Brother and Sister, Luke and Mimi, discover a gem that unimprisons a dark alien warlord destined to destroy worlds. The gem and the being are one, connected by the ancient forces powering the talisman, and whoever wields it can control the evil one. Fortunately for now, the gem is in young Mimi’s possession. The bossy and sassy preteen sees the alien, dubbed Psycho Goreman, as a new friend and toy, gallivanting around town catering to every Mimi whims. Lightyears away on a distant planet, a council comprised with the forces of good, who banished Psycho Goreman to eternal banishment and imprisonment, learn of their once terrorizing tormentor having escaped his confines. Leader of the council, an elysian warrior named Pandora, vows to track down their adversary and put an end to his existence, bringing a destructive showdown of good versus evil in Mimi and Luke’s small-town.
The anomalous mind of filmmaker Steven Kostanski is vacillatingly distinctive and churning adulation for the late 1980’s to early 1990’s high camp, metal-infused horror films that heavily inspired him. His latest written and directed Sci-Fi horror-comedy, “Psycho Goreman,” fits perfectly into Kostanski’s brand of stupidity, nonsensical, animation-saturated, bizarro reality horror that has made us, or at least me, fall heads over heels for his previous credits, such as “Manborg” and the “W is for Wish” segment of “The ABCs of Death 2.” Kostanski is also a special effects guru having worked delivering gruesome terror and insane imagination skills to the big and small screen, but makeup FX artist takes a backseat to his employer, the Ontario-based MastersFX managed by Todd Masters, and they grab the reins by providing a slew of mixed bag practical and visual effects and animation styles that is a time warp back to the tangibly ridiculous and forged every follicle freakshow horror and science fiction celluloid from 30 some odd years ago. “Psycho Gorman,” or “PG” for short, is a production of the pseudonym Crazy Ball Productions, as in the Crazy Ball game Mimi and Luke play, and Raven Banner, presented as an exclusive acquisition by RLJ Entertainment and Shudder.
To make something as ridiculous as PG to work, you need a colorful, wildcard cast to pull off every microfiber of manic personalities you can muster and sticking out with the wildest personality is not the titular character who is neither the brightest highlight nor the leader of the pack. That spot was filled far before PG makes an unearthing introduction by the film’s smallest, youngest, and most delightfully sarcastic and ostentation lead in newcomer Nita-Josee Hanna as Mimi, who’s roughhouse and snarky sassiness goes unparalleled even up against the Arch Duke of Nightmares. The dynamic plays on that whimsical idea of little girls with big personalities can be the center of attention. In this case, Mimi requires the world, no, the universe to revolve around her ultra-spoiled nurturing. Her possession of the gem gives her unlimited power with her possession of PG, played by undoubtedly hot and bothered by the latex suit, but otherwise good sport, Matthew Ninaber (“Transference”). Hanna and Ninaber are an absolute joy to watch together with their contrasting comedic deliveries: Hanna’s aggressive flamboyance compared to Ninaber’s subtle and solemn stewing. Then there’s Mimi’s brother Luke, played by Owen Myre, who will have a role in the upcoming “Terrifier” sequel and one of the film’s running jokes is PG can never remember Luke’s name. That lack of standout presence for Myre’s character is quite literal and not because Myre’s performance is forgettable and a complete wash (in fact, Myre is fantastic is the meek, submissive older brother), but between Mimi and PG, those overwhelming characters totally consume much of the attention. Adam Brooks (“Manborg,” “Father’s Day”) and Alexis Kara Hancey fill in as Mimi and Luke’s lackadaisical father and frustrated mother while Kristen MacCulloch (“Motherly) suits up as the PG’s holier-than-thou arch nemesis, Pandora, in Templar species form while Roxine Latoya Plummer blends in with the rest of the population with Pandora’s human form. “Pscyho Goreman” rounds out with Alex Chung, Scout Flint, Robert Homer, Conor Sweeney, Matthew Kennedy, Asuka Kurosawaw, and Scott Flint.
“Psycho Goreman” necessarily fills a pivotal void. Most genre films aim to pass along a message, sometimes important to the filmmakers, to convey a lesson, an idea, a political or social protest, or to spark awareness on an issue, but with Steven Kostanski, watching his work is like taking a vacation with an immense clearing of any and all undercurrents and obvious messages for pure, unadulterated, frequently mindless entertainment that just looks cool. Underneath the composited animation and practical effect layers is an anything goes, no strings attached, brutally-caked, dopamine drip that causes glossy-eyes and a warm wash over of all the senses. Side effects I can definitely live with and be refreshed by when needing a break from reality. The amount of space medieval practical effects alone makes “Psycho Goreman” feel like “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” and while that Gary Goddard 1987 science-fiction fantasy starring Dolph Lundgren, perhaps, heavily inspires Kostanski’s intergalactic battle-royale on Earth, the story mirrors much to the tune of “Suburban Commando” with Hulk Hogan. Hear me out. Rogue-vigilante, played by Hogan, crashes into Earth where he winds up with the unsuspecting Wilcox family who melts the big, bad commando’s heart and simultaneously fix, mostly unwittingly, what’s broken with the family while alien bounty hunters track him down. “Psycho Goreman” is the same storyline with less gore; hell, “PG” is even kid dialogue friendly. If you know “Suburban Commando,” you know, and now you can’t unsee it!
As part of Acorn Media International’s RLJ Entertainment and Shudder exclusive line, “Psycho Goreman” is destined for darkness onto Blu-ray home video with over 2 hours of special feature content. The UK region 2, PAL encoded, BD50 is presented in a widescreen 2.39:1 aspect ratio with a runtime of 96 minutes. Nothing noteworthy to terribly point out from the digital picture shot on an ARRI Alexa Mini with Angenieux Optimo Lens that produces a spherical image you’ll optically notice that seemingly has a rounded surface to bring wide framed objects closer together. Kostanski utilizes a blend of stop-motion and green screen with seamless results and even though slightly on the caricature side of alien landscape and creature production, everything befits “Psycho Goreman’s” extensive universe. The English language DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 has excellent acoustical output in a vast array of vocal timbres and epic ambiance on and off of Earth. Dialogue is clean and prominent on both the actors and voice actors with the latter sometimes, unfortunately, masked by the voice manipulator. The Blu-ray release packs a punch with over 2 hours of special features including a director’s commentary, interviews with cast and crew including Steven Kostanski, Nina-Josee Hanna, Owne Myre, Adam Brooks, Alexis Hancy and Matthew Ninabar, different fight chirography records from location and in practice at a martial arts studio, behind the scenes featurettes with character backstories, a trading card gallery, concept art, a behind-the-scenes photo gallery, and the animation creation. “Psycho Goreman” is rated 15 for strong bloody violence, gore, and injury detail. Sit back, relax, and let Steven Kostanski speak to your childhood senses with his adult antihero, “Psycho Goreman.”