For those who don't have time to click'n'read the entire reviews, I've pulled some of the more savory selections and am presenting them here in tidy bite-size morsels.
"An impressively tense recreation of a notorious work."
-- NEW YORK
"Trapping his kinky material in a cage of Victorian propriety, the writer and director, Bret Wood, mimics the visual style of silent cinema, complete with wooden tableaus and ornate intertitles."
-- Jeannette Catsoulis, THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Wood has a strong, atmospheric visual style--something abundantly displayed in his work as editor, graphic artist and producer on the excellent Kino silent-movie DVD sets devoted to German expressionist masters F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang, as well as American greats D.W. Griffith and Erich von Stroheim. "Psychopathia," shot to look like a talkie color version of something noirish by Lang or Murnau, is as good-looking a film as its minimal budget allows."
-- Michael Wilmington, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
"Every film festival needs this kind of ultra-indie wake-up call. Low budget. Experimental. Daring. Local filmmaker Bret Wood accepts the challenge of making a film about Richard von Krafft-Ebing's 19th-century case studies of sexual perversity -- and delivers."
-- Bob Longino, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
"A FINE ACHIEVEMENT! Not only does Wood evoke the look of the turn-of-the-century era in a believable way, but he also captures the claustrophobic mood of a repressed society...Wood injects a spooky, knowing series of dream sequences and flashbacks that recall the work of German Expressionism."
-- Eric Monder, FILM JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL
"Heavily stylized...Generating suspense with similarly bleak sarcasm, Psychopathia Sexualis is part horror, part exploitation and part ensemble comedy...Wood wields derivative devices with a knowing wand."
-- Eric Kohn, NEW YORK PRESS
"Like his documentary HELL'S HIGHWAY: THE TRUE STORY OF HIGHWAY SAFETY FILMS (2003), Bret Wood's dramatically stylized visualization of cases from 19th-century Austro-German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing's notorious, groundbreaking taxonomy of sexual variation is a window into bygone morals and mores....Despite the film's low budget, Wood's images are extraordinary and evocative...The atmosphere is consistently doom-haunted and depressed."
-- Maitland McDonagh, TV GUIDE MOVIE GUIDE
"The roll call of sexual perversions and fetishes promised in the title are duly displayed, but Bret Wood's film is hardly exploitation. Wood's elegantly shot period piece is ostensibly an introduction to psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing's pioneering treatise on sexual deviance and perversity, illustrated by gracefully restrained set pieces that evoke the cinema of the 1920s and with dry objective medical descriptions in narrative counterpoint....the moods and moments are crafted with kinky grace."
-- Sean Axmaker, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
"One can idly imagine audience members decked out in the make-up and costumes of their favorite characters, much like devotees of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show.'"
-- Joe Leydon, VARIETY
"German psychoanalyst Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902), a pioneer in the study and treatment of abnormal sexuality, titled his 1886 book of case studies Psychopathia Sexualis, using Latin to put off prurient readers. Atlanta writer-director Bret Wood takes a reverse tack and titillates us with neo-Victorian peeks at perverts."
-- Bill Stamets, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
"Dutifully and handsomely crafted." -- Jay Carr, AM PM
"What Wood achieves in his arch, velvet-cushioned vignettes is a sense of the subjects being reduced to symptom and diagnosis - in the same way as were Kraft-Ebbing's patients - their pain and innocence brushed away in preference for a belief in sexual evil. Kraft-Ebbing's legacy still is with us in many ways, and while Wood makes that clear, it isn't without a healthy dose of derision."
-- John Anderson, NEW YORK NEWSDAY, AM NEW YORK
"Bodily fluids are consumed, wealthy johns are whipped and stomped by fin de siècle Bettie Pages, lavender love is variously expressed and repressed—all to the sultry sounds of somber string arrangements and scientific voiceover."
-- Melissa Anderson, TIME OUT NEW YORK