Psycho Goreman | Promising Young Woman | The White Tiger | The Queen of Black Magic
Directed by Steven Kostanski
In her 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp,’” Susan Sontag says of camp that it is “the love of the exaggerated.” By this logic, Steven Kostanski’s Psycho Goreman is the camp lover’s dream. The film follows Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and her brother Luke (Owen Myer), who accidentally unearth a gem that allows Mimi to control a monster (Matthew Ninaber) they call Psycho Goreman, or PG, an imprisoned tyrant seeking to reassemble his army and continue destroying worlds. What follows are various battles, both literally and figuratively, as PG works to regain his freedom.
Peppered throughout the film are stories of alien-robot creatures colonizing other planets, hunky men’s magazines and monsters eating other monsters. One is led to wonder why the plot is so jam-packed with minute events and a wealth of characters. Perhaps the story might have been better off if it told a more straightforward tale, perhaps one focusing with greater exclusivity on Mimi and Luke, as opposed to concerning itself with so many events simultaneously, but that is also what makes it such campy fun.
Psycho Goreman is a blast. The monsters are well-designed, the gore and guts squelch, the blood oozes and looks straight out of an ’80s horror movie, and the music is deliciously overwrought and melodramatic. Fight scenes are well choreographed, violent, and hilariously juxtaposed with saccharine revelations of love and togetherness. As you delight in the brilliantly over-the-top creature design and special effects, you’ll forget to wonder about who exactly the good guys are. But ultimately that doesn’t matter, because this movie knows exactly what it’s doing, and that’s camp. (Raven Banner)