Director: Steven Kostanski
Writer: Steven Kostanski
Stars: Steven Vlahos, Matthew Ninaber, Kristen MacCulloch, Nita-Josee Hanna, Owen Myre, Alexis Kara Hancey, Timothy Paul McCarthy
Psycho Goreman: The horrors you have just witnessed cannot be unseen. Your young minds will carry this until it consumes you in a miserable death.
On February 3rd, 2021, the Hollywood Foreign Press announced their nominees for the 78th Golden Globe awards to spotlight excellence in film and television. I want to address what I consider to be a grievous error of omission on their part. Their failure to nominate Stephen Kostanski’s Psycho Goreman (2020) as Best Intergalactic Feature is an unbelievable oversight and needs to be addressed!
Maybe that is a little over-the-top, but over the top is an appropriate way to start any review of this fun and strangely touching movie. To review Psycho Goreman, I watched it with my movie-loving friends, Tony and Stacy. We get together whenever we can, now socially distanced, to check out interesting films, typically from the horror genre. The discussion afterward is lively and thought-provoking. The breadth and depth of their knowledge and insights into the films always enrich my understanding.
Relationships like these are important to have in real life. Not only do we care for and support each other, but we also encourage and sometimes find ourselves challenged by each other. As mentioned above, Psycho Goreman, in addition to the buckets of goopy-gore, insane alien battles, and PG’s constant monologuing about the dreadful fates awaiting his foes, has a great big heart. That heart beats with the major characters’ rising and falling arcs as they sever old bonds and create new, stronger ones with those around them. Steven Kostanski’s (The Void) weirdo, alien-buddy flick has many lessons to teach. The relationship between eleven-year-old, burgeoning sociopath Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and her enslaved new BFF for life, Psycho Gorman or PG for short (Steven Vlahos and Mattew Ninaber), takes this film into wild and uncharted territory; teaching the lesson that love is the greatest power in the universe and can free us from bondage. Or something.
Luke (Owen Myre) and his megalomaniac in training sister, Mimi, accidentally release an imprisoned alien from his eternal prison in their backyard. Ready to resume his campaign of destroying all life in the universe, the alien discovers Mimi now possesses the amulet that enslaved him that he is subject to her will. Mimi dubs the alien Psycho Goreman or PG for short. Pleased with her newfound powers, she attempts to integrate PG into her and her brother’s family. After being severely wounded in a gloriously gory surprise attack by his former allies, the Paladins of Sydion, PG realizes he must make a new alliance with the temperamental tween and her dysfunctional family to survive.
Psycho Gorman was created by Canadian-based nostalgia/video pranksters Astron-6. Astron-6 made a name for themselves by releasing modern films with a definite throwback feel like 2014’s faux-Giallo The Editor and Kostanski’s 2011 Manborg. When Psycho Goreman was over, my pal Tony quipped that it was like watching a deranged Sid and Marty Krofft show. Sid and Marty Krofft were children’s television producers in the early 70s whose shows were borderline psychedelic, candy-colored delights of madness. Luke’s friend and Mimi’s crush Alistair (Scout Flint) undergoes a transformation, turning into a giant brain with flesh-colored tentacles that would almost be at home with one of the Kroft’s smiling, friendly, tentacled abominations.
We Learned A Lot Today
With such a ludicrous story, Psycho Goreman could have easily become a stale one-joke experience. But it is not. Psycho Gorman is an enjoyable film because it works so diligently on so many levels. The story of Mimi and Luke’s family, while humorous, is very compelling. PG’s story is also interesting. He is an anti-hero with a powerful back story of imprisonment and exploitation. The movie jumps seamlessly back and forth between the two stories. Kostanski’s cast takes their roles seriously and delivers competent performances. Nita-Josee Hanna gives a star performance as Mimi, the precocious young sister. She does an amazing job bringing Mimi’s self-centered, manipulative, explosive glory to life. It is hard not to root for someone with so much gumption.
Psycho Goreman’s story of a little girl looking for a friend and a genocidal, intergalactic overlord seeking vengeance sparkles with joy, bathed in the blood of PG’s enemies. Based on all of this (and the spectacular SFX!), the movie is a 10 out of 10. To paraphrase Mimi’s personal anthem, “It’s the heckin’ best, yeah yeah yeah.”
Psycho Goreman is currently streaming on multiple platforms. Check out the trailer here: