RLJE Films

Film Review: Psycho Goreman

09:00 January 27, 2021
By: David Vicari

The Canadian science fiction comedy Psycho Goreman had lots of potential—a spoof of cheeseball '80s kids movies combined with rubber-suited monsters and absurd, over-the-top violence—but it's all undone by lazy writing.

While playing in their yard, siblings Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and Luke (Owen Myre) accidentally unearth a glowing gem that controls the actions of an evil demon-looking alien who hates everything and wants to destroy the universe. The kids name the monster Psycho Goreman (Matthew Ninaber, with the voice of Steven Vlahos), and Mimi decides to use him to do her bidding, but he wants to kill her and everyone else if he can just escape the power of the gem. There is also another evil alien in pursuit of Goreman.

I guess the best way to describe Psycho Goreman is to imagine The Monster Squad (1987) mixed with Troma's The Toxic Avenger (1984). The premise here is amusing, but writer/director Steven Kostanski doesn't do anything with it. He even throws out the film's logic after about the first 30 minutes. You see, the kids keep PG hidden from the rest of the world, but then, out of nowhere, there is a cutesy montage of them bringing the murderous creature out in public with no one noticing a space gargoyle in their midst. Then, a few scenes later, the police show up because of reports of a monster.

There are some moments of outlandishly funny gore, but not enough of them. While I'm not a fan of Peter Jackson's early splatter flick Dead Alive, aka Braindead (1992), at least it delivers the blood-drenched goods in scene after scene.

I appreciate a movie that uses practical effects, but the decision in Psycho Goreman to use some digital effects in certain scenes is detrimental to the gags. For example, one scene has PG using his powers to cause a smart-ass kid to combust. A cheap digital effect is used, but a practical explosion reminiscent of Scanners (1981) would have really sold the twisted laugh.

Psycho Goreman is available to rent or purchase on various streaming services.

* ½ Stars (Out of Four)

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