Psycho Sisters (1998) is a shot-on-video horror film that blends elements of suspense and terror with a dose of dark humor. Written by James L. Edwards and Pete Jacelone, and directed by Sal Longo, Gary Whitson, and Pete Jacelone. The film was produced by custom video company W.A.V.E. Productions, who, for around $10,000, would create a unique short horror film from either a rough idea or an entire, fan-written script.

Mean and domineering Jane and the sweet and ditsy Jackie are two radically contrasting sisters who suffer from severe trauma after witnessing the murder/suicide of their parents as well as seeing their other sibling Janice raped and killed by her assailants. The pair are deemed fit to re-enter society and get released from a sanitarium where they have undergone extensive rehabilitation therapy. However, Jane and Jackie prove to be anything but sane and harmless as they embark on a vicious spree in which they torture, murder, and mutilate any man luckless enough to cross their lethal paths.


Psycho Sisters 1998

Providing an incredibly kinetic narrative, Psycho Sister’s strength lies in its ability to forge a thick atmospheric tension throughout. Unfolding with a series of unsettling events that only intensify as the story progresses, the sisters begin to descend into a graphic fight for survival as acts of self-preservation that soon escalate into a war against men. The once-scared siblings now use their womanly charms to lure unsuspecting victims to their deaths.

Our central characters, Jane and Jackie, played by Theresa Lynn and J.J. North respectively, give an overall decent performance throughout. Whilst their delivery may be off now and then, their displayed energy more than makes up for this. Both effectively convey a sense of unease and internal conflict as their characters grapple with the shadows of their past along with the uncertainty of their future.


Psycho Sisters 1998

The film skillfully uses suspenseful cinematography and a haunting musical score to create an eerie atmosphere, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. Whilst the score does sound like it is played on a Casio, this stylized choice chaperones the visuals impeccably. Furthermore, whilst shot on video cinema is mostly known for poor visual design and an overall amature approach, Psycho Sisters subverts these tropes and presents a predominantly highly skilled production.

An excellent piece of SOV cinema, the film goes far beyond the expected to deliver a gritty and gruesome display of violence and insanity. Despite its lower budget and some moments that may feel dated by today’s standards, Psycho Sisters stands out as a noteworthy entry in the horror genre. Fans of psychological horror films with a touch of twisted humor will likely appreciate the film’s unique take on familial trauma and the psychological toll it can take on individuals.

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