Imagine if The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was an R-rated movie that was intentionally funny. Turning a children’s television show into a morbidly funny horror movie has plenty of potential. It almost worked in the hit-and-miss The Banana Splits Movie a few years ago. Though it’s not really a horror update of Power Rangers, Psycho Goreman instantly feels like an irreverent, bloody entrails callback for anyone who grew up in the 90s. From and director Steven Kostanski (The Void, Leprechaun Returns), critics have overwhelmingly embraced this Canadian blend of comedy, horror, and science-fiction.
In their suburban backyard, brother and sister, Mimi and Luke, dig up a mysterious glowing gem. But taking the gem releases an ancient intergalactic evil. Years ago interplanetary forces defeated and banished the world-killing monster to a then-uninhabited Earth. Yet despite its unlimited powers, Mimi discovers she controls the monster with the gem. Naming their new friend ‘Psycho Goreman’, Mimi and Luke quickly put this unstoppable killing machine to work to carry out all their personal wishes.
Psycho Goreman Mixes Power Rangers, GWAR, and Bloody Practical Effects
Upon its release, horror fans praised Kostanski’s Carpenter-esque 80s homage, The Void. Here, Kostanski mixes things up with a much campier throwback to 90s live-action kid’s shows. Think Mighty Morphin Power Rangers meets Peter Jackson’s Braindead. In between rock-infused montages, Psycho Goreman delivers rubber-suited monsters that wouldn’t look out of place in a GWAR music video. If you grew up watching horror movies in the 80s, you’ll also appreciate Psycho Goreman’s practical effects. There’s a wildly fun creativity on display here, particularly in the creature designs. Where else will you see a title character fashion a ‘meat sword’ out of someone’s body parts and organs? And there’s an alien creature that looks like a walking trash bin grinding body parts and spewing blood.
In between rock-infused montages, Psycho Goreman deliver rubber-suited monsters that wouldn’t look out of place in a GWAR music video.
Despite its over-the-top blood and guts, Psycho Goreman is a never mean-spirited. Even when ‘Psycho Goreman’ mutates a police officer into a ‘Bio Cop’ who pleas for death, Kostanski’s morbid humour wins out. Occasionally, its premise of a children controlling a galactic evil threatens to were out its welcome. But Psycho Goreman keeps finding new gags to avoid feeling like a one-punch effort. After all, it’s hard not to appreciate a movie with planets called Gigax or characters named ‘Darkscream’ and the ‘Paladins of Obsidian’.
Audiences May Find Human Characters Hit or Miss
Similar to the best horror comedies, Psycho Goreman balances its absurdist humour with an affection for its characters. Specifically, Kostanski builds in several idiosyncratic character tics to accompany the silly carnage. Whether it’s characters’ oblivious response to a giant purple monster walking in their neighbourhood or Mimi’s boredom with ‘Psycho Goreman’s’ tales of intergalactic bloodshed, Kostanski doubles down on the gags. It’s hard not to laugh when Psycho Goreman still can’t remember Luke’s name even by the movie’s end. Or Mimi’s incomprehensible rules for her invented game, ‘Crazy Ball’. While it nearly overstays its welcome, Psycho Goreman packs more than enough into the movie to keep you entertained.
…Kostanski builds in several idiosyncratic character tics to accompany the silly carnage.
Not everyone will enjoy this oddball movie. To some extent, Psycho Goreman’s appeal will depend on how one feels about Nita Josee Hanna’s ‘Mimi’. While Kostanski intends ‘Mimi’ to be ‘in-your-face’ and obnoxious, the character may stretch some viewers’ patience. Nevertheless, Hanna is perfect in the role and manages to infuse the character with charisma to spare. Even at its most absurd, there’s something endearing about Mimi and Psycho Goreman’s ‘sort of’ friendship. Aside from Mimi and ‘Psycho Goreman’ himself, Adam Brooks’ clueless, lazy dad steals a handful of scenes.
Psycho Goreman Is The Gory Family Movie You Didn’t Know You Needed
Simply put, Psycho Goreman is the horror-comedy you didn’t know you needed in your life. At 99 minutes in length, Kostanski risks running the concept into the ground. And not all the humour works. Fortunately, Kostanski avoids beating a dead horse with some of the more spotty jokes. Besides Psycho Goreman is so insanely fun that you won’t really mind spending the time with its title character. In fact, Kostanski’s bizarro creation begs for a sequel. Though horror and comedy are tough genres to mix, Psycho Goreman nails it perfectly. Come for the over-the-top bloodletting, stay for the 90’s-infused rap song over the credits.