(director/writer: Steven Kostanski; cinematographer: Andrew Appelle; editors: Andrew Appelle /Steven Kostanski; music: Blitz/Berlin; cast: Matthew Ninaber (PG), Kristen MacCulloch (Pandora), Rick Amsbury (Dennis), Conor Sweeney (Cassius 3000/Maddox), Reece Presley (Chad), Adam Brooks (Greg), Scout Flint (Alastair), Nita-Josee Hanna (Mimi), Owen Myre (Luke), Steven Vlahos (PG-voice), Alexis  Hancey (Susan),  Anna Tierney (Pandora-voice), Roxine Plummer (Human Pandora); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Steven Kostanski, Shannon Hanmer, Stuart F. Andrews; RLJE; 2020-Canada)

“A clever but schlocky horror/comedy/sci-fi film that spoofs some of those extremely bloody and camp ’90s exploitation and absurdist genre films.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Filmmaker Steven Kostanski (“The Void”/”Father’s Day”) presents a clever but schlocky horror/comedy/sci-fi film that spoofs some of those extremely bloody and camp ’90s exploitation and absurdist genre films and the vacuous endless stream of alien ‘end of the world’ films. The B-film looks good and was made with no budget, which might be its real marvel.

We are first introduced to the history of the Archduke of nightmares, a menacing figure, said to have terrorized the planet Gigax with his powerful monster powers, but who has been subdued and banished to a far-away planet so the galaxy would remain at peace.

Siblings Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and Luke (Owen Myre) are playing an intense game of Crazyball outside their home on Earth. Mimi wins and therefore as her prize chooses to bury her younger brother alive in the sand. Luke while digging his grave discovers buried in the sand a red glowing object embedded with a puzzle box. Mimi pockets the glowing object and after solving the simple puzzle, uses the object as a magical amulet to mistakenly resurrect the evil-alien Archduke of Nightmares, an ancient overlord, the same guy who was banished to earth after failing to destroy the world. The monster can’t harm the kids as long as Mimi possesses the amulet, and he must obey their childish whims (hey, game rules!). Their actions attract a number of intergalactic assassins to their suburban small-town.

The kids name the monster Psycho Goreman (Matthew Ninaber), PG for short. The monster desires to bathe in the blood of his childish captors, but is incredulous as he’s forced to be ruled by these inferior humans. Meanwhile we get to see what’s going down in Gigax, while the monster lusts on earth for a shirtless male model he sees in a magazine. 

PG’s nemesis in outer space is a fierce robot angel named Pandora (Kristen MacCulloch), who desires to put him out of his misery for good while he’s controlled by the kids. In the sibling’s home, their parents accept PG as a friend to the family, although they still seem afraid of him (humans act so strange!).

The entertaining film is surreal
. It’s wracked with a weird gnawing violence transfixed as comedy (like when an antagonistic kid in the street laughs at PG’s Halloween-like scary face and as a retort gets blown up). It never makes any sense even when it tries to make sense. But it’s filled with a bedeviling crudity, hilarious goofy scenes of the macabre (such as when PG turns their friend Alastair (Scout Flint) into a fatty beach-ball brain) and it has a strange tongue-in-cheek humor not suited for all tastes but which I found nasty and funny. It might be crap (in fact it is crap, but it’s smart crap however). You can’t take your eyes off such unchecked captivating nonsense that defies rationality at every turn.

As far as production values, the visual effects are super good considering the very low budget. And, be warned, in this family-friendly monster pic nothing catches your attention like seeing decapitated heads–something this film exploits to a fault.