Everything that viewers need to know about writer-director Steven Kotanski’s (The Void) Psycho Goreman is right there in the title: it’s crazy, campy, schlocky and incredibly gory. It’s The Toxic Avenger by way of Power Rangers, and it knows how to make the most of its absurdist premise for an entertaining lo-fi romp.
Millions of years ago, an all-powerful ancient being, hell-bent on destroying the galaxy, was imprisoned on Earth after being defeated by his enemies. That being is Psycho Goreman (Matthew Ninaber), or PG for short. He’s a hulking purple alien with a spiked back and menacing voice (provided by Steven Vlahos). He can pop heads, drive people to maddening insanity and devour his foes whole. The character is the stereotypical comic book villain turned up to 11, and he’s controlled by an amulet wielded by a bratty girl named Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and her awkward brother Luke (Owen Myre).
The main joke of the film is watching the unstoppable force of darkness become increasingly like a pet to his child captors. By the midway point, after an obligatory dress-up montage, the kids view him more as an ET-like sidekick than a destructive force – even though he commits heinous acts of violence like exploding a random child into bloody goop or transforming their friend Alasdair (Scott Flint) into a goggle-eyed brain with tentacles. To the kids, these acts are seen as endearing quirks, and this subsequent juxtaposition creates space for many genuinely funny and wickedly creative gags. It’s simply ridiculous fun.
Unfortunately, though, the fun is somewhat dampened by an overcrowded plot. Outside of PG’s misadventures, the script struggles to juggle subplots surrounding the kids’ parents going through a rough patch and PG’s rivals returning to finish what they started eons ago. While these points do converge in a fittingly silly climax and serve to inject some satirical moral lessons on who the real monsters are, their execution is a messy smear of beats that feel hastily cobbled together.
From the inventive creature design (that surely takes a lot of inspiration from the campy aliens in Power Rangers) to its joyously lowbrow premise, Psycho Goreman is enjoyably schlocky B-movie viewing, even if all its punches don’t land as hard as they aspire to.
Psycho Gorman is released on 20th May 2021.
Watch the trailer for Psycho Gorman here: