PG: Psycho Goreman review – for the child inside every grown-up horror fan

By Alix Turner
Published: January 18, 2021 (Last updated: December 31, 2023)
PG: Psycho Goreman review - for the child inside every grown-up horror fan


A film about kids and alien monsters, but this is no Scooby-Doo. Psycho Goreman is ludicrous, bloody, very entertaining, and with superb special effects.

I was wary when I first pressed play this evening but delighted to find that PG: Psycho Goreman (previously just called Psycho Goreman) was exactly what I needed: an alien/ancient evil letting rip on his enemies, and at the same time endearingly tied to adolescent (human) siblings. Special effects, blood, and humor.

Brother and sister Luke (Owen Myre) and Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) come home late from playing their made-up game “Crazy Ball” because they’ve been distracted by a glowing amulet they pulled off an old buried box. This wasn’t grandma’s coffin, as they’d feared, but something worse: an unnamed evil which had been buried (where no-one would find it, don’t you know?) eons ago. When Mimi discovers that her possession of the amulet gives her command over this horrible looking brute (which she christens Psycho Goreman, or PG for short), that gives her a little power buzz, and she’s not terribly fussed that his instinct is destruction. Mimi and her family discover the impact of PG’s resurrection when more aliens turn up, all intent on preventing him from rising to new power.

PG: Psycho Goreman is not as daft as you might think. Well, OK, the very concept is daft, and the contrasts (between the children’s world and the aliens’ world, etc.) results in some excellent humor; but it’s not a coarse or nasty kind of daft like Troma films. Sometimes that’s what a horror fan wants to see, mind you, but Psycho Goreman is going to speak loud and clear to the action-loving child inside that fan. That child probably watched shows like Transformers or Power Rangers and thought to himself that there would be a lot more blood if those battles took place in the real world; maybe even some limbs severed. That child may have seen John Connor reprogramming the T100 in T2: Judgement Day and wonder what it would be like to boss around a terminator, or perhaps someone even more dangerous.

Writer/director Steve Kostanski may have been that child once. He grew up to be a special effects whizz, and a producer/director in the Astron-6 team; this is the first title he’s made since Astron-6 released what they declared was their last film (Chowboys). In PG: Psycho Goreman, Kostanski shows off all his passions and skills: the special effects and costumes/creature designs are imaginative and varied, with plenty of nods to nostalgic styles, yet without copying any. The film belongs to the young siblings, and the tone is adventurous, like horror-ish films or shows where the kids take the lead, such as Creeped Out, Goosebumps, or The House with the Clock in its Walls. But with grown-up gore.

The screenplay was well-written overall, actually; especially PG’s own dialogue. His character (Matthew Ninaber/Steven Vlahos) was a blend of fight action with super-villain monologues; and he seemed to represent the alien villain type, rather than sending it up (Psycho Goreman is no spoof). He’s not a humorous monster, but a good deal of what he says is funny in its context and contrast.

Having written everything above, I realize now I’ve not identified anything wrong with the film. I guess it would be fun to see how Kostanski could fare with a bigger budget. But PG: Psycho Goreman is fun as it is. It feels to me an ideal film for action and horror fans to simply sit back and grin, relishing this filmmaker’s passion for his craft and genre, and feel like a kid again. Thanks for my evening escapism, Steven.

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