Psychopathia Sexualis as Comedy

DATELINE: Movie Psychos

You could call it a shaggy dog story, but the movie is not a dog at all. We found it one of the most strikingly original movies from a major studio that we have seen.

All your favorite movie bad guys have lined up to lend a bit of the psycho ear, eyes, and nose to this warped comedy.

Seven Psychopaths outdoes one Psycho with the humor Hitchcock intended for his first psycho. This tale centers around a film writer (Colin Farrell) whose best friend Billy Bickle of the Travis Bickle family (Sam Rockwell). Farrell is writing a movie titled Seven Psychopaths, and their collaborative insider tales make up some of the story.

Of course, the term appropriate to the killers is sociopathic, not psychopathic, but who’s slicing, dicing and parsing words in this movie?

The real lynchpin of the movie is an adorable shih tzu owned by a psycho mobster (Woody Harrelson, of course) who goes berserk when the little doggy is dognapped. Billy Bickle and his collaborator (Christopher Walken) kidnap dogs of the rich and famous and return them several days later for large rewards.

This time the cute dog is the love of Harrelson’s life—and it’s mano-a-mano psychopath warfare when a real life serial killer of serial killers joins the mix to stir up the blood and guts.

The violence is clever and horrifyingly amusing with cameos by some notable actors as victims and perps.

We generally avoid movies about writers having writer’s block, but love movies about Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes shenanigans. In this stew, director (Martin McDonagh) puts the ingredients into a large crockpot and lets simmer.

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