I’m sure some of you have seen this clip on YouTube of a creepy guy, who looks like the love child of Pee Wee Herman and Anthony Perkins, talking about how much he likes chocolate cake. Well, last night I accidentally watched the movie that clip originates from, The Psychopath. I got to the middle of the movie where this scene is, and all of a sudden I was like, wait a minute, have we seen this? No, it was just that I had made a YouTube playlist last year for my husband’s birthday featuring THE WORST MOVIE SCENES EVER ELEVENTY 11!11!!! and that clip was on it! Someone who isn’t me could probably make a great blog out of actually tracking down and watching all of those movies that such clips came from.
But how was this particular movie? Well, it’s about as you would expect if you watched that clip. Mr. Rabbey is the host of a kids’ show from the time in our past when children actually liked puppet shows, and he finally gets fed up with all the rampant, public, and blatant child abuse perpetrated by the ugly people in polyester in Mr. Rabbey’s Los Angeles neighborhood. So he starts offing them! A bat to the face here, a lawnmower haircut there, here a hedge clipper, there a garrotte, everywhere a stab stab.
The thing is, Mr. Rabbey really is sort of the lesser of two evils compared to abusive parents, because if you read the comments on any news story about child abuse, you realize he’s just acting on the same impulses your average Huffington Post reader has when they read about child abuse. “She abused her kid? I’ll cut off her arm and shove it up her ass, and then play some dubstep records really loud while she bleeds to death!” It’s just that he makes your skin crawl while he attempts to do for child abuse what the Dirty Harry movies attempted to do for murder.
The bad parents are cartoonishly evil, too. After one lady kills her kid she says, “That poor baby! I thought he could make me so happy. Why wasn’t he good?” Another lady regularly slaps her kid around on the playground in front of everyone, including Mr. Rabbey who is somehow allowed to be there hanging out with kids. Yet another bad mommy screams at the doctors who want to ask her some more questions about how her daughter’s leg was hurt, then threatens her daughter as they leave the hospital. And the cops lament how the lawyers keep them from putting these people away. Exploitation films have always been noted for their subtlety.
Here’s something I learned from the hospital scenes: abused children are compliant, so if you ask one of them to hold up his arm, he will hold his arm up for sixteen minutes, whereas a non-abused kid will put his arm down right away because he’s not afraid of you. That’s how the nurse can tell who fell down the stairs, and who “fell down the stairs.”
Overall, The Psychopath is a rather bloodless slasher, despite the methods of the killings, and it’s tedious at times, but it’s worth a look just because in a cheap and hamhanded film like this, Los Angeles of 1973 is so far removed from our reality that it might as well be another planet. There are plenty of bad wigs, people saying the word “terrific,” and overly dramatic music which takes you right out of the film. The ending is pretty shocking, though. Mr. Rabbey himself only appeared in one film after this before his death in 2010. I hope he’s eating chocolate cake in heaven. Or the Land of Make Believe.
Basically, you should see The Psychopath if you like making fun of bad movies, or trying to see the potential in good ideas gone very wrong. Someone should make a good movie about a killer kids’ show host, but Lord knows this ain’t it.
P.S. According to one review, director Larry G. Brown was a porn director as well, so there’s another one for the long and growing (giggity) list of smut peddlers turned horror helmers.