GORE IN THE STORE

REVIEW INDEX

PSYCHO GOREMAN ****

Directed by Steven Kostanski.

Starring Nita-Josee Hanna, Owen Myre, Adam Brooks, Roxine Latoya Plummer.

Horror, Canada, 95 minutes, certificate 15.

 

Released in the UK on Blu-ray via Acorn Entertainment on 4th October 2021.

 

You want fluorescent pinks and greens? You got it. Rubber monsters and icky gore effects? Sure. How about irritating and precocious children who you’re supposed to fall in love with but, more often than not, don’t? Got that too. Yes, Shudder streaming hit PSYCHO GOREMAN finally hits Blu-ray a few months after the hype machine went to work and throwbacks to ‘80s splatter movies were once again being fawned over by those who wouldn’t normally watch such a thing.

 

But hey, such is the brilliance of social media that word of these things can spread very quickly and PSYCHO GOREMAN – whatever its individual merits as a movie – at least got people talking and, in a similar way to TURBO KID from a few years back, proved that cheesy, low budget nonsense – and make no mistake, it is nonsense – has an audience. After all, entertainment is the name of the game and that is where PSYCHO GOREMAN scores highest.

 

As is the way in all ’80s entry-level horror movies we have a brother and sister here who discover a glowing gem in their back garden. Luke (Owen Myre) and his younger sister Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) soon discover that the fluorescent pink gem is the source of all power for a creature that Mimi names as Psycho Goreman (or PG for short) but seeing as she has possession over it that means she controls PG, who is a giant mash-up of the Djinn from WISHMASTER and the Gill-man from CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and isn’t too happy that centuries before he was crushing worlds with his bare hands and is now being ordered about by the most annoyingly smug child since whatever the last Richard Curtis movie featuring a smug child was.

 

 

Naturally, being the scourge of the universe and a feared warlord means that there will be people (well, people-ish things) looking for PG and so the stage is set for PG to take on his adversaries and cause as much destruction as possible here on Earth… but only if Mimi lets him, as she quite likes getting her own way.

 

Campy, funny, gory and frustrating in equal parts, PSYCHO GOREMAN does hit all the right beats required to make this sort of horror/comedy work; the horror parts are quite gnarly – heads get stomped, grown men melt and blood sprays everywhere like a ‘70s samurai movie – and the comedy, whilst not always as laugh-out-loud as it thinks it is, is amusing enough and will at least provide enough gags and snarky dialogue for several decent sniggers (“Nice to meet you” says one small child to PG. “It would be nicer if you were dead” comes the reply), and as a bonus there are some gloopy effects that will also get a rise out of even the staunchest gore hound, such as the mouth from a shattered head saying “Thank you” for being able to die; the spectacle may not translate that well to the page but when you see it in action it is impressive.

 

But, of course, we have our human characters to deal with and that is where the movie doesn’t quite hit the mark. Mimi is the main human character and as far as obnoxious brats in movies go she is up there with the best of them by sulking and shouting her way through the film but is she or Nita-Josee Hanna endearing to an audience expecting to see gore and violence? Not really, and as the violence in the movie is intended as fun rather than dark or disturbing you also get the sticky sweet message about family loving each other, and that only serves to make Mimi even more insufferable. The other characters are fairly bland, except for dad Greg (Adam Brooks) who initially comes off as weirdly disconnected to his family but he gets his redemptive moment after receiving his calling whilst on the toilet, and after that he steps up to become a bit more likeable, adding most of the humour going forward.

 

 

If you saw the movie when it was streaming and want to know more about it then this Blu-ray is jam-packed with extras, featuring interviews with cast and crew, trading cards, behind-the-scenes featurettes, documentaries about the special effects, music and fight choreography, concept art galleries and more, so well worth digging into your pockets for. Also, being on disc rather than streaming means you can enjoy all that neon goodness and blood-red splatter in glorious HD without the signal dropping out, which is always a positive selling point for the connoisseur.

 

So yes, you can believe the hype because PSYCHO GOREMAN is an absolute hoot and if you have fond memories of the child-friendlier horror movies of the '80s like THE GATE, THE MONSTER SQUAD and GHOULIES, or were impressed with the retro stylings of more modern titles like TURBO KID or SUMMER OF ’84 then there is a lot to get your teeth stuck into here. Granted, Nita-Josee Hanna is incredibly nauseating at times but that is how Mimi is supposed to be so based on that you could say it’s a spot-on performance, and considering she is clearly being set up to be a future star then chances are she’ll disappear into the world of mainstream comedies before long and we won’t have to put up with such bolshie behaviour in our splatter comedies. PSYCHO GOREMAN grabbed the public’s attention when it first streamed and now it is on Blu-ray hopefully the word will spread even further than the confines of the horror community so buy it and play it for someone you love. They’ll thank you for it.

 

Chris Ward.

 

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