Psycho Sisters (1998)

DVD Cover (Shock-O-Rama Cinema)
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Overall Rating 44%
Overall Rating
Ranked #5,620
...out of 7,732 movies
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Pamela Sutch
Pamela Sutch
Christine Taylor
Christine Taylor
Tina Krause
Tina Krause
Peter Kerr
Peter Kerr
Chris Monroe
Chris Monroe
Review by Chad
Added: January 11, 2011
I recently acquired the Suburban Psycho DVD set from Shock-O-Rama Cinema (thanks guys!), and said set came with some pretty impressive films. There are four of them found here, each on their own discs with their own set of bonus features, and rounding out the bunch is Suburban Nightmare (9/10), Drainiac (8/10), Skin Crawl (8/10), and of course, Psycho Sisters. I'd already seen the first three movies prior to digging into the set, as if the earlier reviews didn't give that away, and as you can see from the scores, I really dug them. Psycho Sisters was the only one out of the bunch that was new to me, and seeing the company that it kept in this set, I had high hopes. Sadly, I was a bit let down.

As for the storyline, it centers around three sisters - Jackie (Pamela Sutch), Jane (Christine Taylor), and Janice Sicole (Tina Krause) - who go through a bit of tragedy in their lives. First, they get to witness their mother murder their abusive father, and later on, they are raped by a trio of guys in an attack that leaves poor Janice dead. The surviving sisters are placed in a mental health institute to bring them back around to the land of the sane, and once they are released, they decide to get even with the male sex: any and all males that they come across are fair game.

However, Jackie is starting to believe that maybe their outlook on life is wrong, and maybe not all men are bad; hell, she's even getting interested in hooking up with a man. This does not go over too well with Jane, who is almost militant in her belief that all men are scum. When Janice's ghost starts talking to Jackie and telling her that it's alright to be interested in men, the rift between the two sisters starts to grow pretty deep. Top it off with their crime spree, a police chief who desperately wants to capture the killer, a pair of detectives who want the same, a dominatrix / submissive set of neighbors, and yes, a huge biker gang and you have yourself a movie.

The biggest problem with the film is that there's simply too much going on. The girls rack up some kills and that is rightfully the center of the movie, but there's also the sub-plot involving the police chief, the detectives get their own fair share of time, the neighbors also get their own chunk of the movie, the bikers get a decent amount of scenes, and later, the relationship between Jackie and her new love becomes the focal point for a while. That's a lot of switching back and forth in what should have been a straight-forward slasher flick. Here's two murderous sisters, they start to disagree on things, the police are moving in - that is how it should have been handled, but instead, we got all of this other nonsense tossed in.

Another thing that hurts the movie is the fact that it can't quite decide what genre it wants to be. There are times when it is a straight up slasher flick, but it also creeps into the comedy genre from time to time as well as the old-school detective film and it even has moments where it transforms into a drama piece. It never fully commits to one genre, so it becomes hard for the viewer to get involved with the film as a whole. A horror / comedy would have been fine, and a slasher / detective film could have worked as well... but again, there is simply too much going on.

Although I've really done nothing more than shit on the movie thus far in the review, I can't rightfully say that it had no redeeming values. It did have plenty of moments where I was entertained, and the chemistry between the two leading ladies was pretty good. I wouldn't say that either lady was an award-winning actress (although Christine Taylor was frightfully convincing when she would go into "mad mode"), but they were perfectly acceptable in their roles here. There's some decent gore - nothing to brag about, but decent - along with a few pairs of boobs for the guys, and though I may have bitched about the injection of comedy, some of the gags were actually pretty funny. There was a load of potential in this release and it pokes through quite a few times, but the bigger problems prevent it from becoming the cult classic that it could have been.

Overall, I'm going with a pass on this one. The other three movies in the set make it worth a purchase and I suppose you could do worse than this if you're running low on movies to watch, but it's definitely not something that I'd advise you to hunt down either. There's some decent gore, some humorous jokes, and a few pairs of boobs, but the same could be said for thousands of superior films. 5/10.
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