I fully intended to do my homework with this set of videos to bring you the background behind them and any other informative snippets that I could find. But the more I researched the more muddled the story became, so sod it – I’ll just review what I saw…
Psychic TV was a music band set up by a guy named Genesis P Orridge (no, seriously). From what I could gather, Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth (who were obviously illiterate to use a spelling like that) were the visual side of Mr Orridge’s audio side. The set of videos were apparently only available through mail order and only if you had bought his previous nine albums. You know how it goes, you buy the thing – get a token – keep the tokens, send them in, blah blah blah. But in return for some tokens you were sent this set of bizarre movies which last about six hours in total. What’s on them? I’m glad you asked…
The first (of four) tapes begins with some guy who is apparently the spokesman for Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth (TOPY). While we hear a voice, the figure is mouthing, and gesturing, something completely different, so that section is a bit like watching an old Jackie Chan movie (back when he was good). The next forty-five minutes are of some poor devil getting whipped, slashed and, to top it all off, given – what looks like – a blood enema. Are these scenes real hacking and slashing? I honestly don’t know, but the cutting scenes do look real, taking in to account that this was made in the early 80’s (special effects weren’t cheap and were usually God awful) it certainly looks real. Then, an intermission – five minutes of the Virgin Mary complete with flashing heart and halo.
And to finish off video one, some chick peeling off her drawers to reveal one of the most ugly vaginas ever. I don’t think it was supposed to be hideous, but its one of those vaginas with the curling in labia and sticky out bits. Ugh…
Video two starts off with someone driving around a town somewhere taking video footage at the same time. This was obviously filmed in the 70’s since everyone is wearing flares and tight t-shirts. The we see some teenagers in a flat looking absolutely stoned out their nut. After about five minutes of them we cut to some kid getting some backstreet surgery done on his arm this, it would appear, lets him (and later, his friend) hook up some device to his arm where he can press a button and get high as a kite.
Later in this section he lies face down on a table and our backstreet Mr Mengele operates at the base of the kids spine with another little press-button box thing. Unfortunately it’s at this point the kid pops his clogs, dressed only in his underpants with a little black box dangling from his ass crack. Mr Mengele seems upset and we cut to some flashback footage. Finally, we get some de-penis-ing. Not castration as some reviews have said. His testicles are not removed, his PENIS is removed! No, I’m not kidding. This kid lies down on a bed, some guy comes in with a pair of scissors and cuts his dick off. And there’s a fair few spurts of blood. Is it fake? Again, I doubt it, as this was, again, released in the early 80’s, I doubt they had the technology to do this back then.
‘But how does he pee?’ I hear you ask.
His urine dribbles forth from a small opening above his testicles. As is demonstrated near the end of this video. Most unpleasant! This tape ends with some weird music (Psychic TV music? I dunno) and flashing images. Trippy maaaaaan!
Tape three is the Jim Jones tribute tape. There’s just over thirty minutes of Jim ‘I want to be Elvis, but look more like Roy Orbison’ Jones’ rambling madness. Sanity is forthcoming however, with five minutes of a pretty girl disrobing, showing her boobs then getting dressed again. Hallelujah! Insanity returns with ten minutes, or so, of a girl clipping her beaver hair and some guy poking a hole in the side of his dick. Yes, there’s blood.
Final video begins with an interview. Now I initially thought this was some bald headed dyke, but according to the type on screen, it’s Mr Genesis P. Orridge himself.
Him (and someone else) ramble on for a good five minutes before it cuts to some swirly shapes with weird music. Now either I have an over-active imagination (quite possible) or they’ve purposely used some porn footage in the swirly shapes. Behold:
Swirly porn-ified music continues for about twenty minutes before the video cuts to a screen proclaiming: ‘An Introduction to the Temple Ov Psychick Youth’. Now it’s flashing images for the best part of twenty minutes and, finally, ending with the spokesman.
Having read a bit in to Mr Orridge, and PsychicTV, these videos are more art-house than horror. Certainly the torture and de-penis-ing are gory, and possibly real, but the rest are (I think) mere visual imagery for his music. Still worth flicking through just to be able to tell people what you saw.
On second thoughts – no, maybe it’s better if you don’t tell them about the torture and de-penis-ing!