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Sick-o-pathics - Cranium Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
Written by Jay Creepy   
Sunday, 13 May 2018
Severed Cinema Review of Sick-o-pathics from Cranium Entertainment


Directed by: Brigida Costa, Massimo F. Lavagnini
Written by: Brigida Costa, Massimo F. Lavagnini
Produced by: Massimo F. Lavagnini, Brigida Costa
Editing by: Luigi Parisa
Music by: Paolo Pasquali, The Bastard, Alessandro Salvati, Luca Blasio, Fabio Varesi,
Special Effects by: David Bracci, Michelle Roselli
Cast: Massimo F Lavagnini, David Warbeck, Dardano Sacchetti, Sergio Stivaletti, Gianni Targquini, Loris Curci, Mary Rinaldi, Renato Polsetti, John Lander, Ian Pavloc, Antonella Fulci, Lucio Fulci, Joe D'Amato, Luigi Cozzi, Rick Gianasi, Linnea Quigley.
Year: 1995
Country: Italy
Language: Italian (English Dubbed)
Color: Color
Runtime: 49min

Studio: Cranium Entertainment

What??? Whoa!!! I stumbled upon Sick-o-pathics from the mid-‘90s and read along the cast. First of all, David Warbeck is one of my fave Brits-Tour-Of-Duty-In-Italian-Gore actors ever, but then I saw Lucio Fulci, plus his daughter, and then there's Linnea Quigley, Joe D'Amato, and Luigi Cozzi. Okay, most are only in guest cameos (David gets a nice part in story 3) but it's cool because this is a piece of history for fans of the '80s.

However, what's this anthology film like as a work of entertainment? It's a punk DIY affair with a ton of stupid jokes and lashings of grubby blood. You know what you're up against as the opening shot shows a pile of dog shit labelled: “Typical Italian Movie.” Indeed. Straight after that, there's a street sweeper acting like a twat who hotshots a coke can with his brush only for it to bounce back against his head. 'Bonk' says a Batman exclamation. Oh dear.

So we've got a swaggering bloke, Max, brimming with attitude and shoving folks as he walks down the street, accompanied by loud heavy duty metal. Oh yeah, he also tears a child’s arm off. Shogun Assassin/Lone Wolf-style arterial sprays soak him and his mother. The arrogant fella passes the kids arm back and the mother hits him with it. Ho ho, my ribs have cracked open, I feel like a chest-burster is uncurling. This destruction of comedy continues until Max finds his way into a huge building via signs along the road.

Ahh, a new visitor.” hisses Dare Dane from the shadows, his voice akin to Udo Kier. “I bet you're one of my many fans. Would you like an autograph?” Dare Dane is a horror director, apparently, and in this room is many of his chilling effects work. Since Max doesn't know any of the guy's films, he ends up knocked out by Dare's walking cane.

You young punks don't appreciate good movies.” Dare snaps as Max awakes tied to a chair. He is made to watch some of the director’s work. Along comes a beautiful nostalgic shot as a VHS tape goes into the machine, and we see inside as it begins it whirring and spooling. Oh, yes, I used to perform basic repairs on VHS recorders back in the early ‘90s as a hobby. This sight transported me back to that time and I felt myself aroused.

‘Hello Dolly’ appears on the screen as we begin to watch the first of Dare's works. A bearded long-haired dude walks into a mag and porn shop run by another bearded dude (who looks weirdly like a younger me when I had hair!) and this guy is called Mr. Sinister. Oh the comedy dubbed voices are so full of imagination. As our hero wishes to purchase a nudie jolly doll, he has to sign a parchment “as a mere formality” which has symbols all over the place. Once signed, Mr. Sinister's sunglasses glow red and blood splatters from our hero's hand. Sealed and complete. Back home he sits in his boxers and opens the box.

What the fuck? Is it used?” his hand comes up covered in slime. He drags her out anyway, gets drunk, and crashes out on his bed. As he sleeps, the doll's eyes spring open. Fair play to the filmmakers. The rising of the doll is handled wonderfully and it's absolutely fucking creepy as it stands above him, leaking gunk from its plastic vagina before a phallic creature emerges similar to that thing Dr. Channard (Hellbound: Hellraiser II) had holding his head upright. What the doll (which is like watching a nude flick starring Shaye St. John!) does to its helpless victim will make your jaw drop. I mean, I had to look for my jaw, it had run away.

There's quickie commercials chucked between segments that are quite funny because they are cheesy and lacking any translation. Lucio Fulci advertises an erotic comic, and he looks quite bewildered by it all.

Then we have segment two, ‘The Poor, The Flesh and the Bag.’ Let's meet Mr. Porselli and his thuggish brute mate who gets physical with a guy who owes money. They give him a couple more days but he's poor as hell so he has no chance. The next day, he does a dishonest thing in desperation by taking a bag left in a shop by a neighbour. It's a locked briefcase kind of thing. Back home whilst struggling to open it, he discovers it is actually alive. The case has an eye, big teeth plus arms and legs. Operated by crude but cool-as-fuck animation, it needs a modern plush toy! Everybody nearby hears the poor fella’s screams as the bag simply destroys him – even Joe D'Amato who lives below the flat. This is out of control and totally random as a story. It has to be seen to be believed which is why I’m not saying anything else.

Back to commercials and there's only one this time -- a hair rejuvenation lotion. Oh, and Linnea screams, because, yep, she's a scream queen. Boo! Hiss! Rubbish joke!

The third and final instalment is the disappointing, ‘Aeropophagus.’ A weird spoof on Anthropophagus, which doesn't seem to know what to do with itself other than be a silly, almost slapstick comedy. I don't really wish to go into details because it's mainly negatives, but I will say that David Warbeck is over-the-top, yet amusing as Dr. Loonies. Antonella Fulci plays the traditional ill-fated pregnant woman in her only acting role, and the effects aren't too bad. Aeropophagus was the only survivor of a shipwreck years ago. He survived by eating cans of beans – lots of them. Now he farts and kills people. I give in.

That's too much for Max, he breaks loose and the wraparound tale winds down.

What I can say, which is similar to what I stated back in my review for Goremet: Zombie Chef from Hell (see review here), is that it depends on what you expect when settling down to watch a straight-to-video cheapie from the ‘80s or ‘90s. With a title like Sick-o-pathics, should you recoil when it isn't a classy polished and well-acted masterpiece? No, you sit back, chill out, and take what you're witnessing before you. It's gory, it's sheer stupidity. If I'm honest though, the shovelling of forced and tacky jokes in the wraparound story made me wince. They weren't required at all.

The biggest saving grace here is the fact that there is so much going on. Sick-o-pathics is out of control like a kid suffering from ADHD locked in a glass cabinet. The effects are at best poor, yet so appealing for the love which has gone into every drop of gore and slime. There are moments where you won't fully believe what you're seeing, and others where you're tempted to just give in.

I'm pretty sure a lot of people have watched this over the decades and missed the point entirely. This is a pure dyed-in-the-wool cult curiosity and must be treated as so. It cannot be taken seriously one little bit. Go in with that frame of mind and you'll discover much enjoyment – especially Hello Dolly, which is in a depth of its own.


 MOVIE: 1 
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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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