Trash Or Terror Tuesday: Psychos in Love (1987)

It’s time for #TrashOrTerrorTuesday

…when I examine a film that’s been languishing in my personal library to determine if it is #Trash or #Terror

– or more importantly, if it deserves to stay in my collection.

And so, out from the dusty shelves of #VHS tapes comes…

Poster art for Psychos in Love (1987)Psychos in Love (1987) by #GormanBechard

w/ #CarmineCapobianco #DebiThibeault

A strip-joint owner and a manicurist find they have many things in common, the foremost being that they are psychotic serial killers.

“”Love hurts…””

“A Deliciously Wicked Comedy”

#Horror #Slasher #Comedy
#TrashOrTerrorTuesday

I first rented  Psychos in Love (1987) with a friend in the late ’80s and we thought it was pretty darn hilarious (or was it darned hilarious? Either way, it made us laugh). We also found it inspiring, as we dreamed of making low budget horror films for the direct-to-home-video marketplace. A pretty modest dream when you think back on it, but at the time it seemed like a great way to break into the business. We eventually wound up shooting (parts of) a couple of really bad horror films on 8mm video, but sadly we never managed to finish and get anything distributed. The market had pretty much dried up by the time we were anywhere close to done, so it may be just as well that our projects crashed and burned – but that’s another story.

Psychos in Love seemed like a very low budget film, but it was funny and had some pretty decent gore. Since discovering the films of Mel Brooks at a very young age, I tended to gravitate toward the satirical in my own writing, so I appreciated the spoofy tone of Gorman Bechard and Carmine Capobianco’s script. I was also a HUGE fan of slasher films, so this movie seemed to be everything that I would have wanted my own no budget movies to be.

A few years later, I picked up a VHS copy of Psychos in Love in a bargain bin and added it to my library. Watching it again as an adult, I remember thinking that it looked even cheaper than I had remembered – but it was still an entertaining watch. Many years have gone by, and still that VHS tape sits on my shelf. I remember the movie fondly, but I never fire up the VCR and watch it. So, it’s time to put it to the #TrashOrTerrorTuesday test…

It does look cheap. And it makes good use of low budget techniques like having actors talk directly into the camera (almost foreshadowing crappy reality TV). It’s still funny, although not up to the level of Mel Brooks. The gore is still pretty impressive, all things considered. Story-wise, it seems to flatline for a long time in the middle. The beginning is pretty strong, but it quickly degenerates into a series of anecdotes about killing people. Each one, taken on its own merit, is entertaining. But the story simply isn’t moving forward. When the climactic sequence finally begins, it feel like it should have started much earlier, and had more to it. As it is, it’s pretty simple, and the movie ends rather abruptly. It doesn’t feel satisfying.

Having said that, Psychos in Love is a whole lot of fun in spite of its structural shortcomings. It should also be noted that it really delivers on the sleaze front. One of our main characters runs a strip club, after all, and there is plenty of nubile flesh on display. Depending on your point of view, this could be something to admire or to criticize. On #TrashOrTerrorTuesday, we always consider it a plus.

So what’s the verdict?

I would have to say that Psychos in Love (1987) is somehow both #Trash and #Terror. Okay, it’s not scary at all – but it’s not meant to be. It’s a zany, over-the-top comedy, and it succeeds at that better than many bigger budget films I could name. Psychos in Love supplies enough trashy fun to satisfy most discerning connoisseurs of #Trash  – and then some. And for aspiring, low budget filmmakers, I think it could still provide inspiration the way it did for me all those years ago. This VHS tape is a keeper.

Sorority Girls Slumber Party Massacre: The Musical

Sorority Girls Slumber Party Massacre: The Musical
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Angus Kohm

You’ll See: Innocent young girls, cruel sorority sisters, foolish fraternity freaks, and one sadistic, insane killer stalking them all. Sound familiar? It is. But this time they sing and dance too…

Reviews:

“What do you do when you’ve got a script that tells the story of an axe-wielding madman who escapes from the loony bin and starts stalking sorority girls on a nearby college campus? Why, you make a musical, of course. Which is exactly what Winnipeg writer/ composer/ director Angus Kohm has done with Slumber Party Massacre, aHalloween-style plot delivered with a Rainbow Stage sensibility. The result is a campy, absurd musical spoof that’s found commercial and critical success beyond the cult following Kohm and co. already had in Winnipeg. And all we can say is, uh… it’s about bloody well time. Not only is Kohm worthy of praise for breathing new life into a time-worn genre (Scream notwithstanding), so is the troupe. Particularly noteworthy are the skilled veteran duo of Cassandra Williams and Stefanie Wiens, who are so adept in their competing good-girl/bad-girl roles. Let’s hope that Kohm, who poked fun at that other B-movie staple, women’s prison films, in the equally ridiculous Bad Girls Jailhouse, will keep coming back like the Michael Meyers of his craft. Five Stars!” (Highest Rating)
— Riva Harrison, The Winnipeg Sun, 1997 

