PG: Psycho Goreman, 2021.
Written and Directed by Steven Kostanski.
Starring Nita-Josee Hanna, Matthew Ninaber, Reece Presley, Rick Amsbury, Kristen MacCulloch, Matthew Kennedy, Owen Myre, Timothy Paul McCarthy, Conor Sweeney, Robert Homer, Anna Tierney, and Adam Brooks.
After unearthing a gem that controls an evil monster looking to destroy the Universe, a young girl and her brother use it to make him do their bidding.
If you are dumb like me, you might assume the title PG: Psycho Goreman implies a family-friendly creature feature. Others might take note of writer and director Steven Kostanski (a name I’m actually familiar with but didn’t recognize right away, highly enjoying his previous effort The Void which turned out to be a better Silent Hill adaptation than the movies actually based on the games) and know to expect low-budget efficiency, satisfyingly extreme levels of gore, all with a dark streak of humor.
Essentially, two siblings discover a ruby gem as one tries to bury the other alive for losing a viciously competitive game of Crazy Ball (trust me, you will learn the rules). It’s clear from the beginning that Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna, in a terrific debut performance that fuses the hyperactivity of her character with the actor’s gleeful enthusiasm for being in a movie) is fairly controlling over her brother Luke (Owen Myre) and perhaps pushes him around a little bit too much as a way of venting and coping with having dysfunctional parents. Then again, the child might be so self-absorbed she doesn’t even notice the marital issues, only setting her sights on what she wants with complete disregard for the feelings of others, to much worse like the fate of the galaxy. Wisely, the movie doesn’t even try to pretend she’s not a snobby brat, as Steven Kostanski has the confidence in Nita-Josee Hanna to successfully infuse the horrible aspects of her personality with endearment.
The gem also turns out to provide control over an intergalactic monster that crosses paths with Mimi, which only further enables her to be bossy and take what she wants. Technically named the Archduke of Nightmares, Mimi takes notice of his bloodsoaked decorations and decides to dub the intergalactic being Psycho Goreman, or PG for short. The monster just wants to get on with taking over the galaxy, whereas Mimi is ready to use him as everything from a friend to a weapon, and sometimes both at the same time (there’s a hilarious montage demonstrating this).
It’s also a delight that Steven Kostanski has thrown all logic out the window and embraced it. Mimi has explained to mom the monster is her new friend and to deal with it, there’s no attempt to hide the monster in broad daylight, and a boy she crushes on gets turned into a squid-looking monstrosity all for not reciprocating her attention with no one noticing or caring about the boy’s transformation. It’s 110% ridiculous and remains consistently outrageous for 90 minutes, whether PG is battling intergalactic paladins that just resemble a bunch of LARPers or the absurd finale that shows just how much fun everyone is having in this production. It’s all infectious and it’s hard to not have a smile on your face watching PG: Psycho Goreman.
There are some elements that don’t work, namely whenever the movie jumps into some exposition about PG’s home planet which is intentionally cheesy and formulaic but never really that humorous. The upside is that the prosthetics and makeup effects and monster designs are actually visually pleasant, proving once again that low budgets don’t always restrict what can be accomplished. It also helps PG: Psycho Goreman feel like a relic of its time, which is interesting considering the movie seems to be set in the present day but characters talk about certain topics such as video games like it’s the 1990s. Again, there is no logic or consistency, and admittedly the movie is all the better for it.
If there is one constant, it’s laughing from all the cruel humor and reveling in the Goreman popping heads like zits while rooting on a selfish child so full of herself she has a whole sidesplitting and scathing speech tearing down God while talking to a cross. The kicker is that we all probably need to seek Jesus for enjoying PG: Psycho Goreman, but I suppose an Amen to Steven Kostanski and his warped visions will suffice.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also the Flickering Myth Reviews Editor. Check here for new reviews, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, or email me at MetalGearSolid719@gmail.com