PG: Psycho Goreman Review: A Bloody, Clever & Hilarious ’90s Throwback

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Rating: 

9/10

Cast:

Nita-Josee Hanna as Mimi

Owen Myre as Luke

Adam Brooks as Greg

Alexis Hancey as Susan

Kristen MacCulloch as Pandora

Anna Tierney as the voice of Pandora

Matthew Ninaber as Psycho Goreman (or “PG”)

Steven Vlahos as the voice of Psycho Goreman

Written and Directed by Steven Kostanski

Click here to rent or purchase PG: Psycho Goreman!

PG: Psycho Goreman Review:

When one turns on a film with a title as wild as PG: Psycho Goreman, expectations are directed in two paths: one of the worst and most graphic horror movies they’ve ever seen or the most outrageous genre spoof in the vein of The Final Girls. Thankfully, writer/director Steven Kostanski’s third solo directorial effort is the best of both worlds as it delivers loads of blood and guts but keeps its tongue firmly in its cheek as it spoofs a number of the most beloved genre efforts from the ’90s and the result is an absolute blast.

In PG: Psycho Goreman, siblings Mimi and Luke unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord. Using a magical amulet, they force the monster to obey their childish whims, and accidentally attract a rogues’ gallery of intergalactic assassins to small-town suburbia.

To reflect and critique the story of a film such as this, which knows what it is and is purposely exploiting various tropes of its multiple genres, is hard to do as it’s easy enough to appreciate its embrace of a general formula to deliver its fun. Though it may slightly hamper the whole experience, as it generally proves predictable, there are a few subversions to the story that work well for the film, from double and triple crosses of alliances to offering an actually fleshed-out backstory for its titular villain-turned-antihero.

The film really shines in the mayhem that spawns from the arrival of the titular character, some of which initially proves chilling and brutal but slowly becomes hilarious and increasingly exciting from sequence to sequence. The casual willingness Mimi and Luke’s parents take to accepting PG into their lives and taking him around town feels like a great change of pace from similar movies of the past in which the children at the center of the story take slapstick-bordering steps to hide their alien friend and even brings a funny new dynamic to the family in the film, with the siblings’ parents’ marriage having more of its flaws exposed and offering a decent development with Alexis Hancey’s Susan, a more elevated change than other genre fare.

Taking PG around town to clothing stores for a makeover montage, grabbing ice cream and blowing up children who laugh at his terrifying face and terribly mutilating a local cop who attempts to kill him, resulting in melted-face zombie whose gun has melded into his hand, but is fully aware of his new existence and is unable to kill himself. The decision to utilize almost exclusively practical effects instead of an over-reliance on low-budget CGI is phenomenal, keeping the tone feeling grounded in the hyper-reality of the sci-fi and horror genres of the ’90s.

One of the best effects in the film proves to be that of a young child transformed into a horrible-looking walking brain unable to truly talk or emote outside of his eyes. It feels like the perfect combination of a wacky creation right out of John Hughes’ Weird Science or a villain from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with one of the Lovecraftian monstrosities Kostanski helmed bring to life in the wildly underrated 2016 gem The Void. It hits the right balance of a family-friendly monster that could give both adults and kids nightmares and shows some of the awesome imagination both Kostanski and his visual effects team put into developing the various creatures seen in the film.

PG: Psycho Goreman‘s only real flaws lie in some of the predictability in spoofing the genres and eras it does, but thanks to its nostalgic throwback tone, stellar practical effects and solid performances from its central cast, it’s an absolute bloody blast from start to finish.