Log in

No account? Create an account
anonymous kph

P is for Psyclops

Psyclops is a tough one. A lot of the movie is from the point-of-view of a guy named "Shep" (and quite literally, as he is a camcorder freak).

Shep is not exactly adept with other people, and he's really quite obsessed. That's Obsessed with a capital O, but not quite "Shoot the President to Impress Jodie Foster" obsessed. He's obsessed with videotape. He buys tapes at yard sales. He videotapes his own life, and narrates it. He tapes other people, with and without clothes; with and without their consent. Probably the DSM has a nice box to put Shep in.

The plot happens when Shep stumbles across a videotape that is dated from the 1800s. It seems to show a scientist guy narrating to the camera about this wonderful device he has invented to explore other worlds -- other dimensions. Then he puts turns on a weird steampunk-looking machine, and starts freaking out.

Shep gets obsessed with this tape, and hunts down the scientist's great-granddaughter. His friends come along, possibly to provide people skills, possibly just to avoid paying bail (given Shep's people skills). The great-granddaughter won't allow Shep to videotape in her house, and when he sneaks in a camera, she kicks him out. His friends apologize, and while they're doing that, Shep pokes around in her barn, discovering the machine from the old videotape.

He steals it and takes it home, turning it on so he can videotape it in action. Something Bad Happens, and the machine explodes, burning down Shep's house. It welds the camcorder to Shep's skull, and unleashes killer claymation bugs from another dimension which have the ability to possess corpses (as well as not-yet-corpses).

The whole thing leads to a fairly honest climax, where Shep's friends have to confront the warped camcorder-cyborg that Shep was become. And therein lies my problem with Psyclops -- apart from a penchant for wildly inappropriate thematic music, this movie is pretty decent.

Does it really belong in the Smithee canon? Perhaps not. Then again, it may well have included itself out by having virtually zero (actual number: three) potential clips. And the director (Brett Piper) gains major points for using real fire in the scene where Shep's place catches fire instead of trying to cheat it with C(rappy)GI.

But fear not, Smithee fans. Brett Piper's early work included A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell, and he made Psyclops between Drainiac! and Arachnia, so I'm sure there will be many Smithee noms to come.