Movie Review: goofball gorefest ‘Psycho Goreman’ a creature feature treat

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A young girl unleashes an intergalactic evil entity buried in her backyard for an eternity, only to force it into doing her childish bidding, in Psycho Goreman, the latest creature feature comedy from niche 80s-retro splatter studio Astron 6.

When pre-teen Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna, who’s a real hoot here) and her put-upon older brother Luke (Owen Myre) discover they’ve unleashed the self-described Arch-Duke of Nightmares (voiced by Steven Vlahos and played by Matthew Ninaber in a charming rubber suit), they should be terrified.

But Mimi quickly realizes she holds the key to controlling this monster – a glowing red gem – in her hands. Dubbing the beast Psycho Goreman, or PG for short, Mimi and Luke teach the alien creature to play a complex version of dodgeball instead of allowing him to unleash Hell on Earth — for now, anyway.

Psycho Goreman terrifies local cops and burglars but doesn’t seem to make much of an impression on Mimi and Luke’s parents (Alexis Kara Hancey and Astron 6 co-founder Adam Brooks), who have their own lightweight domestic spats to focus on. PG turns family friend Alastair into a giant brain monster in a careful-what-you-wish-for scenario, but nobody seems to mind.

Meanwhile, somewhere in outer space, the council of intergalactic authorities who imprisoned Psycho Goreman in the first place learn that he has been released, and discuss their next steps. They’re led by metallic angel Pandora (Kristen MacCulloch), and the ranks include a skeleton-brain creature with eyes inside of a cylindrical tube.

It goes without saying that Psycho Goreman should not be taken seriously. Sillier and slimier than previous Astron 6 outings, which all invoked some kind of narrative in their cheesy retro form, this one is just one big joke. You either go with it or you don’t, but the go-for-broke ‘tude here doesn’t take any prisoners.

There’s shades of the Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life” somewhere deep within Psycho Goreman; like the little boy who terrified his family by turning his thoughts into reality, Mimi exerts similar control of her surroundings through the monster at her fingertips. But every time Psycho Goreman approaches something resembling thematic material, it quickly backs off with the careless glee of its young protagonist.

Director Steven Kostanski previously made (with Jeremy Gillespie) the wonderful creature feature The Void, a departure from other Astron 6 films in that it took itself seriously and boasted better practical effects work than previously seen from the studio.

Psycho Goreman represents the complete opposite end of the spectrum. The flippant nature of the story extends to the filmmaking, which includes chintzy (but charming) f/x and rubber monsters that would be at home in a 1990s Power Rangers episode.

Still, if it catches you in the right mood, there’s a lot to like here. Psycho Goreman is a genuinely funny splatter comedy, tightened up and toned down from the usual Troma type of production. This is one that the whole family might enjoy — if it weren’t for the buckets of blood and gore that drench most of the movie.

Psycho Goreman

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Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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