If Stranger Things has taught us anything, it is that the 80s are as popular now as they have ever been. Throwbacks to the peak days of directors like John Carpenter and David Cronenberg seemed to all come together in 2016 when visual effects gurus Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski’s Lovecraftian nightmare The Void scarred us all as it creeped us the hell out with its beautifully gory physical effects. So it seems only fitting that one half of the team that threw several buckets of fake blood at every wall they could find bookends the throwback to three decades previous with Psycho Goreman.
While verbally and kind-of physically beating down her brother Luke (Owen Myre) with a bastardised version of Dodgeball, obnoxious pre-puber bully Mimi (Nita-Josee Hannah) accidentally unearths a large gem, which Mimi claims for her own. The next morning the siblings discover that it’s not just a random gem they have found; they have discovered an item that can control an all-powerful monster from another galaxy banished and buried on earth eons ago to stop its almost uncontrollable need to destroy every planet it can find.
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But giving control of an almost omnipotent being to a kid that hasn’t even figured out how to swear properly comes with a world of trouble, not just for the girl, but for her family, the town they live in, and the world. With an unpronounceable name, Mimi names the monster Psycho Goreman (or PG for short), and the pair become an unstoppable duo. If only Mimi could find something more interesting to do with a near deity than play crazy made up ball games.
Thankfully, perhaps, interesting things are happening galaxies away when the council that previously banished PG – which includes a brain in a jar, and who all seem to have a thing for blue liquorice laces – have discovered his resurrection and are putting plans in place to get him back in his hole. When the leader of the group, Pandora (Kristen MacColloch), arrives on Earth, a cat and mouse game ensues that forces the evil entity to find his humanity and his selfless side to protect the first real, if accidental, friends the monster has ever had.
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Psycho Goreman is one of those films that knows the exact audience it is cultivating and delivers absolutely everything it wants from a film where a little girl controls a slimy purple monster than can destroy the planet and instead goes clothes shopping with him and introduces it to her friends. Writer and director Steven Kostanski builds his little world for us to spend an hour and a bit in, then adds in the insane monsters and buckets of blood and gore that we have have come to know him for over the years.
Kostanski has written one of the funniest buddy comedies to hit screens in the last decade, with Psycho Goreman brutally threatening every person he meets and trying his hardest to kill everybody, but being stopped dead in his tracks at every turn by Mimi and her self-centered and narcissistic need to make everything about herself. It’s one part annoying to nine parts side-splittingly funny.
Every creature Director Steven Kostanski creates for Psycho Goreman is a wonder to behold. From the goblin-looking king that appears to have fallen off the idea shelf from the Daniel Isn’t Real production, to the man-size bucket/washing machine filled with blood and body parts. Every monster is unique, and every character dispatch – both monster and human – is wonderfully gross and really, really gory. On a practical effect level Psycho Goreman is one of the best examples in the genre and is only equalled by the director’s previous work.
Imagine, if you will, if Hellraiser director Clive Barker was accidentally hired to make a Power Rangers episode, and you would be somewhere close to what Psycho Goreman is. A film with all the feelings and sensibilities of an 80’s family comedy but all the gore of Robocop or Hostel. It is simply perfect.
Psycho Goreman is streaming on Shudder from 20th May.