Sociopathia DVD Review
Written by R.J. MacReady
DVD released by Cinema Epoch
Written and directed by Ruby Larocca and Rich Mallery
2015, 86 Minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on February 9th, 2016
Tammy Jean as Mara
Asta Paredes as Kat
Nicola Fiore as Roxy
Ruby Larocca as Emily
Nicolette le Faye as Nicole
George Stover as Deleted-Scenes Dad
Sociopathia is a no-budget movie about a woman named Mara who, for reasons only vaguely hinted at*, kills her lovers and keeps them afterward. The whole thing opens with her and her "first" lover in bed with each other. Lesbian sex ensues (Mara is apparently a lesbian since all her lovers are women, but for some reason she shows interest in a male neighbor in a brief and pointless subplot), and afterward her lover goes to take a shower, and is attacked by a masked woman who kills her. The body is then stuck in a room where we see ANOTHER dead body, so we know this masked person has killed before.
The problem is that right afterward, you see that the masked person is Mara, so why does she wear a mask other than to have a cool image for the poster? The mask only appears once or twice more, so it's not like she wears it to every kill. If there's another reason for it, it's not shown. It's not like it's necessary to hide her identity since she kills most if not all of these people in her own home.
Anyway, the story continues as we see Mara works as an FX designer at a low-budget shop where she meets a new woman, played by Asta Paredes, who sometimes comes across as a discount Penelope Cruz. The two hit it off and begin a relationship of sorts that's soon compromised by the fact that Mara is batshit crazy.
Let's start with the broad strokes on why this movie has big problems: It's pretty much a straight rip-off of Maniac minus any style. Mara keeps the bodies of her victims, and they begin to talk to her after they're dead, and--spoiler alert--they kill her in the end.
Homages are one thing, but if you're going to do that then you need to add something new to the mix, and simply changing the sex of the protagonist isn't it. I get that the movie is no-budget, and I'd give it a pass on certain things like acting and production design, but you have to bring something new to the table. Unfortunately, this table remains bare.
The movie gives you plenty of boobs if that's what you're looking for, and it's competently-shot for the most part. (I say the most part because there are a few times in the movie where there are notes on the screen but no insert shots, so the audience can't actually read them). There's not much gore and no interesting killings for the gorehound. What you get instead is what feels like a very-long rehash of Maniac from less-talented people.
Video and Audio:
Presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, the picture looks fine. At times it seems a little dark but not bad considering it's very low budget.
The audio is 5.1 surround sound but it's nothing that's going to surprise you quality-wise.
*Deleted Scenes - A few deleted scenes that don't add much other than a scene where Mara meets her father, the popular George Stover, and there's clearly some friction between the two. I guess you could infer that maybe he molested her, but it's unclear. What's worse though is that there's a scene in the movie where Mara receives a photo album in the mail – there's a hand-written note on it, but without an insert shot you can't actually READ it. In the deleted scene, though, you find out that her father sent it. Which means the photo album scene should have been removed from the movie because it adds nothing without knowing the background about her father, and even then it doesn't add much.
Diirector's Black & White Version of the Film - Is there anything more pretentious than this? Seriously. Filmmakers, putting your film in black and white doesn't make it artsy or better. If Roger Deakins (or someone of his level) didn't shoot your movie, DON'T DO THIS. Shooting a movie for black and white does not simply mean shooting it in color and then using the desaturate setting in your edit suite.
Photo Gallery - The red-headed stepchild of extras.
Trailer - Yes, the one you can see on Youtube.
I'm not sure why movies like this don't come with a commentary track because that uses up little space and could at least give you an idea of what the filmmakers' intentions were.