PG: Psycho Goreman, Steven Kostanski, Matthew Ninaber (Horror Movie Review)

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

PLOT: Known to some as The Ultimate Evil, an alien warlord who was banished to Earth would be destroying the galaxy if he weren't being forced to take orders from a young kid who calls him Psycho Goreman.

REVIEW: The latest film from director Steven Kostanski, who first caught attention for the work he did as part of the Astron-6 production company and most recently directed the Leprechaun sequel Leprechaun Returns, PG: Psycho Goreman (watch it HERE) is sure to achieve cult classic status immediately upon its release. This is a movie that is going to leave a lot of viewers baffled as to why others enjoy it, but it's also going to appeal very strongly to the sensibilities of certain members of the audience, and those viewers are going to love it from beginning to end. They're going to be championing Psycho Goreman for years to come.

The story Kostanski crafted here is reminiscent of the '80s movies where young kids befriended strange creatures – like E.T., or Gizmo the Mogwai in Gremlins, or Frankenstein's Monster in The Monster Squad. But while those creatures were pure of heart, even if they were associated with villainous characters, the creature befriended by off-kilter youngster Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and her brother Luke (Owen Myre) is a bloodthirsty maniac – a warlord known to some as The Ultimate Evil and The Archduke of Nightmares, who would like nothing more than to wipe out the entire human race as part of his effort to destroy the galaxy. Problem is, Mimi has gotten her hands on a powerful gem, and Psycho Goreman (Mimi is the one who gives him that name) has to follow the orders of anyone who has that gem. And what Mimi wants is for Psycho Goreman to play with her and Luke. To take part in their games of Crazy Ball, the sport she invented. To play drums in their garage band. A conqueror of worlds has become a little girl's reluctant pet.

Psycho Goreman Steven Kostanski Nita-Josee Hanna Owen Myre Matthew Ninaber

While Mimi is playing games with Psycho Goreman, the alien's former allies and enemies become aware that he is active on Earth after a period of being dormant, and both descend on the planet. No matter who gets here first, it's obvious there's going to be trouble when they arrive… But no matter whether it's Psycho Goreman's friends or foes on the screen, they're a terrific sight to behold. Konstanski has named Star Wars movies, Power Rangers, and Masters of the Universe as sources of inspiration for this project, and that is especially clear in the design of the alien characters. Some of them may look grosser than the action figures kids had in the '80s, but I found it impossible to look at these creatures without having flashbacks to my Masters of the Universe toy collection.

But while Psycho Goreman made me think of toys, movies, and cartoons from my '80s / early '90s childhood, the film also has a hard, bloody edge to it that will make it too intense for most younger viewers to handle. This is an R-rated movie, it's not The Monster Squad for a new generation, it's for the adults who grew up on this kind of stuff years ago. If the set-up is "What if E.T. had been a homicidal madman?", the confrontation between characters is like the answer to the question "What if the fights in Masters of the Universe had been gorefests?"

This is a movie with a very goofy sense of humor, it's not meant to be taken seriously at any point along the way, but there is a line I would not have been able to cross: if Mimi and Luke were complicit when Psycho Goreman kills people – and he does, it's not a question of "if" he'll kill – then I would not have been able to go along with what the movie was showing me. That would be a step too far. Thankfully, the kids do not order him to kill people, they're not little psychos. Well, Mimi is pretty out there, but she's not that kind of crazy. The kids are able to shrug off the gruesome sights they see quite easily, but they're not killers themselves.

Psycho Goreman Steven Kostanski Matthew Ninaber

On screen actor Matthew Ninaber shared the role of Psycho Goreman with voice actor Steven Vlahos, and even though the sound of his dialogue was manipulated in post and took some getting used to, the duo worked together to create a great performance. The title character is completely believable as a terrifying maniac, but he can also be quite funny while still being intimidating. Nita-Josee Hanna is fascinating as Mimi; it's incredible that such a young actor made some of the comedic choices she did. She is perfectly over-the-top. It's going to seem kind of strange when she shows up in a different movie to play a normal human being, because Mimi doesn't fit that description. Owen Myre did good work as Mimi's more grounded brother. My least favorite character was Mimi and Luke's dad Greg, played by Kostanski's fellow Astron-6 member Adam Brooks. It was obvious that Kostanski liked him way more than I did; I found him even more irritating than his wife Susan (Alexis Kara Hancey) does.

This movie might annoy some people who check it out, but a lot of viewers are going to have a blast with it. I had fun watching its mixture of tributes to '80s fantasy stories and '80s practical gore effects, and am happy to know that it's going to be receiving a good amount of love and appreciation.

PG: Psycho Goreman is getting a theatrical, VOD, and digital release on January 22.

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.