A Film Directed by Steven Kostanski
I recently took advantage of a deal that AMC+ was running wherein I could snag a full year of the service for 24 dollars, and one of the biggest reasons I did was to watch a small Canadian horror film called Psycho Goreman. I know I can’t recommend Psycho Goreman to everyone, the title alone should tip anyone off that this is a movie that, at the very least, has a lot of gore. That said, if you are the sort of person that loves stupid genre films, the sort of stuff that companies like Troma make, or films like Wolf Cop and Kung Fury, this is a film for you. It’s technically on Shudder if you have that service, and I’m sure that it’s available on VOD and physical media as well.
“Siblings Mimi and Luke discover a strange, glowing gem while digging in their garden. That night, an alien monster emerges from the hole. The monster enters an old shoe factory and brutally kills a group of thieves hiding out there. The next day, Mimi and Luke follow a trail to the shoe factory and discover the monster. The monster identifies himself as “Arch-Duke of Nightmares”, a deadly alien warrior imprisoned on earth after attempting to destroy the galaxy in a rampage. Before he can kill them, he realises Mimi has the gem, which allows her to command him. Mimi dubs the alien “Psycho Goreman” (or “PG” for short) and begins commanding PG around despite Luke’s concerns. A group of aliens called the “Planetary Alliance” discover PG has escaped imprisonment, and send the warrior Pandora to Earth in the form of a human woman to kill him.”
At it’s heart, Psycho Goreman is a love letter to just about any 80’s/90’s kids action movie, except it realizes we’ve all grown up and might like some gore in the mix. I wouldn’t honestly call it a horror film, as it’s far too comedic to give any real scares, but it flirts with the horror genre at times with its special effects. There are a few times where PG uses his abilities to torture people in a manner not unlike that of the Hell Priest in Hellraiser, only to have it comedically undone a few seconds later. He curses a guy to internal pain at one point, only to have Luke accidentally knock the guy over ending his suffering much to PG’s dismay – “That was my masterpiece!”.
If one thing comes from this film, companies need to be hiring all of the people responsible for the crazy creature suits in the film. They are imaginative and cool when other films would just slap stale “futuristic robot suits” on everyone and call it good. All characters, even ones that show up very briefly in the film, look awesome and are worthy of full backstories to see where they got where they were – especially PG’s old buddies that try to double-cross him. I think there is some kind of tie-in comic out there that I need to find, just to see if some of these guys get their stories fleshed out.
The tone I liken this film to when describing it to people is: what if the guys behind Power Rangers decided to make an R-rated film? It has all of the hallmarks of a Japanese Tokusatsu film, just with a mature slant. Perhaps a film like The Guyver is a more appropriate comparison? It has dumb jokes, silly fight scenes and gross monster effects that will make you both laugh and cringe at times.
The acting is decidedly over-the-top, although not bad. Both child actors, Owen Myer as Luke and Nita-Josee Hanna as Mimi, do a great job considering the style they were given is more in line with how somebody would act in a TV sitcom versus a dramatic film. The rest of the cast fits in appropriately and chews scenery whenever they can, ramping up the silly camp factor to a high degree. The kid’s parents were especially hilarious, namely the insanely lazy Father.
Overall, this was well worth the watch if you like this sort of thing. Serious film connoisseurs will likely hate Psycho Goreman because it never tries to be anything other goofy horror comedy for millennials. What it lacks in dramatic flair, it makes up for in spades when it comes to special effects , and should fit alongside any Troma classic for this type of film. It has the whole DIY mentality of independent horror with a slightly better budget than most would be expecting. I really hope they do a sequel, because this universe is ripe for more adventures with PG and the kids. Perhaps they will travel to space to take on the “Planetary Alliance”? I really hope so!