Back in the 1980s a new genre of movies really started to emerge with the release of ET. Following ET there was a string of movies that basically boiled down to a kid(s) befriending a creature/monster/alien and trying to save it from the evil adults. While not quite as popular as it once was, this genre is still pretty prevalent in the children’s genre as it makes for a simple starting premise. I bring this up because the movie I am looking at today, Psycho Goreman, was clearly inspired by this genre. It decided to implement a little twist on the formula though. Instead of being a traditional children’s movie, it attempts to make a children’s movie made for an adult audience. Pyscho Goreman is a mixed bag, but it deserves a lot of credit for its genuinely unique take on the overdone kid befriends a creature genre.
Pyscho Goreman follows siblings Mimi and Luke. Mimi regularly bullies her brother which one day leads to her forcing him to dig a large hole in their backyard. While digging the hole they come upon an ancient tomb. When they open the tomb they discover an evil alien overlord (later named Psycho Goreman/PG) who attempted to take over the galaxy hundreds of years ago until he was trapped in the tomb. Pyscho Goreman is about to continue its mission to destroy the galaxy until Mimi discovers the amulet that locked the tomb controls him. Mimi proceeds to basically treat him like her own personal pet. Psycho Goreman’s release from his prison alerts aliens across the galaxy though who are intent to stop him from taking over the galaxy again. They decide to send assassins to Earth to put an end to Psycho Goreman for good.
I have to say that the thing that initially intrigued me about Psycho Goreman was the premise. The heyday of the child befriends a creature genre was a few years before I was born, but I have watched a number of these movies over the years. Some are considered classics, while others feel like quick cash grabs in order to make money off the aforementioned good movies. At first glance Psycho Goreman seems to take more inspiration from the later. This is mostly due to the fact that it appears to have been trying to be a B movie that was over the top on purpose.
I think Psycho Goreman‘s greatest asset is that it never takes itself too seriously. With such a strange premise there really wasn’t a way that the movie could take itself serious and still be an enjoyable movie. The movie never even attempts to be a serious movie. The story is pretty basic and should be familiar to anyone who has watched films from this genre. In many ways it follows the same framework as these other movies. Basically take one of those movies and replace the cute peaceful creature with a homicidal alien that wants to kill everything in sight and you get Psycho Goreman. It kind of feels like a children’s movie that was made for adults. The movie is not rated, but it likely would receive a R rating mostly due to the violence. The movie can be kind of gory at times, but I wouldn’t say that is gory just to be disgusting. It mostly uses the violence for jokes and to stick with the natural silliness of the premise.
As Psycho Goreman never takes itself too serious, it actually succeeds at being pretty funny. I won’t pretend that the movie is always laugh out loud. Some of the jokes are pretty bad. I was genuinely surprised by how funny the movie was at times though. Before watching it I thought most of the laughs would come from its B movie inspirations where it would be so bad that it would be funny. While some of the laughs come from this, there are some genuinely funny parts to the movie. Most of these come from the genres that it is making fun of. Other laughs just come from the movie’s overall silliness. If you think the premise sounds interesting, you likely will get some laughs out of the movie.
That said the movie does have some issues. While the movie’s silliness is one of its greatest strengths, it also leads to some issues for the film. When the silliness works it works. When it doesn’t though it leads to some moments that are just kind of stupid. There are moments in the movie that are pretty stupid. I don’t mean that they are so stupid that they are actually enjoyable. There are moments that are just kind of groan-worthy and boring. The movie’s plot isn’t particularly deep, so if you want a movie with a deep plot you will be disappointed. Psycho Goreman is just one of those movies that some people are going to love, while others will hate it.
While watching Psycho Goreman you can tell that it was made with a smaller budget. I have no idea what the film’s budget was, but it was far from a blockbuster. On the negative side the CGI is pretty bad. I don’t know if this was on purpose to capitalize on these type of “bad movies”, but the special effects look exactly like what you would expect from a B movie. At times they are noticeably bad which kind of distracts from the movie. Other times they can be so bad that it genuinely leads to some laughs.
Other than the CGI Psycho Goreman deserves some credit for how it used its budget. In particular the practical effects are actually really good. They aren’t going to compare with a $100 million+ movie, but you wouldn’t think the movie was low budget looking at the practical effects. The movie features a number of different types of aliens and they actually all look really good. They show a lot of detail as you can tell those responsible for them know what they are doing. In addition I thought the acting was quite good as well. Psycho Goreman is the type of movie where you don’t particularly like any of the characters, but the actors do a good job in their roles.
I think your enjoyment of Psycho Goreman will really come down to your opinion of the premise. The movie can be a little hit or miss. The movie never takes itself too serious which is generally a plus. The movie does a pretty good job taking your typical child befriends a creature movie and combines it with a B movie in order to make a children’s movie that was made for adults. The movie can be genuinely pretty funny at times due to its silliness and how it makes fun of the genre. At times the movie can be kind of dumb though. The movie was made on a smaller budget which does impact the CGI. The practical effects and acting is quite good though for a smaller budget movie.
Basically if you think the movie’s premise sounds stupid, your initial impression will likely be confirmed by the movie. Those that like silly B movies and think the premise sounds interesting though should enjoy Psycho Goreman.
We would like to thank RLJE Films and Shudder for the screener which was used to write this review.
Psycho Goreman releases on Digital and VOD on January 22nd, 2021.
Recommended For: Those who think the premise sounds interesting and don’t mind silly B movies.
Movie Completionist is our never-ending movie review journal where the ultimate goal is to watch, write about, and curate as many movies (both new and old) as humanly possible. For more information on this post series and a list of shows already covered, see this post.