What do you get when you put The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Power Rangers into a blender? The answer is the new Steven Kostanski film on Amazon and Shudder, Psycho Goreman. Psycho Goreman follows the adventures of two kids, the delightfully psychotic Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and the more reserved Luke (Owen Myre), as they stumble upon an evil ancient alien (Matthew Ninaber wears the suit while Steven Vlahos provides the voice) that they use as their own personal toy and name “Psycho Goreman.”
One of the highlights of the film is the humor itself, which matches the weirdness and energy of something you would catch on Adult Swim at three in the morning. The humor branches out to the surreal, where at one point Mimi’s crush turns into a giant brain that slugs around and his parents just accept their son’s fate. The humor branches out to the dialogue like when the titular Psycho Goreman is given a TeenBop magazine from Mimi and realizes that he might be interested in “hunky boys.” Arguably the funniest moments in the film relate to the kids’ father, Greg (Adam Brooks), who plays an unhappy husband with enough purposefully long and awkward pauses to make anyone who is uncomfortable laugh. In one iconic moment of the trials of Greg is surely when he keeps getting interrupted on the toilet by the floating head of Psycho Goreman who is trying to send him an alien signal (yeah, it’s a pretty weird movie).
Another highlight of the film is the performances of the two young actors, Nita-Josee Hanna and Owen Myre. The two seem like actual siblings, with their weird ticks like having their own secret code to their dynamic of “bossy sister” and “frustrated brother.” Nita-Josee Hanna is a hilarious stand out in her loud and peppy portrayal of a Hell bent little girl. In one particular scene the way she yelled “it’s called Crazy Ball” at her mother, Susan (Alexis Hancey), when she mispronounced the name of her made up game is such a weirdly great line—it audibly made me gasp. There is even an interesting arc of the kids where the character of Luke grows tired of Mimi’s antics while Mimi just grows more and more gleefully evil. The children play off as if they jumped out of a Saturday morning cartoon into the real world, while still being realistic to real children who are proud weirdos.
While so many aspects of this film set it up for a “family adventure” it is actually very violent with the character of Psycho Goreman being a bloodthirsty killer who even eats those who lose in battle with him. Psycho Goreman will please any horror fan, especially those who have a sick taste for creative kills and lots of gore. The amount of gore and blood in this movie makes it rival the campy eighties schlock films like Toxic Avenger, which can be seen as an obvious inspiration of the film. There is even one character in the film that appears which is just a literal bucket of gore and dead bodies. His only power is that he can spray blood on people to really emphasize the tone and style of the movie.
The true star of Psycho Goreman though is the actual prosthetics and character design. The movie chooses to use more practical effects over CGI in their alien worlds and characters and the creativity with the designs—from one character being just a brain in a jar and another being a golden tin man with a crow—make everyone feel like they came from a child’s demented doodles in the best possible way. When aliens look so similar in modern films, especially in superhero films, it is so refreshing how visually unique and even juvenile a lot of these alien designs are. Even while some effects look a little cheap—which is most likely part of the style choice—this emphasizes the comedic tone of the film and the overall look and feel of the nineties Power Rangers.
The ending of Psycho Goreman, without giving away any spoilers, is hilariously both dark and heartwarming which really defines the tone of the film. From character arcs like the brother and sister’s relationship to Psycho Goreman melting a police officer’s face on his birthday of all days, the film is a hodgepodge of horror comedy and coming-of-age adventure that works very well but isn’t for the faint of heart. If you grew up loving cartoons like the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Invader Zim then Psycho Goreman will make a very funny and surprisingly heartwarming watch.
‘Psycho Goreman’ is available to stream on Shudder and Amazon Prime.