Director: Steven Kostanski
Starring: Nita-Josee Hanna, Owen Myre, Matthew Ninaber, Steven Vlahos, Adam Brooks, Roxine Latoya Plummer, Anna Tierney, Alexis Kara Hancey and Kristen MacCulloch
Run time: 1h 34min
Sometimes a film comes along that is so wonderfully unique and hilariously bizarre, that it leaves you grinning like an idiot and reliving its many weirdly funny moments long after the credits have rolled. Take a bow, Psycho Goreman. Director and writer Steven Kostanski has created 94 minutes of absurd cinema that I’ll try to do justice with my words, but must be seen to be believed.
Squabbling siblings Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and Luke (Owen Myre) are just like any other brother and sister. They play made-up ball games and have their own language whilst Mimi takes full advantage of Luke’s sweet nature by regularly teasing and bullying him.
They stumble upon an ancient MacGuffin, or amulet if you prefer, that just so happens to bring back to life a vicious, violent alien from the distant planet of Gigax. Born into servitude and a slave to an ancient race known as The Templars, this amulet gave our extra-terrestrial friend extraordinary powers and turned him into a lethal killing machine intent on taking over galaxy after galaxy. After he’d eventually been caught by The Templars, they buried him deep in a backyard in small-town suburban America. Why there? Who knows. Also, who cares?
Determined to get back to his bloodthirsty ways, his awakening doesn’t quite go to plan as Mimi can control him thanks to being in possession of the amulet. Naming him Psycho Goreman (Matthew Ninaber), or PG for short rather than the Archduke of Nightmares that he was once known by, the fun starts as Mimi’s childish whims must be obeyed. PG attempts to break free from her hold and invites a host of intergalactic friends to Earth hoping they’ll help him in this. However, a Templar known as Pandora (Kristen MacCulloch) is also on her way and is armed and ready to quench PG’s thirst for death and destruction once and for all.
What comes next is a ridiculous, yet highly entertaining mix of fantasy, comedy and horror as the kids invite PG into their lives and do their utmost to teach him about human ways and even love, all while PG is ripping off heads and bathing in blood. It never takes itself seriously and hits the perfect balance between exaggerated gore and childish humour.
Nita-Josee Hannah as Mimi is outstanding. Delightfully mischievous, she’s switches between innocent young girl to obnoxious bully in the blink of an eye. Full of sass, her dialogue with PG is clever and very funny. Owen Myre also deserves a mention. He gives a more grounded performance and the two play off each other with an experience beyond their years.
All this mayhem and carnage is played out to a raucous 80s inspired rock guitar score, with hints of the Stranger Things theme thrown in for good measure. There are nods to Star Wars, Wishmaster and many other movies throughout. Costume designer Madi Styles has created some wonderfully weird outfits for the strange assortment of eccentric aliens and these are brought to life by a mix of actors and some extremely impressive creature effects.
Gloriously violent, bitingly witty, confidently self-aware and quirky beyond measure, Psycho Goreman is a refreshingly bizarre blast of cinematic joy.
Psycho Goreman is available to watch via Shudder from May 20th 2021.
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