There’s a real movie hidden beneath sexploitation sludge in The Psycho Lover, and some psychotronic-cinema fans make the case that The Psycho Lover is respectable compared to similar fare. But is improving just slightly over garbage really all that much of an accomplishment? Between interminably long rape, murder, and/or softcore-sex scenes, The Psycho Lover tells the story of psychiatrist Dr. Kenneth Alden (Lawrence Montaigne) and his deranged patient, Marco Everson (Frank Cuva). Throughout the first half of the picture, Marco kills various women and then, under hypnosis, tells Kenneth about the crimes. Even with pressure from cops, who identify Marco as a suspect, Kenneth seems disinclined to either tell authorities what he knows or use his influence to end the crime spree. Instead, Kenneth spends lots of time cavorting with his hottie girlfriend, Stacy (Elizabeth Plumb), even though he has a depressed wife, Valerie (Jo Anne Meredith), back home. One day, when Stacy somewhat randomly describes the plot of The Manchurian Candidate (1962) to Kenneth, he gets the notion of compelling Marco to murder Valerie. The movie’s halfway over by the time happens, so you get an idea of writer-director Robert Vincent O’Neill’s lackadaisical approach to pacing. That said, The Psycho Lover is not an incompetently made picture. The photography is decent, some of the acting is passable, and a few lines of dialogue are tasty. (Examining a crime scene, a cop says the following about a murderer: “I can smell him in this room, and the hairs on my ass stand on end every time I catch his scent.”) These attributes are insufficient to make watching the picture worth the trouble.
The Psycho Lover: LAME