Sunday, November 29, 2009

Psychotropica (2009)


Writer, producer, star, and whatever else you can think of, Damien Sage has created the greatest independent movie I have seen since Russ Meyer’s Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!. Seriously.

How is it possible that a movie, that the director proudly boasts as a"no budget little film", is able to accomplish what big budget disaster A Scanner Darkly attempted but so completely failed at? While the movie has a very modern look, Psychotropica also harkens to sleazy psychedelia like Pink Floyd’s The Wall and seedy European movies like… well, just about anything by Dario Argento before the turn of the century.

So, what is this movie about? I don’t have a clue. According to the box, it has something to do with a sadistic doctor who is testing an experimental drug called “Psychtropica” on a patient, forcing this patient to “…relive painful nightmares, dreams and memories”.

Yeah, that is about what I was able to put together while watching the film. Outside of that, I am clueless. But, I think that is kind of the point.

In a lot of ways, the movie is a series of short ideas, stories, and scenes played out. In between, we see the patient and doctor conversing.

The dreams are exceptionally well done. These scenes are digitally animated, so that actors are pulled from their surroundings and placed in spaces that could only exist in the imagination. The scenes are often violent, sometimes disturbing, and always entertaining.

The score to the movie was done by the cleverly named industrial outfit Rip/Torn. The music fits the movie perfectly and reminds my of Downward Spiral era Nine Inch Nails. One particular scene, about a half hour into the movie has “the patient” chasing his brother through a wooded area. I actually found myself momentarily lost in the riff being hammered out by Rip/Torn, and a single guitar chord in played repeatedly and another guitar echoes through. That second guitar does not always line up with the beat as it echoes, really creating a wonderful dissonance that fits the scene entirely. It is definitely a rare thing for me to be so thoroughly entranced by a movie’s music.

And, as if that scene weren't cool enough, the patient actually references the song “She’s a Maniac” from the movie Flashdance during his dialogue with the doctor!

Okay. If what I have described hasn’t sold you on this movie yet, let me tell you this: One of the actresses in the movie is listed on the box as “Tiffany Titmouse”. And she has a nude scene.

Truth be told, I was a little leery of watching and reviewing this movie. Independent movies are always gamble. I remember one regrettable showing of an Irish horror/karate movie that Ralph Merrye and I sat through about a year ago. So, when I was informed that this was a “no budget” film, I really did not have high hopes.

Good God, though, am I relieved to say that this is great fun.

We Tower Farm boys have always rated our movies strictly on entertainment value. So, using this criteria, I have no problem giving Psychotropica

Five fingers!

By the way, the trailer for this flick can be seen at:

And, according to the filmmaker’s website (, “…Psychotropica is now available for purchase through The list price is $20. We need to sell around 5,000 copies to raise enough money to fund our next two projects which are already in the works. If you buy a copy let me know and we'll put a special thanks to you in our next film!”


  1. Sounds great! I'll definitely have to keep my eye out for this one.


  2. Apparently I need to give into this. Count me in. Looks interesting. Can I NetFlix?

  3. I cannot find it on Netflix. It is not an easy one to come across. Man, it is cool, though. I hope it gets a little more of a release eventually.

    It reminds of the best of the indie movies that are shown at horror conventions.


  4. Whoa. That looks like a real fuckin' trip. I'll have to check that out, if I can.

  5. hmmmm...that's unfortunately all I have to say about the "look" of this movie.

    Hey look, we both have 99 followers now! As you mentioned on my blog earlier, we are both nearing 100. That's so cool! I remember when we both had around 20-30 or so. Remember, as if it was so long ago...Anyway, I'll race ya to 100 :P

  6. Tower guys - the filmmakers should pay you for this review. I'm serious. I don't know if it was comparing the score to Downward Spiral or the film's psychedlia to PF the Wall or what did it, but I am seriously off to buy this film through the link you provided above. Another winning review, guys!!

  7. Looks even more drug induced than HORROR! Nice.

    Hope you crazy Tower Farm boys enjoy the holidays!