MOVIE REVIEW: PSYCHO GOREMAN is a hilarious send-up of the ’80s kids and an alien on the run’ film genre for the Rick and Morty Generation.


Director Steven Kostanski crafts a uniquely funny film that’s one part ALF/E.T./My Pet Monster meets Power Rangers on bath salts that somehow manages to be both nostalgic & a one-of-a-kind splatter gorefest

One of my favorite feelings as a culture critic is when you experience something really terrifically fun in your film viewings that tickles your sense of humor and makes you laugh at how unique and crazy what you’re watching is and that it somehow manages to work as a movie. The films of the ASTRON 6 collective tend to fall in that like 2011’s Manborg, the W is for WISH short from 2014’s ABC’s of Death 2 anthology, and the 2014 Italian Giallo parody The Editor. One of the main hallmarks of the ASTRON aesthetic has been the practical effects work of Steven Kostanski, whose aesthetic has also been seen in his post-ASTRON fare like the 2016 cult favorite The Void. Kostanski’s unique film flavor returns this weekend with his latest film PSYCHO GOREMAN, opening in limited release and VOD on January 22nd. PSYCHO GOREMAN, which Kostanski both wrote and directed, is a uniquely amazing comedic farce that follows the titular character, a dark universe consuming evil, as he is captured and imprisoned on Earth by an order of Space Templars, who bury him with a magical gem meant to contain his powers. Unfortunately for the Templars, we meet Luke (Owen Myre) and Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna), a pair of tweens playing their home-brewed game of Crazyball that leads to Luke having to bury himself alive due to his loss. In the midst of his digging, they find the gem and unleash Psycho Goreman, whose name they choose due to its marketability, and the sociopathic and possibly insane Mimi takes him on as a new pet and playmate; not unlike Elmyra from the 90’s Tiny Toon Adventures cartoon, crushing his spirit and forcing him to use his evil powers for her childlike entertainment. Along the way, we meet nefarious demon space kings, shape-shifting android angels, and a zombie husk of a policeman that all want to destroy Mimi’s new toy, while all she wants is a non-stop dose of entertainment.

To say that Psycho Goreman is a dark satire of films like E.T. or Mac and Me is more than a slight understatement. Goreman’s initials PG underscore this joke tremendously and the film very much has the humor and aesthetic of Rick and Morty hard-boiled into its DNA times 1000. People are turned into disembodied brains and exploding corpses at the whim of Hanna’s Mimi, who steals the movie out from the grotesque and gory practical effects creations of Kostanski with her informed and hilarious performance. She’s one part Drew Barrymore from E.T. and one part Bill Moseley’s Chop-Top from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, a weird combo that just works. Some of the film’s best scenes invoke how powerless the other characters feel at her sociopathic nature, including a dream conference between Psycho Goreman and her little brother where Goreman begs Luke for help in betraying his sister noting they’re both pawns in her twisted schemes, all while Luke is having a nightmare of being eaten by “Street Trash” inspired zombies. But somehow, the film really works. Psycho Goreman is something like Stewie from Family Guy meets Skeletor, a haughty and arrogant superbeast who somehow can’t outsmart the child who has him on a leash, yet comes to admire and respect his captor’s unhinged selfishness. It does have the feel of a cartoon like Rick and Morty, Archer, or Frisky Dingo and if the Adult Swim absurdist humor aesthetic is your jam, then this is the film for you. Practical effects fans will love the special effects work and the performances throughout including The Editor’s Adam Brooks as the kids’ put-upon father Greg, will really have you rolling in your seat.

It’s refreshing as a child of the 80s and 90s to see the campiness of material like E.T./Mac and Me and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers remixed into something dark, absurd, and hilarious. In many ways, films like PSYCHO GOREMAN are the natural outgrowth of the VHS remix movement of collective’s like the Found Footage Festival and Everything is Terrible; groups who find bizarre pop culture relics like Christian superhero shows like Bibleman and remix them into hilarious curiosities with an inexplicable sense of dark comedic timing. PSYCHO GOREMAN feels like something that was a real 90s kids’ movie., like Tammy and the T-Rex, but whose humor and aesthetic are too fiendishly bizarre to ever have been dreamed up a person 20 years ago. Thankfully, we have it now and it is a gore-soaked laugh-out-loud riot.