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Psycho Sisters   B-

Shock-O-Rama Cinema

Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Directors: Pete Jacelone, Michael L. Raso
Writers: Pete Jacelone, James L. Edwards
Cast: J.J. North, Theresa Lynn, Mac Winslow, Kriss Burtt, Anthony Bruno, John Know, Nancy Sirianni, Jeffrey Stackhouse, Nancy Alison, Edward Burrows, Stacy Mathewson, Michael Devin, Matthew Fisher.

Review by Michael Scrutchin

It's nice to see the tables being turned every now and then. If you enjoy slasher films because you get to see nubile and scantily clad young women being violently butchered by a deranged killer, then I'm oh-so-sorry to inform you that the body count in Pyscho Sisters consists mostly of fresh college-age male corpses. But when the two female killers could probably pass as Playboy bunnies, who's going to argue?

Jackie and Jane Sicole (J.J. North and Theresa Lynn) have just been released from the Lawerence Psychiatric Institute. They have been subject to quite a bit of trauma if their lives; as little girls, they witnessed their mother murdering their father (then cutting off his, uh -- you know -- and putting it in a jar) just before committing suicide herself. As teenagers, they were forced to watch the rape and murder of their other sister, Janice, at the hands of a few young guys. You can see how all this might be a wee bit traumatic, can you not?

Good. But Dr. Lawrence (John Know) thinks the girls are ready for the outside world once again, much to the dismay of one of his colleagues. Once the girls are out, they start killing as many guys as they can get their hands on, and they chop off each guy's, uh -- you know -- and put each little souvenir in a jar up in the kitchen cabinet.

Soon the local police lieutenant has two bumbling detectives trying to seek out the killer (who, of course, they think is male because of the gruesome nature of the crimes). A tabloid reporter (Nancy Alison) is also trying to break the case wide open, but she keeps thinking the "College Boy Slasher" may be the ghosts of dead TV stars when in fact she should be looking right next door. And, finally, there's an outraged gang of bikers who want the Sicole sisters dead for slaughtering two of their finest Harley-ridin' perverts.

Ah, quite the plot indeed. And it's fun for the most part, once you get past the rather disturbing introduction that tends to throw things a bit off balance. Kudos especially to the effective performances by J.J. North and Theresa Lynn. Lynn, as Jane, plays a damn convincing psychotic man-hater ("The only good man is a dead man," she says); guys, she's definitely not someone you'd like meet in a dark alley. North's character, Jackie, doesn't think that all men are bad, and she develops a relationship with a sperm bank manager -- whom she met while selling some sperm in a turkey baster that was taken from one of their victims just seconds before his bloody demise. North is quite good, and I'll be damned if I didn't start to sympathize with the poor girl.

For those who don't know, this is actually the shot-on-film remake of Pete Jacelone's original shot-on-video cheapie of the same name from 1995. I haven't personally seen that one, but I can say that this one looks great (as I'm sure the earlier one probably didn't). It actually looks more expensive than it probably was, and as a slasher film it's pretty decent. Nothing to scream about, but it delivers the goods.

It's really the quasi-feminist slant that gives Psycho Sisters its edge. The murders are gory, the script is laced with dark humor, and it will likely inspire women everywhere to embark on psychopathic killing sprees against young men. This one really brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "girl power."

Review published 05.26.2000.

Follow Michael Scrutchin on Twitter or Letterboxd.

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