Filmmaker Mickey Keating should be legally obligated to have the word "student" forever preface any credits he may have, as the quality of his newest horror "movie" reaches about that level. Maybe even worse. See, Keating is a guy who clearly has watched the works of Tarantino and Rodriguez and Roth, though whether through lack of funding, vision or ability, he fails to even approach their standards—and we're not even what you'd call Tarantino fans.
In Keating's Psychopaths, we follow various serial killers on the night of real-life murderer Charles Starkweather's execution who are spurred to kill by … some cryptic thing that Starkweather said, maybe? … Of course, his death actually went down in the 1950s, and Keating's film takes place who-knows-when. Cars are modern, some costumes might be from the '40s, dialogue is straight stupid. And each killer's journey, as it were, plays out in overlapping vignette form, though rather than tie each story together in any meaningful way, this tack mostly causes confusion. They're linked by the end, though we never know why or how beyond maybe these people know each other from earlier.
Why did that one guy kill that one lady in a hotel room? Why did that other woman kidnap him? Who is that fake cop, what's Brenda's problem and who the hell is that one woman with the split personality talking to? These are just a few questions raised that don't really get answered, but someplace between the stabbings that occur just offscreen (cheaper that way, probably), the musical number (not kidding) and the overly dramatic de-masking of a killer who turns out to be some fucking dude we've never seen before, one just stops caring. Even the violence and sex appeal can't entice our basest human urges—and that's generally the bread and butter of the horror genre.
In fact, Psychopaths isn't even watchable for fans of B movies or bad horror, it's just plain awful. You just feel plain embarrassed for its stars. Meanwhile, Keating leaves the audience to assume a whole hell of a lot, which isn't a great way to go about telling a story. By the end, we were just mad that this thing—which isn't even a full 90 minutes in length—exists, and that's the scariest part of all.
-Every painfully bad second
Directed by Keating
With so many actors you've never heard of and never will
Jean Cocteau Cinema, NR, 85 min.