Psycho Goreman has a title that sounds like a slasher parody and a title creature that looks like the love child of The Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Creeper. But it’s the new film from writer/director Steven Kostanski (The Void, Manborg) and after being a hired hand on Leprechaun Returns he’s back doing his own thing. This time he’s given us his version of E.T., only with the diminutive and cuddly alien replaced by a giant intergalactic killing machine.
Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and her brother Luke’s (Owen Myre, NOS4A2, Terrifier 2) game of Battle Ball somehow leads to them accidentally uncovering the most evil being in the galaxy (Matthew Ninaber, Transference) imprisoned on Earth before the dawn of history. Luckily for Earth Mimi also found the amulet that controls him and forces him to do her bidding.
Of course, this doesn’t go unnoticed by the galactic powers that be. They dispatch Pandora (Kristen MacCulloch in battle armour, Roxine Latoya Plummer in human form), a Templar Paladin to put the creature, now renamed Psycho Goreman, PG to his friends, back into captivity before he can finish destroying the galaxy. But even as they’re on their way to Earth, PG is calling out to his allies. Galactic warfare is about to break out in the midst of the ‘burbs.
The creature’s name is the only PG thing about this movie. Despite having two kids for its lead characters, Psycho Goreman is a full-on bloodbath with a well-deserved R rating. The film is barely five minutes old when we get an impressive double decapitation, done with practical effects and lots of blood, and it only gets bloodier from there. Face rippings, eye gougings, zombification and getting eaten alive are among the gory highlights.
Kostanski is an effects guy when he’s not directing and he’s able to pull off some amazing gore gags here. This is the kind of hysterically over the top stuff Troma used to do in films like The Toxic Avenger, the kind of effects that make you go “EWWW” as you laugh at them. There’s also an impressive range of alien creatures, many of whom look like they could be back up singers for GWAR. Watching them fight in scenes that reminded me of the live-action Guyver or Zeiram films was an absolute joy.
Unsurprisingly this doesn’t leave much room for Psycho Goreman’s human characters, most of whom are simply there to meet a spectacularly bloody end. What is surprising is just how well Hanna and Myre hold their own against the film’s scene-stealing action scenes. Granted Mimi’s tough kid character is a bit too overdone at times but for the most part, she’s well written and played. And as her passive, bullied older brother Luke, Myre gives an excellent balancing performance. Adam Brooks (The Return, The Editor) as their lazy father and Alexis Kara Hancey as their fed-up mother do what they can with the roles, but there’s little for them to work with.
Seeing Psycho Goreman via a screener really made me wish the pandemic hadn’t stopped me from seeing it at last year’s Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival. As much fun as I had watching it at home this is the kind of film that’s meant to be seen with a like-minded audience. Hopefully, you can catch it in one of its theatrical screenings.
RLJE Films will release Psycho Gorman in theatres, On Demand and Digital on January 22, 2021. I’ve read that it, like several other RLJE releases, will head to Shudder at some point after its initial release. You can check the film’s Facebook page for updates on that.