Psychic Experiment

As for “Psychic Experiment,” I’d call it — to borrow a line of its mumble-mouthed dialogue — a “massive, pulsating sinkhole.” That mentioned disaster is among the many, many problems at play in the small town of this ill-fated “Experiment,” which also is home to unexplained disappearances, cancerous tumors, body-snatching pods, the release of a child molester, a crispy burning man whose skin looks like when you’ve left the rolls into the oven too long, and a group of intrepid bloggers aching the blow the lid off this thing.

Wait, what thing? Writer/director/editor Mel House takes so long to fill his audience in, he annoys and insults them. There’s a difference between holding your cards until the right moment and just plain shoddy screenwriting; House is the guy who cuts to three different angles during one actress’ uttering of a single, simple sentence, so you can guess whether he’s the ace-in-the-hole gambler or … well, Mel House.

With ponytailed “Phantasm” franchise star Reggie Bannister and B-movie regular Debbie Rochon on hand to lend a semblance of name value, “Psychic Experiment” centers on the sinister agency conducting the titular project, and its new recruit (Denton Blane Everett, TV’s “Lone Star,” as cardboard as a hobo’s home). Also packed into the supporting cast are scream queens past (Adrienne King, “Friday the 13th”) and present (Katie Featherston, “Paranormal Activity”).

House has ideas for good scenes — dolls bursting from their boxes, a suburban housewife melted into a puddle on the kitchen floor — but lacks the know-how to tie them together in a manner that makes sense or piques interest. Practical effects are the movie’s strong point; amateur acting from Everett and his fellow unknowns comprise its weakest.

The disc’s making-of featurette does the film no favors. House talks up his previous project, 2008’s “Closet Space,” as if we’re all familiar with it, then he and everyone else discuss this 10-years-in-the-making-kinda picture with a degree of delusion not unlike the rejects on “American Idol”‘s audition episodes. Everett himself sums up the off-putting self-importance at play, as he recalls coming aboard after reading the script: “This is, like, fuckin’ intelligent.”

Sure sounds that way, doesn’t it? —Rod Lott

Rod Lott

This material falls under the archives category because it was imported from our previous website. It will eventually be filtered into the proper category as time allows.

Related posts

*

*

Top
WordPress Lightbox