I mourn the dissolution of Astron 6 and I will watch just about anything created by former members of the collective. And on that note, I’m pleased to say that Psycho Goreman feels very much like the output of the defunct collective. The film pays homage to the gritty violence of flicks like Robocop crossed with the family friendly adventures of ET. Ultra violence crossed with family fare seems like it shouldn’t work but somehow it does. And it works beautifully.
Psycho Goreman sees siblings Mimi and Luke unearthing a mysterious gem after a game of Crazy Ball. The stone grants the ability to control a vengeful and ultra-powerful being. The duo dub the creature Psycho Goreman and set about attempting to ‘civilize’ him. But before long, intergalactic shenanigans transpire and Mimi and Luke find themselves entrenched in a trans-dimensional power struggle.
Steven Kostanski (Manborg) wrote and directed this violent romp. His signature sense of humor is ever present. His script is full of memorable one-liners and tongue-in check humor. The premise is wholly original and limitlessly imaginative. The stifling bonds of adulthood are cast aside by Kostanski in favor of childlike imagination and total creativity. The plot is completely nonsensical, much like Mimi’s bizarrely complex Crazy Ball game (which plays an epic role in the film’s denouement).
In addition to a killer script that never fails to surprise with its childlike whimsy, the film also boasts terrific performances from all its leads. Nita-Josee Hanna slays as Mimi. Her self assuredness is a delight. Mimi is never at a loss for words, even in the face of extreme danger. She’s a strong, capable, and outrageous heroine. Whether she’s dreaming about hunky boys or saving the world from certain doom, she is always fun to watch. Mimi plays perfectly against the titular monster with an unmatched appetite for destruction. Their strong personalities are constantly clashing and it frequently leads to hilarity.
Owen Myre, who plays Luke is the perfect yin to Mimi’s yang. He is shy, soft-spoken, and always finds himself being pushed around by his outspoken sister. He knows that this is Mimi’s world and he is just living in it.
Astron 6’s Adam Brooks turns in a standout performance as Luke and Mimi’s chronically underachieving father, Gregg. The patriarch proudly cooks inedible dinner in the microwave, fakes injuries, and goes to comical lengths to shirk his fatherly responsibilities.
The film’s home video bow is the kind of lovingly packaged release the flick deserves. In addition to a director’s commentary, we also get a featurette with Steven Kostanski, breaking down his inspirations for the film and speaking to his constant attempts to subvert expectations.
Also included are a series of insightful interviews with the cast and crew. Getting to hear Nita-Josee Hanna talk about bringing Mimi to life was a true delight. As was the one-one-one interview that sees Adam Brooks being interviewed by a stuffed panda. Another standout is the featurette dedicated to the film’s incredible music. The composers speak to their process of scoring the film and how the were able to emulate the sound and style of a ‘90s cartoon. In total, the home video release includes more than two-hours of bonus features.
If you haven’t had the occasion to check out this delightful film, do yourself a favor and give it a look. This is easily one of the best horror films of 2021, so far.
Wicked Rating 8.5/10
Director(s): Steven Kostanski
Writer(s): Steven Kostanski
Stars: Nita-Josee Hanna, Owen Myre, Matthew Ninaber, and Adam Brooks
Release date: March 16, 2021 (Blu-ray)
Studio/Production Company: RLJE, Shudder
Run Time: 95-Minutes