Review: Horror comedy 'Psycho Goreman' a bloody explosion of fun

Writer-director Steven Kostanski's homage to VHS-era horror cheese is destined for cult status

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

An intergalactic death monster is no match for a sassy pre-teen girl in "Psycho Goreman," a gore-filled horror comedy that's part "Suburban Commando," part Gwar concert and all ridiculous fun. 

Writer-director Steven Kostanski (2016's "The Void") fashions the film like a lost piece of '80s nostalgia found collecting dust on the bottom shelf of a mom & pop video store. Navigating the right winking tone is never easy when making a modern homage to VHS-era horror cheese, but Kostanski finds the right groove: it's a farce and it knows it, but its reverence for the material it recreates is loving rather than mocking.  

Matthew Ninaber, Nita-Josee Hanna and Owen Myre in "Psycho Goreman."

After a heated game of Crazy Ball — what's Crazy Ball you ask? Don't worry, the rules are painstakingly detailed — sister and brother Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and Luke (Owen Myre) find a glowing red gem buried in their backyard. Turns out it's an ancient artifact that holds the key to all sorts of universal powers, and is what an evil space lord (Matthew Ninaber in a costume that leaves no room for ventilation) who hails from the planet Gigax needs to wreak merciless havoc on the human species. 

There's only one problem: He can't do anything without the gem, and Mimi has it. And as long as she has it in her possession, he has to do whatever she says. 

The plot is a loose excuse for all sorts of rubber-suited madness, gory gags and surprisingly wholesome hijinks. Mimi pals around with her new monster friend, known back home as "The Arch Duke of Nightmares," and gives him the moniker Psycho Goreman, or PG for short.   

Fans of midnight movies who stayed up too late watching horror movies when they were growing up will appreciate Kostanski's approach and his level of devotion to the material. "Psycho Goreman" is a hilarious gut-buster in every sense of the term.


'Psycho Goreman'


Not rated: Extreme gore, horror situations

Running time: 94 minutes

Available on VOD