Throwback splatterfest ‘Psycho Goreman’ ultimately drags
Are you ready for some psycho? Are you ready for some gore? Are you ready for some man? New from writer/director Steven Kostanski (The Void) comes Psycho Goreman, an ultra-violent lo-fi monster comedy meant to lovingly transport us back to the practical effects splatterfests of the 80s.
Directed by: Steven Kostanski
Written by: Steven Kostanski
Starring: Matthew Ninaber, Adam Brooks, Nita-Josee Hanna, Owen Myre
Running time: 95 min
A little girl named Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) accidentally discovers an artifact that summons and controls a horrific monster from the stars, hellbent on killing everything he encounters. The movie plays a long backstory for laughs, explaining this monster’s evil mission born out of religious persecution and enslavement on his home planet Gigax, but mostly Mimi just wants to force him to play with her and her brother Luke no matter the carnage.
There’s a very specific audience for a film like this. It’s at the intersection of people who grew up watching things like The Toxic Avenger, seeking out every budget decapitation effect they could find, and those who don’t hate kids and phrases like “heckin’.”
With creature effects straight out of a Power Rangers episode, Psycho Goreman (or “PG” for short) is always in on the joke, but is the joke worth a full feature-length film?
Buoyed by the chaotic, zany energy of nine-year-old Mimi, this film puts a lot of trust in its young lead actress’s ability to keep you onboard with her bossy antics, for better or worse. And while it might be fun to let your cocksure daughter run the show, any parent can tell you that shit will wear thin after about an hour, which is what happens here.
Mimi’s parents are basically meat-based caricatures of Marge and Homer Simpson. They’re just hands-on enough to make their family unit believable, but in every instance they’re negligent and ridiculous enough to allow for whatever their daughter deigns to happen. And even that schtick of weirdly assured but inept guardianship gets exhausting by the end of this one.
Despite some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments in the first 30 minutes, eventually the realization sets in that Kostanski developed this movie out of one threadbare idea and a number of bits that he probably conceived in junior high. A film like this used to be a major labor of love for a filmmaker that would be lucky to see the light of day. Now it seems like an indie director can just poop one out as a joke and find distribution on a major streaming platform.
I’m very proud of the pun in the headline of this review, so now I’m going to try my hand at developing it into a feature film. Wish me luck!