PG: Psycho Goreman

Imagine if you combined the creature from Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water with the purposefully goofball humor of a picture like Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and then drenched the result in fake blood. The result would probably resemble PG: Psycho Goreman. This horror-comedy is wonderfully nuts and often laugh-out-loud funny. Writer/director Steven Kostanski (The Void) has a good time dropping an extraordinary character into a mundane existence, where he creates all sorts of amusing mischief.

An all-powerful megalomaniacal monster from another planet has been banished to Earth. Two kids, Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and her brother Luke (Owen Myre), inadvertently discover him buried underground. The being, whom they name Psycho Goreman (or PG for short), intends to kill them and destroy the planet. Mimi, however, holds the magical gem that controls him, rendering him unable to do anything without her permission. Among her edicts: “Watch TV and learn how to be more fun.”

In a sly parallel, Mimi is herself a monster, one who bullies Luke and has delusions about her own power over others. At times, she allows PG to melt someone's face or rip their head off. Then there's the matter of an interstellar “titan” who shows up to vanquish him. Mimi and Luke's eccentric parents (Adam Brooks and Alexis Kara Hancey) get sucked into the ensuing chaos.

What makes Psycho Goreman so funny is that the titular character is essentially the straight man here. With his Darth Vader-esque voice and singular fixation on destruction, he's the ultimate fish-out-of-water in the kids' suburban neighborhood. Certain scenes are hilarious because he looks so out of place, as when Mimi and Luke take him to lunch at a diner and he literally inhales an entire plate of food. Others earn laughs because of the deadpan remarks he makes. For example, when Luke's pal tells PG that it was nice to meet him, the creature responds, “It would be even nicer if you were dead.” He means it.

Violence in the picture is so outrageously over the top that it generates chuckles, too. Blood gushes like it's being shot out of a firehose when PG goes on the attack, and what he does to a poor cop leads to several moments of macabre slapstick. You can't really be repulsed by the extreme gore because it's played in such an absurd manner designed to underline PG's relentless drive to kill. In other words, it's a key part of the joke, and therefore more humorous than nauseating.

Psycho Goreman has a supporting cast of weird creatures who monitor the situation from another planet. They're amusing to watch, as are the special effects, which are intentionally a tiny bit on the cheesy side. You even get a nice little message about the importance of family bonds. It's just wrapped in a story that contains beheadings and disembowelments. For all those reasons, the movie is a total original, as well as a don't-miss for anyone with an appreciation for the sillier side of horror.

out of four

PG: Psycho Goreman is unrated, but contains strong bloody violence. The running time is 1 hour and 39 minutes.