Psycho Goreman is the movie I most desperately wanted to see made when I was ten years old. In other words, it’s an R-rated version of Power Rangers. The Astron-6-adjacent horror comedy deliberately evokes the live action Saturday morning TV programming of my youth in its tone & imagery, but ages up the humor of that vintage 90s Kids™ media with hack jokes about how believing in God is for rubes and wives are humorless nags. I can’t say that novelty lands especially sweetly in my thirties, especially since its So Random! sense of humor is poisonously self-aware, but I’m convinced I would have absolutely loved it when I was still a child obsessed with monster movies & shock comedy — the same way I’m sure the world’s biggest fans of the equally unfunny Deadpool movies are the children who are technically too young to watch them but snuck them past their parents.
At least Psycho Goreman is aware of its ideal audience, as evidenced by its explosively violent little-girl protagonist. After bullying her soft-hearted brother into digging a massive hole in their backyard for her own sadistic delight, our audience-surrogate sociopath discovers a long-buried magical amulet that unleashes an ancient evil unto the world, à la The Gate. The amulet affords her total command over the wicked monster that emerges—the titular Psycho Goreman—an intergalactic mass-murderer who’s embarrassed to be indentured to the “two brainless meat children” who discover his remote control. It’s pretty much a hangout film from there. Psycho Goreman delivers purposefully overwritten Pinhead speeches about the evil acts he’d like to commit once freed; his pint-sized girlboss makes him perform menial demeaning tasks for her own amusement instead; and an intergalactic council of outer space weirdos directly out of a Power Rangers episode plot to destroy “PG” while he’s temporarily indisposed. It’s all very cute, even if the jokes it’s in service of aren’t very funny.
I’m not opposed to this type of ironic 90s Kid™ retro-nostalgia on principle. If nothing else, I’ve enjoyed similar homages to the era’s cultural runoff in films like Brigsby Bear, Turbo Kid, and the actual Power Rangers reboot. I just didn’t connect with the self-amused meta humor of this particular specimen in that genre, something I should have expected as soon as the similarly limp WolfCop trailer preceded it on my local library’s copy of the DVD. Still, Psycho Goreman has a lot going for it visually, with enough practical gore, rubber-suit monsters, and stop-motion grotesqueries to pave over the dead silence of its jokes falling flat. More importantly, while I’m no longer a taboo-craving ten-year-old, plenty of little weirdos out there still are. If they can manage to sneak this naughty R-rated novelty past their parents while they’re still at the right age, it could birth a ton of lifelong horror nerds. I’m choosing to count that as a net good, even if I’m not as personally enthusiastic about the movie as I wanted to be.