Side-Splitting Psycho Goreman (2020) Is This Year’s Hidden Gem
Updated: Aug 27, 2021
Title: Psycho Goreman
First Wide Release: October 29, 2020 (Limited Release)
Director: Steven Kostanski
Writer: Steven Kostanski
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Starring: Nita-Josee Hanna, Owen Myre, Matthew Ninaber, Steven Vlahos
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
Middle school siblings Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and Luke (Owen Myre) are playing in their backyard when they accidentally discover a mystical gem that controls an imprisoned monster. Once they realize their power, they decide to force the demon to play with them, eventually dubbing him Psycho Goreman (Matthew Ninaber, Steven Vlahos) or PG for short. It's all fun and games terrorizing their town until the intergalactic ruler who locked PG away eons ago has returned to Earth to finish the job once and for all. Will PG reinstate his galactic reign of terror? Or will he remain tethered to Mimi and be forced to endure his own personal hell?
Psycho Goreman is a riotous horror comedy that provides plenty of laughs, action, and gore to satisfy any jaded genre fan.
This movie absolutely rocks. Full stop. PG is a kickass character that is so much fun to simultaneously root for and against. Matthew Ninaber nails PG’s physiciality while Steven Vlahos brings him to life through exceptional voicework. Their work together shows a true understanding for what makes him so fun and unique. In fact, the performances are all around fantastic in the film. Nita-Josee Hanna brings the devilishly delightful Mimi alive, and Owen Myre provides the necessary anchor to keep the action stable and close to Earth. Adam Brooks and Alexis Kara Hancey’s work as bickering parents also provides some great dry comedy on top of the outrageous slapstick.
While everyone does a great job here, I can’t overstate how magnetic of a character PG is and how he steals the show. From line delivery to costuming to his vast personal history, he is such an interesting character. PG’s story arc and evolution is well-executed, and I’m here for it. It is clear loyalty is something he values, even if he doesn’t find it in the most obvious of places. This drives him to eventually trust Mimi with his life, and in turn have her trust him with hers. Not only is this a fun little character arc, but it also speaks to the heart of the film itself. Even while PG mercilessly destroys his adversaries, including the fantastically goofy Palladins of Obsidian, whom I desperately need to know more about immediately, there’s still some good character in him, even if he isn’t good by most standards. Also, on an unrelated note, I love that he is canonically bisexual, which ultimately means I have no choice but to stan!
Psycho Goreman rocks its sublimely hokey effects with all the panache of a forgotten B-movie locked away inside a hidden Hollywood studio vault. It feels so similar to older films that had the rubber monster/alternate world thing going on but is a loving satire of them rather than a critique. Accessible to both a new audience that can relate to fresher material and older fans who dig the hell out of classic monster universe mythos films, Psycho Goreman hits the sweet spot on being fun for the whole family (okay, maybe not the whole family, but you get it).
Whether its Mimi stopping PG mid-sentence as he recalls yet another conquest of pure evil, he committed centuries ago to demand another childish desire from him or an intergalactic alien council watching a hologram projector of PG and company playing a game of Crazy Ball, Psycho Goreman dishes out a level of cheese that is deliciously fun. The crew behind the film fit the tone and style of the film perfectly without being too realistic or too goofy, which is an impressive line to balance.
If I had to mention one thing that bothered about this film it would have to be the script. While Hanna and Myre shine in their roles, I wish that Mimi and Luke’s arc was fleshed out just a little bit more. The resolution doesn’t feel completely earned, but I don’t necessarily think it has to in a film like this. Their lingo also gets a bit grating at time, but that’s definitely a feature of working with child-centered stories in horror. Outside of some issues that can be explained away by budgetary limitations, nothing comes to mind as a problem that takes too much away from the film, which is truly fantastic. At the end of the day, Psycho Goreman hits all the right beats to make a truly endearing film of dumb, escapist fun, which is so needed right now.
I cannot emphasize how much I adore this film. It had me bursting out laughing throughout the entire movie. A charming script, colorful characters, superb comic timing, perfect pacing, and throwback special effects work make Psycho Goreman not only an incredibly engaging film but a heartwarming one at that. Not only do I hope there is a sequel, but I will channel my inner Mimi to demand one! It is so refreshing and so fun that I am completely invested in any content that continues from this universe. Psycho Goreman may not be the scariest film of the year but it sure does leave a lasting impression, or is that just the evil one’s nightmarish punishment for me?
Overall Score? 8/10