In the film Psycho Goreman, the titular monster was born on the planet Gigax, millions of lightyears from Earth. The movie was shot somewhere a little closer to home: St. Catharines, Ontario.
Canadian director Steven Kostanski of Raven Banner Entertainment spoke to The Journal about the making of his latest creature-comedy and his love of schlocky horror, cheap practical effects, and gore.
“We made a conscious decision to not try and pretend it wasn’t Canada,” Kostanski said.
“In other movies, I’m always being told to set it in the US and I thought, this time I would just live with the fact that we’re in Canada and embrace that. We shoot enough stuff up here—I’m kind of sick of people telling me Toronto is New York.”
All the effects on Psycho Goreman were done old school with real costumes and makeup rather than computer generated imagery (CGI).
“I’ve been making monster masks and gore effects since I was a kid. I love doing it,” Kostanski said. “With this movie, it seemed like a good excuse to just really go nuts with that and make the kind of practical effects movie that I don’t think anyone is really trying to make these days. A real wall-to-wall creature fest.”
In the movie, Mimi, a little girl with a big attitude, finds a gem that controls an ancient monster bent on destroying the universe. She nicknames him Psycho Goreman, PG for short.
The idea, according to Kostanski, sprung from him wondering: what would E.T. have been like if instead of a friendly alien, he was a violent megalomaniac?
“PG ended up being pretty close to what I imagined him looking like. There’s definitely things, now that I’ve finished the movie […] I would change, and if there’s future versions of PG on the horizon, I’ll probably give him a little bit of a redesign. But overall, I’m super happy with how he turned out,” Kostanski said.
“He’s very much an encapsulation of every kind of monster I liked as a kid. My design intention was: create something that would make a cool toy that 10-year-old Steve would see on the shelf at Walmart and want to buy.”
Kostanski took inspiration for his visual style from other practical effects films like The Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. The tone of PG is definitely closer to Army of Darkness where the creatures pose a real threat but their behaviour and dialogue is so over-the-top they appear silly.
“When I was making this, I took the mythology of it all very seriously. As goofy as it all is, I love this kind of science fiction, fantasy universe,” he said. “I knew that it wouldn’t be believable if I didn’t believe it as I was making it.”
If you’re a fan of deadpan, awkward comedy, practical effects and gore, you’ll get a kick out of watching PG as he’s forced to obey the whims of a child when all he really wants to do is eradicate all life as we know it.
Psycho Goreman will play four times at The Screening Room on March 5, 6, 10 and 11 and is available to purchase online on Blu-ray and DVD.
Without getting into spoilers, Kostanski’s creature flick is left pretty open-ended. He even mentioned the possibility of a sequel.
“You’re left thinking is that really the end of this or is it the start of the story? So, anything’s possible at this point in time,” he said. “I’d love to pursue it further.”
artist profile, director, Film Review
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