“Call it magic, fringe-style. But what other explanation is there when actors start belting out the tune There’s a Severed Head in the Toilet Bowl and all the prim looking grannies in the front row start tapping their toes? And then, by the time the cast starts singing I’m a Crazy Mixed-Up Psychopathic Killer, the grannies actually look ready to jump on stage to sing along. That is the rather magical scene these days at the Manotick Fringe Festival, site of the world premiere of Sorority Girls Slumber Party Massacre: The Musical.”
— Paul Gessell, The Ottawa Citizen

“This is the show you don’t want to miss. It’s fast, funny and macabre – just the kind of edgy fluff people expect at a fringe festival. Sweeney Todd fans will be especially pleased. A unifying, tenacious grip on just the right sense of irony makes dippy songs about things like finding a severed head in a toilet bowl absurdly funny. Prediction: Manitoba playwright/composer Angus Kohm will make serious money some day.”
– Pat Donnelly, The Montreal Gazette

“Screamingly funny and well performed. How can you go wrong with a song title like There’s a Severed Head in the Toilet Bowl? REACTION/BUZZ: “Even the corpses are singing and dancing.” “I laughed, I cried… I just about wet myself.”
– David Gobeil Taylor, The Montreal Mirror

“A wondrous little piece by Angus Kohm… it moves fast and the timing is bang on. I want the cast album!”
– Gaetan L. Charlebois, The Montreal Hour

“In a perfect world, all Fringe shows would feature at least some of the spunk and spirit of Winnipeg playwright Angus Kohm’s Sorority Girls Slumber Party Massacre. The Winnipeg Based B-movie fanatic, who brought his Bad Girls Jailhouse to the Toronto Fringe last year, once again shows a genius for casting and a gift for catchy tunes and good humored, ridiculous lyrics…Sorority Girls is good silly fun.”
– Kathleen M. Smith, The Toronto Eye

“Oh what the hell.”
– Jason Sherman, Toronto Life

“This is one of the must-see shows of the festival… like Andrew Lloyd Webber staging Halloween.Kohm’s lyrics draw hoots of laughter… There’s a Severed Head in the Toilet Bowl appears destined to become Kohm’s signature song. Five Stars!” – (highest rating)
– Kevin Prokosh, The Winnipeg Free Press

“Here’s a show that gives you exactly what the title promises. Yes, there are sorority girls, they do have a slumber party, there is a massacre and, incredibly, it’s all set to music. Winnipeg’s Angus Kohm is the evil genius behind it. Lyrical gems like That Madman Is Nuts pop up frequently. Only one song goes to far: There’s a Severed Head in the Toilet Bowl was just too disgusting.”
– Cam Fuller, The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

“He’s baaa-ck!  No, not the sadistic ax murderer with a lust for the blood of nubile sorority girls, but local composer/playwright Angus Kohm, who unleashes a raucous, cutting-edge satirical attack on slasher movies. Who needs a two sided ax when you can wield cutting edge songs with razor-sharp lyrics honed to leave listeners helplessly laughing?  Sorority Girls debuted in 1997 as a kind of stage cousin to the 1996 film Scream.  Since then, the genre has been crowded by moreScreams, Scary Movies and I Know What You Did Last Summer.  Kohm still has the musical field all to himself.  Undeniably silly and violent in a cartoon-like manner, Sorority Girls stands up as a hilarious skewering of the cliche of teen slasher flicks.”
– Kevin Prokosh, The Winnipeg Free Press (2001)

“A returning Fringe fave, Sorority Girls should have been force-screened to the Wayans Brothers before they spoofed the horror genre in Scary Movie and its terrifyingly bad sequel. This is all the ammo they needed, as five local university students remind us that horror films are already effective self-parody. With rousing song-and-dance numbers such as There’s a Severed Head in the Toilet Bowl, and I Feel Like a Walk in the Basement … Alone, the musical plumbs the depths of bad taste — with hilarious results… This will be a hot ticket by the end of the week, even in the spacious Prairie Theatre Exchange.”
– The Winnipeg Sun (2001)

Performance Rights and Other Details For Potential Producers:

Sorority Girls Slumber Party Massacre: The Musical
A one act musical comedy;
Cast Size: 5 Actors (4 Female, 1 Male);
NOTE: The show was designed for 5 actors doubling as more than one character. It is also perfectly acceptable to cast more than 5 actors and reduce (or eliminate) the doubling.
Running Time: 60 minutes (could be as long as 75 minutes if the director chooses to slow the pace);
Set: Originally produced on a bare stage with one mime cube.
Props/Costumes: Few props, such as fake knives, axe, etc.; simple costumes such as work coveralls and a mask; if doubling with a cast of five, quick changes will be required (for example, from from generic members of the sorority to specific characters in pyjamas);
Music is scored for piano and voices; has sometimes been arranged for a full band.

