We were talking about Christmas on Mars which seems like something of a psychotronic movie to me, and I have now just watched the original psychotronic movie "The psychotronic man", so I thought I would mention it here.
You will not be suprised to learn this is a bit of a strange film but even I wasn't quite prepared for how strange it is.
The plot of the film is that a barber has finished cutting hair for the day and he steps out of his shop and suddenly starts to develop psychotronic powers. "His power is surfacing" as it says on the DVD cover. I blame it on the hair conditioner or whatever hair care thing it is he is frequently seen drinking in the film.
Anyway, the film is quite strangely edited, or I can't really describe, it's like the film was made in an alternative universe where cinematic concepts were very different. It's nearer to some experimental films than Hollywood movies but it's not really like experimental films either. The nearest film I can think of is "Funeral Parade of Roses" but even that is very different.
The film opens with the guy leaving the barber shop, getting into a car, and thn driving, a lot. I mean the car starts driving, then we see it driving along down the motorway, after a quite extended sequence of this, there are some long drawn out sequences of helicopter shots of the car, then we are back nearer ground level for some more shots of the car driving, and then it comes to a halt. I think it is at this point that the titles start up. The film is like older movies where all the credits are at the start of the movie. There are a lot of them and they are cut over shots of trees. The shots of the trees change and shift slightly. I can't really explain but they are very mundane shots of trees. As something of an ex-experimental filmaker I have made at least one video that was comprised of shots of trees. This is nothing like that. All I can say is that this part of the film is sort of the cinematic tree equivalent of Andy Warhols empire. When the credits finally come to an end, you are almost relieved to see more car footage. In fact a lot of the earlier car stuff now repeats itself all over again, this time it ends with a weird sort of dream sequence with the car flying in the air and the guy almost falling out. It's a great dream sequence which somehow reminds me slightly of the car sequence at the start of Mulholland drive. Ironically this dream sequence ends up seeming like one of the more conventional parts of the film.
The barber is kinda freaked out about it all and goes to see a doctor about the strange dreams he has had. After this he starts really developing psychtronic mind powers and killing people. However these powers manifest themselves slightly differently than in David Cronembergs scanners. Basically the barber pinches his forehead and scowls slightly, then there is some mild wind which might be from a wind machine or possibly from an intern with a large piece of card. Then the people start screming and throw themselves out a window or something. Oh yes there is a sort of electronic bell sound that occasionally rings throughout the soundtrack. This happens when someone gets killed but sometimes it just happens to build the sense of foreboding.
The cinematic device I liked best in the film were the flash forwards. As well as developing psychotronic powers, I suspect he has also developed mild precog powers and can see a few minutes into the future. (I'm guessing) We thus get to see the murders and stuff before they happen. The effect is a little like the sort of flashbacks in Danny Boyles Sunshine which were my favourite part of that ilm also. It could even be that Mr Boyle has seen the psychotronic man movie. In the psychotronic man however they occur at random intervals throughout the movie, and when it first happened I thought my disc might have got scratched or jumped or gone wrong somehow.
Theres not much else to say other than there is a car chase at the end and a great sequence of a car exploding too. Lots of beautiful fire.
Has anyone else seen this very strange movie?
The Psychotronic Man
1 reply to this topic
Posted 20 June 2009 - 06:36 PM
Just to add as well that I was suprised at first at all the helicopter footage in such a low budget film. At first I assumed it must be stock footage but then I realised that it might be a work around for a problem they had. The film was made in chicago and apparently it was impossible to get filming permits in chicago at the time as the mayor believed that films were evil or something, so all the footage you see is shot gurilla style. Well if you are in a helicopter it is unlikely you will be stopped for permits.
Intresting film all round!
Intresting film all round!