A practical effects-laden joy. Psycho Goreman is everything a genre fan would love but can also go beyond a niche B-movie to be a schlocky film that will entertain everyone.
Siblings Mimi and Luke unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord who was interred on Earth millions of years ago after a failed attempt to destroy the universe. The nickname the evil creature Psycho Goreman (or PG for short) uses the magical amulet they discovered to force him to obey their childish whims. It isn’t long before PG’s reappearance draws the attention of intergalactic friends and foes from across the cosmos, and a rogues’ gallery of alien combatants converges in small-town suburbia to battle for the fate of the galaxy.
In any other film where the story is about an alien who connects with a small child after it awakens on Earth would have a heart-warming feel to it, not so if you go by the synopsis of the utterly brilliant Psycho Goreman. A film that fully knows its audience and takes the fullest from it. Here our monstrous intergalactic being isn’t the only sociopath; in a lovely twist, our human lead Mimi played marvellously by Nita-Josee Hanna, is the worst.
Hanna is so full of charisma that she almost steals the movie from all of the practical effects-laden creatures on show. Mimi is a character that goes far and beyond the usual obnoxious kid that you would expect in these films. She is such a sociopath that she continually puts her older brother’s life in danger; she cares little for the lives of others, she is so unbelievable that she makes PG and the other aliens come across as more human than her.
Her family are equally unbelievable and for entirely different reasons. When Mimi and Luke’s parents see the massive hole dug up in their back garden, they have the calmest reaction possible. Also, only a few people in this town seem to react to PG when he eventually begins to roam around; barely anyone reacts to him! This comes to a hilarious point in a post-credit scene. That is the point though, the film embraces this craziness, and you quickly realise you need to go with it to get the best experience possible.
Considering Steven Kotanski’s talent with practical effects, it made sense that one of the shining lights of Psycho Goreman is the magical amount of practical’s we see on the screen. There are so many characters who would usually just be digitised that seeing them practically is so refreshing. For horror fans and certainly ones who love their 80s horror (shout out to the In Search Of Darkness docs reviews here and here), this is something that we dream of.
The imagination in these character designs helps stand the film out even further from other modern movies. In what film would you see a character like Alasdair? Even if we did have a character like him, we would get 30 seconds tops, yet he returns again and again, and the more you see him, the funnier it gets. It is absurd, and the designs are ridiculous yet brilliant at the same time.
A smile comes across your face just seeing these practical’s and shows that if this is possible for a film made for under £1 million. If the research is correct, the actual cost for all of these effects was made for less than £75,000, just bananas. Due to the experience of the special effects team, so much was able to be done, and it is just fantastic and helps grow this genre fans heart tenfold. Astrum-6 we applaud your work.
This is a B-movie that works so well with how it can mix horror and comedy so well. This one will not be on Best of the Worst (If you know you know speaking of which what an excellent cameo). A modern B-movie is tough to accomplish well, yet Psycho Goreman can join the ranks of recent flicks such as Fried Barry and Slaxx in ticking the boxes that make it work (in different ways). This is a film that celebrates everything the genre has to offer, and when it goes ridiculous, it jumps into it with both feet.
You sense how much of a B-movie fan Kotanski is, just by the volume of influences we see on the screen; this is one of those films that you could easily play a party game and see who can get the most out of it. This is a fun film, and it was made that way to be the love letter to a genre that should never have existed in the first place. Kotanski does so much right with his film that for any storyline faults that you do notice, you forgive. When you have as much fun watching a movie as you are here, who cares about the minor issues.
We have a film that wants to take you on a ride, and goddamn if it isn’t a fun one. The demand for a sequel or prequels needs to be high here; this is the cinematic universe we have been craving for.
Psycho Goreman is out on Shudder from May 20th.
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