Aims for B-Grade fun but ends up being mostly Grade-A cringe.
I love watching silly, B-Grade films that are so absurd that you can’t help but laugh and be entertained. Psycho Goreman had my attention with its trailer that promised exactly this type of movie experience. Alas, the story about a girl and a boy discovering a gem that allows them to control an ancient, monstrous, extraterrestrial overlord falls far from being absurdly entertaining and instead delivers a painfully woeful experience I’d like to forget. To be quite blunt, this movie is awful.
Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and Luke (Owen Myre) are siblings who dig up a glowing gem in their backyard after playing a very competitive home-made game called “Crazy Ball”. Because she won the game and is a domineering maniac Mimi claims the gem for herself, which awakens an ancient evil creature whose sole purpose in life is to destroy the galaxy.
Unfortunately for this monster, who calls himself the “Arch-Duke of Nightmares”, Mimi is in possession of the glowing gem which means she has total control over him. Despite his urges to commit terrible violence on the children and the people of Earth, the Arch-Duke is renamed Psycho Goreman (Matthew Ninaber & Steven Vlahos) by the kids and forced into doing the bidding of a seriously disturbed and impulsive little girl in pigtails.
While Mimi and Luke have their fun with Psycho Goreman, AKA “PG”, a group of aliens called the “Planetary Alliance” learn that PG is no longer imprisoned. They send Pandora (Kristen MacCulloch), a dangerous warrior and member of “The Templars” to deal with the murderous monster. But what Pandora, the Planetary Alliance, and PG himself don’t realize is that Mimi likes her monstrous puppet and isn’t going to give him up so easily.
While I acknowledge this movie is supposed to be silly and absurd, which means the acting isn’t supposed to be serious, the performances nonetheless are still pretty terrible. Embarrassingly so. Despite the intentionally ridiculous premise and story the movie is still positioned as a comedy, which this script is seriously lacking in. With atrocious dialogue and woefully inept direction, you can’t really blame the actors for delivering some of the most cringeworthy scenes I’ve seen in a long time. This seriously makes Jiu-Jitsu (with Nicholas Cage) look like Shakespeare.
While the acting across the board is pretty painful to watch, the standout performance for cringe comes from Nita-Josee Hanna playing the maniacial Mimi. I’m guessing she was meant to be the strong, female character whose super over-the-top and crazy personality was meant to be likeable and funny. But it just comes off amateurish, implausible and juvenile. Her character is so annoying I prayed she would be killed off in one of the many gruesome death scenes that helped make my suffering through this rubbish less painful. Every scene she was in made me want to hit mute on the sound. I’m all for strong female leads but come on people…put a little effort into it.
Director Steven Kostanski (Leprechaun Returns, The Void), who also wrote and produced Psycho Goreman, has a strong background in practical effects/make-up which he’s put to good use. The non-human characters/creatures look great for this style of horror/comedy and the gruesome violence is surprisingly well done given the overall quality of the film. Numerous times I was prevented from dozing off by sudden and graphic death scenes that showcased some fantastic talent in the practical effects department.
But that’s the only positive thing I can say about this film because the rest is just garbage. Poor direction, terrible dialogue and an embarrassing protagonist made this an insufferable viewing experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It makes me want to stay clear of any other movies Kostanski may have written and/or directed.
Psycho Goreman had the potential to be quite funny – especially if you watch the trailer. But like many comedies, the trailer is better than the movie. Much better. An unfunny script with an unfunny cast along with an inept director made this one of the most painful viewing experiences I’ve had in a while – and I’ve seen a lot of stinkers. While there are some great costumes and fantastically well done gruesome death scenes, these aren’t enough to make this watchable.
- MPAA Rating: NR
- Release Date: 01/22/2021
- Distributor: RLJE Films
Originally published on 04 February, 2021 at https://www.popzara.com/movies/vod-reviews/psycho-goreman-2021/