The Psychotronic Man (1980)

Article 3034 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-28-2009
Posting Date: 12-4-2009
Directed by Jack M. Sell
Featuring Peter Spelson, Chris Carbis, Curt Colbert
Country: USA

A barber with a drinking problem discovers that he has psychotronic powers that he can use to make men die.

This movie opens with a barber preparing to leave work for the day. For a couple of seconds, we see a car explode. Then the barber goes out for a drive while listening to a country music station. After about three songs, he stops by the side of the road, takes a drink, and falls asleep. When he wakes up, he finds his car surrounded by blowing mist. He steps outside and almost falls to his death as the car is suspended in midair. He manages to climb back into his car, falls asleep, and then finds himself and the car back on the ground. During this whole sequence we hear a weird set of sound effects in the background.

This beginning was striking enough to catch my attention, with my attention only flagging during the overlong driving-to-country-music sequence. For a while, I thought this would turn out to be an intriguing little film. Then I began to notice that the weird sound effects keep popping up through the rest of the film, often where they make no sense. I also notice that the dull stretches became more frequent and longer. Finally, I realized that the problem was that the script never really fleshed out the central concept of its details; rather, it just pads the movie with driving scenes, a triangle subplot that goes nowhere, and a long, tedious chase scene. It’s a bit of a shame, really; as I said, the beginning drew me in, and it had a great title. It just needed more work.


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