Laurette) and Mita (Alice Norin) - are disappointed to find that the place is totally dilapidated and falling down. Also, they aren’t aware that it was the scene of a massacre exactly ten years ago - something we see in a prologue; where the bacofoil-faced killer butchers a man’s (Egy Fadly) family.

   PSIKOPAT
  PSIKOPAT is perhaps the only slasher film where a hamster has a starring role - and thankfully lives to see morning.

The group try and make good the bad situation and starts to party beside a nearby lake - despite Dence scolding: “You guys are nuts. It’s midnight!” Only to discover that the killer has returned to the scene of the crime and is intent on breaking up the celebrations in bloody fashion …

PSIKOPAT is certainly a film of its time. Juddering slo-mo, fast cutting, speedy zooms and freeze frames are liberally applied throughout to dizzying - not to mention disorientating - effect. The cast matches this hyperactivity with excitable banter; followed by even more over-the-top hysterics and screaming. If things had slowed down just a little, it might have given the audience enough time to work out what the hell was going on half the time.

Jettisoning the post-modernism of SCREAM (1996), despite oozing 2005 from every pore, PSIKOPAT visually recalls the FRIDAY THE 13TH series. The log cabin is very Crystal Lake, most of the latter half of the film takes place at night in a rainstorm - with everyone running around in rain slickers. Someone even turns up at the end to tell the last people standing that he has been hunting the killer for a decade. Where it differs is that the group are immediately alerted to the threat they are under after the first murder. The film also doesn’t match that series of films in the gore department, but there is some blood splashed around - although it is often a little difficult to work out who has died and what from due to all the quick cutting and rabid camerawork. It’s a shame because when the camera does stop spinning or zooming there are some pretty well-framed shots of the woods - and you can’t go totally wrong with people being chased around a house by a masked killer.

   PSIKOPAT
  PSIKOPAT has strong Crystal Lake vibes - right down to the rains slickers and log cabins.

The knife/claw glove obviously recalls Freddy Krueger - but is actually more akin to the one used by the psycho mascot in GIRLS NITE OUT (1982) (complete with its spring action). Perhaps most surprising is that the makers of PSIKOPAT have seemingly taken inspiration from Umberto Lenzi’s cheese surpreme giallo EYEBALL (1975) with its eyeball-plucking madman. Although the eyeball angle isn’t really clear until the end - and even then it doesn’t make a great deal of sense motive-wise.

A flop on its release at cinemas, PSIKOPAT is probably unlikely to ever see the light of day outside of its native Indonesia. Not least of all because of the very possibly unlicenced use of music from the likes of Kool and the Gang. The film was directed by someone better known for soap operas and was produced by Tobali Putra Productions - who returned to the subgenre with the more coherent 31 (2019). It’s not to be confused with at least one other Indonesian slasher with the same name.

Despite its magpie tendencies, PSIKOPAT at least distinguishes itself as perhaps the only slasher movie to feature a hamster as part of the main cast. As I mentioned before, he or she survives - but the film’s coda promises a sequel (which never materialised) and seemingly inadvertently suggests that Hammy might be the next killer!

 

BODYCOUNT 10   bodycount!   female: 4 / male: 6

1) Male slashed to death
      2) Female seen dead
      3) Male stabbed with a knife
      4) Male killed (method unseen)
      5) Female found dead
      6) Male stabbed with claws
      7) Female falls down a hole
      8) Male shot in the back
      9) Male shot in the chest
     10) Female falls to her death

 

 

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