Copies of the script are available for $7.95 each.
Single Perusal Copies of the score are available for $29.95 each.
A Soundtrack Recording of the 2001 Cast of  Sorority Girls Slumber Party Massacre: The Musical is available on CD for $19.95. More info here

Professional and Amateur Performance Rights are available.
Royalty Fees will be applicable, but the exact amount will depend on the details of each individual production.

To find out more, contact the author (address below).
Please include information such as:
1) Where your production would take place
2) When it would take place
3) How many performances there would be
4) How many seats there are in the theatre
5) Ticket prices

To Order Scripts, Scores, CDs, etc.,
or for information on obtaining the professional or amateur rights to
Sorority Girls Slumber Party Massacre: The Musical,
contact Angus Kohm c/o Rubbed Raw:

To send an e-mail click here
Snail mail: Angus Kohm c/o Rubbed Raw:
205 – 21 Roslyn Road
Winnipeg, MB
R3L 2S8
Canada
Make cheques (or money orders) payable to Angus Kohm.

Shipping charges may be applicable, and may vary due to shipping location and size of order. E-mail or snail mail to find out more.

Sorority Girls Slumber Party Massacre: The Musical: a musical that has been seen at fringe festivals and on university campuses all over North America.

Bad Girls Jailhouse

A Musical, Set In A Women’s Prison

A heartwarming story of an innocent woman’s adventures in the big house. Featuring a strip search, a riot, and a shower scene – all set to music (!) – it is surely only a matter of time before this play wins a major award for it’s contributions to society.

When Bad Girls Jailhouse made its debut in Angus Kohm’s hometown of Winnipeg, the critics said:

“Twisted toe tappin’ tunes… Kohm is the Andrew Lloyd Webber of women’s prison musicals!” – Kevin Prokosh, Winnipeg Free Press, (1994)

“Hilarious!  Four Stars!” – Riva Harrison, Winnipeg Sun (1994)

“Rejoice! The Rocky Horror Picture Show now has a true, if illegitimate, heir!” – D.G. Valdron, The Jenny Revue (1994)

One of the critics (hello, Den) liked Bad Girls Jailhouse so much he went on to design the posters for the debut of the UNCUT version of the play in 1996.

         

Bad Girls Jailhouse

Book, music and lyrics by Angus Kohm

A crooked warden, sadistic guards, bloodthirsty convicts, and one innocent woman clash behind bars in a white hot story of violence, revenge, and singing and dancing. Yes, it’s a musical spoof of women’s prison films!

Performance Rights and Other Details For Potential Producers:

Bad Girls Jailhouse
90 Minutes, 2 Acts, Musical Comedy;
7 Actors (7 Female);
NOTE: It would be possible to cast more prisoners as a chorus if so desired
Running Time: 90 – 100 minutes (could be done with or without intermission);
Originally produced on a bare stage with one mime cube.
Few props; simple costumes;
Music scored for piano and voices;
_
Copies of the script are available for $7.95 each.
Single Perusal Copies of the score are available for $29.95 each.
A Demo Recording of the 1996 Cast of  Bad GIrls Jailhouse
is available on CD for $19.95.
Professional and Amateur Performance Rights are available.
Royalty Fees will be applicable, but the exact amount will depend on the details of each individual production.

To find out more, contact the author (address below).
Please include information such as:
1) Where your production would take place
2) When it would take place
3) How many performances there would be
4) How many seats there are in the theatre
5) Ticket prices

To Order Scripts, Scores, CDs, etc.,

from the Black Hole Theatre production in 2000, at the University of Manitoba

or for information on obtaining the professional or amateur rights to Bad Girls Jailhouse contact:
Angus Kohm c/o SWAK Productions:
205 – 21 Roslyn Road
Winnipeg, MB
R3L 2S8
Canada
_
Or send an e-mail
Make cheques (or money orders) payable to Angus Kohm.
Shipping charges may be applicable, and may vary due to shipping location and size of order.
E-mail or snail mail to find out more.