Thursday, April 25, 2013

Save Psycho Pike!

Paddle vs. Pike (from Cottage Life magazine)
If you've never heard of the movie Psycho Pike, you can hardly be blamed. That's because the film has been lost for twenty years. How's that for obscure? Were it not for the excellent Canuxploitation, I would never have known about this "Canadian cottage cult classic" as its director once described it.

The film was shot in Wiarton, Ontario, Canada in 1992 with Sky Lake portraying the fictional Lake Shippagew. Wiarton is most famous for hosting the annual Wiarton Willie Festival, celebrating Groundhog Day, similar to Punxsutawney Phil. For reasons not entirely clear, the movie disappeared from public view almost without a trace. The only evidence of its existence seemed to be an old article in Cottage Life magazine on the making of the movie which is spelled as Psychopike. After that, it was the one that got away.

Psycho Pike is about a group of cottagers that are terrorized by a vicious fish which has gone mad as a result of toxic waste being dumped in the local lake.

While I'll admit that the plot sounds like a cliché, run-of-the-mill mutant monster movie, the film's mysterious history has aroused my curiosity. Yes, it's a low-budget horror flick. Yes, we've seen killer fish before, namely Jaws and Piranha. However, being denied the opportunity of seeing this film is similar to being told you can't have something. Even if it's something you don't desire, once someone tells you that you can't have it, you want it all the more. Not that no one would desire Psycho Pike but you get my point, don't you? What I mean to say is, I would have loved the opportunity to see it and judge for myself. If it's no better than a B-movie, so be it. Who doesn't love a campy B-movie, anyway?

All is not lost though, even though I said it was. Remember when I said the movie disappeared without a trace? That's not entirely true.

It is possible to watch Psycho Pike by way of a screener copy if you're resourceful enough. Even though any kind of copy would be better than nothing, what I'm more interested in is an official DVD release of the film. Aren't you? If you answered yes, quit talking to yourself and read on.

Apparently an uncut negative of the film has surfaced. Whether a finished print still exists remains to be seen. If not, I'm sure arrangements can be made to edit a new finished print. Of course funds would probably need to be raised but that's what sites like Kickstarter are for. If it worked for Manos in HD, it could work for this project. Idealy, director Chris Poschun would be involved but his IMDb credits show that he never worked on anything else so who knows if he is still around.

Unless there is a demand for this film though, it's unlikely to see the light of day as far as an official DVD release is concerned. That's why we must be vigilant and spread the word.
pike portrait flyer
Fish Flyer: that's a poor pike portrait

I hereby launch the  Save Psycho Pike Campaign

The mission is to rescue Psycho Pike from obscurity and get an official DVD/Blu-ray release with special features including cast interviews and commentary tracks, behind-the-scenes featurettes and the story of how it became lost for all these years.

How You Can Help

Let's be really vigilant about this. Spread the word by social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Reblog or link to this post. Get people on board. If enough of you talk about it, word might get back to the people who are in a real position to save Psycho Pike.

Let's reel in the big fish and catch the one that got away! Operation Find Fish Film is underway.
To help raise awareness, I put together this montage of clips that gives you an idea of Psycho Pike's plot but doesn't give too much away. Please share it on your blogs and social media to get the word out.


  1. Now here's a project I can get behind ! I was one of the first to track down a workprint copy of the film, though I lent it to somebody and it disappeared. We've since been lucky enough to find a vhs rip of the finished copy, but it's always been a passion of mine to give it a proper release.

    I wrote an article about my checkered past with the film, feel free to give it a gander !

  2. Feel free to check out the Psycho Pike FB group. Many cast and crew have joined and shared stories and pictures

  3. Thanks for your reply, Eric.

    I had actually previously read your article about Psycho Pike and was it was partly the inspiration for my own article. Thanks for writing it!


Best Bad Movies

Featured Post

Fourteen Movies MST3K Should Riff

If you were a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 , then you no doubt know that it is being rebooted, thanks to the successful Bring Bac...