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American psycho

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is the toast of Wall Street, a young whiz kid stockbroker whose making millions for his clients - which are quickly becoming more numerous. By day the young man is charming, well-educated, handsome and witty.

But at night, the horrific dark side of Bateman's mind surfaces: a serial killer and rapist of devious cunning who kidnaps his victims, tortures them with delight and slowly kills them, revelling in their pain and even hanging their insides in his upstate apartment. This is his story in all its frightening and horrific detail - from his first slaughter, his pursuit by the authorities, his contempt for the yuppie society, and the slow disintegration of his mind from the inside. A cynical & disturbing look at life through the eyes of a modern day monster.

Theatrical propaganda posters

American psycho image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film crime drama serial killer yuppie murder rape

Persons of interest

  • Christian Bale .... Patrick Bateman
  • Justin Theroux .... Timothy Bryce
  • Josh Lucas .... Craig McDermott
  • Bill Sage .... David Van Patten
  • Chloë Sevigny .... Jean
  • Reese Witherspoon .... Evelyn Williams
  • Samantha Mathis .... Courtney Rawlinson
  • Matt Ross .... Luis Carruthers
  • Jared Leto .... Paul Allen
  • Willem Dafoe .... Detective Donald Kimball
  • Cara Seymour .... Christie
  • Guinevere Turner .... Elizabeth
  • Stephen Bogaert .... Harold Carnes
  • Monika Meier .... Daisy
  • Bret Easton Elis .... Author
  • Guinevere Turner .... Screenwriter
  • Mary Harron .... Screenwriter
  • Mary Harron .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Hee! Hee! Hee!

The 80s... those were the days. Plastic pop, designer drugs, pretension, fake wealth, bad hair. What a decade. American psycho is about the heart and soul of those times; a deranged comedy about a deranged society.

Having been a yuppie myself at one time (yes, it's true!) I watched this flick with healthy doses of nostalgia and cynicism. If you were around at the time American psycho will bring it all rushing back. Every shoulder-padded moment. Even if you weren't it will transport you to a time and place that would beggar belief if you weren't currently stuck in Little Johnny's relaxed and comfortable Australia. Money grubbing, self-interested, juggernauts thundering toward derailment. Who needs public transport when you've got capitalism?

Now that this culture has reached the big screen (via the printed page) you will be able to immerse yourself in a literal and metaphoric blood bath. Christian's soulless yuppie wanders through the urban landscape sucking blood and fear from his clients and victims in equal measure. He personifies the disregard for everything that differentiates human beings from vampires. He is evil. Cool. Everyone else is but grist for his manic meat grinder.

Remember that despite the title and my abundant references to bodily fluids that this is not a horror flick, it's a satire, a fantasy about the depths to which human beings can plunge while reaching for the heights. A man running naked down a hallway, covered in blood and carrying a howling chainsaw shows just how fantastic (and satirical) a film can be.

The climax of the film is Patrick's search for redemption, but even that is denied in the bizarre world in which he lives. No-one will believe that he has killed people, strangers cover up his deeds for their own ends, support his dementia for his wads of cash and ignore his wrong doings because they simply don't care. It's not an original circumstance in the world of film but it is the best way to end this one. The giant machine of which all are wheels and cogs grinds on despite a patch of rust or squeal of bearing. Individuals are unimportant, individual deeds are unimportant. Just like life. Cool.

If you're after a thinking person's horror flick then American psycho is the one for you. Even if you're only after Christian's rock hard abdominals spattered in blood, you'll certainly enjoy it.

FYI: I have not read the book.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Surround 5.1
  • Disc type: single side, single layer
  • Languages: English, Spanish
  • Picture: Widescreen (16:9 enhanced)
  • Special features:
    • Isolated soundtrack
    • Featurette: Making of "American psycho"
    • Talent profiles
    • Trailers
    • Picture disc
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Portuguese, Bulgarian

Security censorship classification

R 18+ (Medium level violence, medium level sex scene)

Surveillance time

98 minutes (1:38 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 6 August 2000
DVD rental: 14 February 2001
VHS rental: 14 February 2001
VHS retail: 1 August 2001
DVD retail: 7 November 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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