Psycho killer awaits

Just in time for Halloween, local filmmaker Robert Elkins will release his Psychopath to wreak havoc on RVA. We had a chance to chat with him and find out all the gory details…

Psychopath3Just in time for Halloween, local filmmaker Robert Elkins will release his Psychopath to wreak havoc on RVA.

Set in the fictional backwoods town of Raven’s Neck, Elkins said Psychopath is an hour and 17 minutes of slasher fun.

“I tried to keep the characters in the real world – I didn’t want them to do the typical things we see in the slasher/horror movies that make the viewers say, ‘what an idiot – nobody would do that,’” Elkins stated in an email.

Psychopath is about an escaped mental patient, Eddie, who just can’t seem to control his lust for murdering innocent people. To complicate matters further, a girl in search of her missing twin sister becomes a target for Eddie’s rage.

Elkins said he is inspired by the movies he grew up watching; Halloween, Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

“I guess I’m trying to recreate the feeling I used to get by sticking with the general formula they went by – [the] masked, seemingly unstoppable killer, final intelligent surviving girl, creepy backwoods locations, and nasty gore effects,” Elkins stated.

To some this might sound like another run-of-the-mill, bloody, slasher flick created to strike fear in the weak-hearted. But for actress Kyle Billeter, who plays the twin sister main characters, Psychopath is distinctive because of its psychological elements.

“You’re trying to understand why the killer is doing what he’s doing, how the people in the town are involved with it and there’s a pretty obvious fear we all have that’s very relatable – something happening to a loved one,” Billeter said. “All of those things are really familiar but at the same time I think the director really put his own spin on the classic slasher film.”

With virtually no budget and none of the amenities typical of a big name film, Elkins said his indie project was the result of a lot of hard work.

“It’s possible to make a feature length movie on an extremely low budget as long as you are willing to work hard and be creative,” Elkins stated. “All work and no play is the only way to get your no-budget movie shot.”

The locally cast actors and actresses, who worked with Elkins to help breathe life into Psychopath, worked over a period of a few months in the Petersburg area.

“Most of the actors were either cast off of Facebook, Myspace or Craigslist – a few were friends of actors I’d worked with before,” Elkins stated. “Everyone in the cast was terrific to work with; I really got lucky to put together such a talented group.”

Lawrence Wiencek, the 6 foot 6 inch tall first-time actor who plays Eddie, said the shooting process was tedious but worthwhile.

“Wearing all the clothing and that mask was hot – hot but worth it,” Wiencek said. “It’s something I would definitely do again.”

Jeremy Ambler said his character, Jimmy, barely makes it 30 minutes into the movie before meeting the gruesome killer and equally brutal death by cinderblock.

“There’s nothing like taking a leak and getting your head smashed in,” Ambler said.

And if that’s not enough to convince the curious to attend the screening on Saturday, check out a clip on Youtube of Ambler’s aforementioned scene in Psychopath:

Psychopath is playing Saturday, October 24th at 2pm at The Byrd Theater. Tickets are $6.

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Marge Weimer

Marge Weimer had the distinct honor of being’s first intern. She is a good sport, and we thoroughly enjoy her.

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