There are kids’ films, and then you have films that push the envelope to the limits of any “Parental Guidance” certifications. Indeed, you have the latter with Manborg and The Void helmer Steven Kostanski’s R-rated fantasy horror, PG: Psycho Goreman, which bolsters with every bit of bombast, silliness and amusement in its use of violence to cohese an otherwise imperfect, but amusing tale about children.
Such are who we meet in Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and Luke (Owen Myre) who stumbles upon a glowing gem after a robust game of “crazyball” sees Luke digging a hole. The next day, a chance meeting occurs with a vicious alien being (Matthew Ninaber in costume, voiced by Steven Vlahos) eager to destroy everything in sight, except only he realizes he can’t – that is – the moment Mimi catches herself wielding control of the extraterrestrial.
What follows is an oddball tale of adventure, about a burgeoning out-of-this-world friendship between a precocious and often lonely young girl, and a supernatural killer alien with an epic mind-blowing tale of liberation from his distant planet – where a panel of self-imposed heroes are already haplessly contributing to mankind’s bodycount – while hunting for PG. The story also segues to Mimi and her frequently pushful nature when it comes to Luke, who is much more unwitting when dealing in battles of wills with Mimi, and the interwoven family politics between the parents (Adam Brooks and Alexis Kara Hancey) as the story unfolds near the end of the film.
Kostanski’s script definitely plays it a bit loud when conveying things between our two young leads; For the most part, Mimi is bossy and domineering over her much more feeble brother. This is done purposefully for the sake of coming full circle between both characters in a slightly more touching moment in the second half, although it bodes as much more obnoxious than intended, as comical as it should have been than not. It’s the same kind of overwrought writing took me out of the love story in Donnie Yen’s Enter The Fat Dragon, though it helps to remember that kids are the forefront of this story, which makes things a little more palatable in that sense.
The film doesn’t keep you waiting long much with its spectacle and show of force in PG: Psycho Goreman. Kostanski deals more than plenty of the goods to live up to the title of his own movie, the costumes each take life of their own harkening back to the kinds of low-budget suit action and tokusatsu TV entertainment of the last century – all peppered up for something explosively fun and escapist when its time for good ole’ PG to go to town.
The best part about PG: Psycho Goreman is that nearly everyone gets in on the fun, even PG’s unfortunate victims. Kostanski’s ability to fiddle with what normalcy really means in a story is part of the excitement with stories like this. The energy and overall tone and pacing are consistent and the characters are all largely entertaining, and if you’re looking for a movie where aliens battle each other to death, this has that too. In spades; The Steve Wang nostalgia gets real just a few times here.
You get a redemptive heroine in Mimi, and an anti-hero in our titular alien monster for a story with an ending that proves to be just as forgivably nonsensical as the rest of the movie.
PSYCHO GOREMAN is now streaming as Shudder exclusive, available in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.