Tox’s Throwback – Romancing the Knife
Ahh. The first date – the time where you often nervously engage in deep conversation with the person sitting across from you, while assessing your emotional and physical chemistry. Sometimes, those first dates go so well that one or both of you start envisioning a second date, maybe a fourth, or even more as the night slowly comes to an end. Then, you find yourself in an almost peaceful relaxed state, trusting your date feels the same way, as they lean in and expose themselves as a psychotically unhinged member of society that gets their kicks by murdering people at random.
But, it’s ok. You’re safe.
Safe to admit the very same thing.
“I’m a mad slasher. I kill people.”
Psychos in Love (1987) brings us Joe (Carmine Capobianco), the bartender and owner of a small strip joint, and Kate (Debi Thibeault), a lovely redheaded manicurist who makes house calls, introducing us to their super secret love of killing – and their deep distaste for all things grape. In the public eye, they come off sweet and kind, but once alone, it does not take much to set them off and plunge sharp objects into unsuspecting victims.
One night, Kate walks into Joe’s bar and they spark a conversation where they discover their unique bond over loathing the tiny round skinned fruit previously mentioned. Kate asks Joe out, and after a seemingly perfect date, Joe confesses he is – in fact – a mad slasher who kills people. In that moment, we witness a perfect pair made in murderous harmony.
I hate grapes!
I can’t stand grapes. I loathe grapes!
All kinds of grapes.
I hate purple grapes! I hate green grapes! I hate grapes with seeds – I hate grapes without seeds!
I hate them peeled and non-peeled. I hate grapes in bunches, one at a time, or in small groups of twos and threes.
I FUCKING HATE GRAPES!”
Quite possibly the most adorable couple you may ever see, this deranged duo continue their craft individually while committing to everyday activities of shopping, dining, and car washing together – as seen in clips set to the original theme song of “Psychos in Love”. Life is swell for the two, until the very thing that built their relationship starts to become a bore. After attempting to add some flavor to their life by committing a murder together, they decide to retire and get a VCR. That’s right.
Why not enjoy the thrill of others killing on the small screen? I can relate.
This newfound retired living may pose a problem, however, when they need a plumber to come unclog their kitchen sink. Herman is his name. And, well, cannibalizing his customers is his game. What twist awaits the three of them!
This dark comedic slasher film takes you on a bloody fun ride, with pretty smart humor and a catchy soundtrack throughout. The murders that take place are pretty quick, minus one where they reference their victim as the Terminator. And, if you are a slightly germaphobic individual like myself, you may even cringe at some of the scenes with Herman.
The humor revolved around the small things and dialogue. Moments, such as when Joe and Kate were on their first date at the drive-in and with a smeared windshield, Joe turns to ask Kate if she had any Windex in her purse. She responds that she does not, but does have Lemon Pledge. Knowing that will only smear the windshield more, he results to bashing it out with a sledgehammer. This excites Kate and together, they giggle and carry on their evening.
Which brings me to the chemistry. Granted, at the time this movie was shot,Thibeault was director Gorman Bechard’s gal, however, the chemistry was so special and pure between Joe and Kate, you could believe they continued their dysfunctional relationship off-screen. You almost want a sequel they teased in the end credits – even if it’s just to see if Joe can admit that he does, in fact, like grapes… in the form of raisins. [It’s ok, Joe. I like grapes but can’t stand raisins. Whoops!]
Psychos in Love is an enjoyable little number that I believe all horror fans alike should watch at least once. Shot on a budget of around $75,000, this film takes place mostly in the bar, apartments, and what would be the couple’s home. Capobianco not only co-wrote the film with Bechard, he was also a part of the team that worked on the ever-so-pleasing practical special effects and the music, that varied – from sometimes an almost porno-esque sleaze track to happy piano tunes you expect in a classic Nintendo game. Even Frank Stewart, who played the flesh-consuming plumber, did hair and make-up!
Small budget. Small crew. Small local sets.
Boobs. Blood. Love.
Creating one of the most romantic stories hardly known.
I would happily rate this 8/10 fingers. Who really needs thumbs?
Directed By: Gorman Bechard
Produced By: Gorman Bechard
Written By: Gorman Bechard & Carmine Capobianco
Starring: Carmine Capobianco, Debbi Thibeault, Frank Stewart, Cecelia Wilde