From it’s over the top gore, to its shred-guitar soundtrack this film is a roit and I’ll predict that ‘Psycho Goreman’ is sure to persist in a lot of people’s collections well past its year of release!
Following successful, yet niche run of hits with the ‘Astron-6’ group, Steven Kostanski unleashes his latest bizarre creation in the form of the titular Psycho Goreman (or PG for short), a cosmic demon hell bent on universal destruction.
The plot follows two kids, who, after competing in their homemade game of Crazy Ball, unwittingly release the cosmic tyrant from his slumber after unearthing a strange device in their garden. Whilst the alien has designs on global domination, the younger of the two children has other ideas, having discovered that their new treasure can actually be used to control the entity who they affectionately call Psycho Goreman. In a bizarre combination of wholesome morals and narcissism we follow PG and the gang as he tries to break free, the young girl tries to elevate her own social status and another group of cosmic beings who are trying to rid the universe of all of them.
Bit bizarre I’ll accept, if your new that is to the 80/90s midnight movie concepts, but then, perhaps not so much if you’ve been following Astron-6 or Kostanski’s other works (such as ‘Manborg’, Father’s Day and the giallo inspired ‘The Editor’).
I will admit here that I am a massive fan, I even thought the Leprechaun movie he/they put together was a decent enough effort, albeit a little more typical!
Its perhaps not really worth discussing the plot much further because, as you might have guessed from my synopsis, its not exactly aiming for convention, and in all honesty its ‘Power Ranger’ style creature concepts and hockey 80s family-movie crossover is simply a wrap around for the films somewhat meandering lo-fi content.
Arguably lacking in production quality, ‘Psycho Goreman’ makes up for it with quantity, showcasing scene after scene of trippy lo-fi effects from more 80s splatter influenced gore to early 90s CGI space-set set pieces. There are a few further expositions thrown in here and there, and in all honesty the subplots, whilst goofy looking, are mercifully straightforward – albiet if you were looking for metaphor hidden within the films context, then you won’t find it; even the film’s name is testament to that, who is looking at Psycho Goreman expecting subtle or meaningful?
What you will find however is pure(ile) entertainment. The choice to give the lead roles to a couple of kids pretty much sets the scene with the humour and general tone of the film feeling like a feature length commercial for a kid action hero toy!
But with lots of gore.
As you might expect, this film has more than its fair share of splatter. Admittedly its not wall to wall, or even as violent as some of the other films in the Astron-6 back catalogue, but there’s plenty of gooey gore scenes to keep the pace moving. There’s a mixture of practical effects and CGI splatter, most of which are enhanced by having a surrealist or creative element to them. As with the rest of the movie, the gore isn’t trying to offend, and indeed a lot of the films visual gags work to complement the spraying blood and over the top gore.
Overall, I would say this film is a winner all round, and I had a great time watching it! It’s silly, but constantly creative, and whilst I accept that story wise it’s pretty linear, there is just so much going on that your eyes and ears will be engaged, even if your brain isn’t! I am happy to recognise that this sort of film certainly has its niche (and I guess some might argue, also its day) but I will equally stress how happy it makes me that they are still being churned out, and widely available to view on streaming platforms no less.
Without wanting to start a tangent here, I actually feel the anti-commercial/conformist statement these movies make is as relevant in 2021 as it’s ever been! Bring on the sequel!