Two kids find an omnicidal alien warlord and turn him into their playmate.
Siblings Mimi and Luke (Nita-Josee Hanna and Owen Myre) discover a gem in their backyard after digging a large hole. That night, an alien (Matthew Ninaber; voice Steven Vlahos) crawls out of the hole and massacres a local group of thieves. The next day, the two children follow a trail left by the alien, who identifies himself as the “arch-duke of nightmares,” a nameless creature who has been imprisoned on Earth after trying to destroy the galaxy. He tries to murder the children, only for Mimi to order him to stop with the gem. It turns out that whoever has the gem can command him. Dubbing him “Psycho Goreman,” or PG for short, Mimi uses the gem to force him to become her friend, much to his frustration. The Planetary Alliance discovers that PG is alive and sends Pandora (Kristen MacCulloch), one of their agents, to kill him. Meanwhile, PG just wants to be free. Free to massacre at will.
I love this movie. I love everything about it. It’s basically the idea of “What if E.T. had been an actual monster but the kids still loved him?” The whole film is a combination of great monster designs, horrifying gorefest, and hilarious juxtaposition with the kids. Every time that Psycho Goreman speaks, he tries to turn it into some grand exposition about his backstory or a tale of a planet he destroyed or a torture he’s performed, but the kids keep interrupting and saying he’s boring or something like that. They don’t do it enough times for the novelty to wear off, so it stays fairly funny. This movie is constantly pushing the boundaries of crazy while still following many of the basic plot elements of the “kid befriends strange creature” films that inspired it. I particularly love that PG straight-up murders a guy for mocking him during the “fun time” montage.
I would watch a documentary just about all of the creature designs in this film. Some of them are unbelievably elaborate and creative even while still looking like a person in a costume. There was a villain who appeared to just be a sentient bucket of body parts and I wanted to know exactly how that works. I can’t imagine how much time and effort must have gone into all of these, so I really have to respect the production for going the extra mile on characters that often die within a few minutes.
I also like that a big sub-plot of the movie is the conflict between Mimi and Luke’s parents, because their mom (Alexis Hancey) is a hard-working type-A personality while their father (Adam Brooks) is a lazy slob who avoids doing anything. It gets even funnier when they become embroiled in the conflict between the Planetary Alliance and Psycho Goreman, because they each pick opposite sides. It’s so unbelievably ridiculous that it somehow works.
Overall, I’ll admit that this is a niche film. You really have to love cheesy monster movies and have a lot of nostalgia for things like E.T. or Dragonworld (10 points if you remember that one), but if you do like both of those things, this is your movie.
If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time, Collection of TV Episodes, Collection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.
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