Some people will get 5-minutes into Psychotropic Overload and be turned off by its extremely low production values. Written, directed, and co-starring Joseph F. Alexandre, this psychological horror movie was shot on VHS…in 1994. Back in the halcyon days of video rentals, shot-on-video titles lined the bottom shelves of Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. As with any style of film, some were good, a few were mediocre, and others were just plain terrible. How does Alexandre’s first film hold up all these years later?
Therapist Steven (David Wittman) is struggling in life. He’s convinced his wife is cheating on him, despite his own infidelity. He is already sick of his latest patient, Christian (Joseph F. Alexandre), pre-judging diagnoses and tuning Christian out, to internally grumble about his own issues. But, things become deadly serious when Steven reads about a murder with eerie similarities to a dream Christian told him about. Now, positive his patient is a killer, Steven gives Christian the third-degree during their sessions.
“…Steven reads about a murder with eerie similarities to a dream Christian told him about.”
Meanwhile, Detective Poroski (John Thomas) investigates a string of disappearances; all male models. This leads Poroski to Christian, who is a photographer. Though, not everything is as it appears. Can Steven help the cops stop the killing? Is Christian the murderer, or is someone jealous of his success and looking to bring him down? Or is something even more terrifying lay in wait at the end of this sinister road?
While its meager budget is undeniable, Psychotropic Overload is considerably more stylish than a good number of other shot-on-video titles. For example, 2001’s Christmas Season Massacre, looks a bit better, mainly due to technology upgrades and affordability. But the story is a mess, with little internal continuity, zero flair, and copious amounts of obsessively fake blood.
"…considerably more stylish than a good number of other shot-on-video titles."