Filmmaker Steven Kostanski's favorites include Galaxy of Terror, Class of 1999, and the Jamie Lee Curtis-starring Virus.

By Clark Collis
January 20, 2021 at 03:30 PM EST
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Credit: RLJE Films

In writer-director Steven Kostanski's science fiction-horror-comedy PG: Psycho Goreman (out Jan. 22), a pair of siblings discover something very unexpected, large, and homicidal in their backyard.

"The basic premise of the movie is that a brother and sister dig up an ancient evil warlord in they go on adventures with him because they are in possession of a magical gem," says the filmmaker, whose previous directing credits include the 2016 horror movie The Void. "When they resurrect him they unwittingly send out a signal into space that allows all sorts of other crazy aliens and creatures to converge on earth and wage war on PG."

The titular monster was inspired by Kostanski's childhood love for pop culture villains. "I'm a big fan of characters like Skeletor and Megatron and Darth Vader and Lord Dread from Captain Power," he says. "I love those kinds of villains that also have very elaborate looks that translate well into action figure form. So my approach with designing PG was, what is the look me-as-a-kid would get excited about if I saw him on a store shelf somewhere? What is the ideal monster toy that I'd want to buy?"

Kostanski recently directed four episodes of Day of the Dead, a new zombie show from Syfy inspired by George Romero's 1985 horror movie of the same name.

"The zombie effects are great, and there's lots of awesome gags, lots of nods to the original movie while at the same time being it's own unique weird thing," says the director.

Speaking of unique weird things, we asked Kostanski to recommend some of his favorite bonkers science fiction-horror movies. You can check out the director's choices below.

Galaxy of Terror (1981)

STEVEN KOSTANSKI: Galaxy of Terror is a Roger Corman production. It's obviously a knock-off of Alien, but James Cameron was the production designer, and his visual design shines through the low budget and elevates the look of the movie and makes it memorable. It's got a lot of really fun gore, there's lots of great miniatures and creature effects.  Robert Englund is in it and Sid Haig as well, so it's got a really fun cast. I really recommend that one.

Class of 1999 (1990)

KOSTANSKI: The Class of 1999 was directed by Mark Lester, who did Commando and did Class of 1984, which has a very similar premise of a high school in a kind of post-apocalyptic setting and crazy gangs running through the streets. Class of 1984 was the real world version and Class of 1999 is the Terminator version. What if we got robot teachers to manage these punk kids that are running wild? It's such a crazy premise. I love the cast. It's got Malcolm McDowell and Stacy Keach. Pam Grier's in it. Plus, you've got some great robot effects!

Syngenor (1990)

KOSTANSKI: Syngenor has got a creature in it that is featured in an earlier film called Scared to Death. The creature was designed by William Malone who directed the House on Haunted Hill remake and Feardotcom. A bunch of people are trapped in this facility where these genetically-engineered bio-weapon monsters are on the loose. It's a very silly movie. It's got David Gale in it as the villain and it almost feels like it was the inspiration for the Resident Evil video games. I had a reference picture of the syngenor when I was sculpting the PG mask. So, it definitely influenced the movie.

Guyver 2: Dark Hero (1994)

KOSTANSKI: Guyver 2 is directed by Steve Wang who is a super-famous and super-talented creature effects artist who's worked on everything from Monster Squad to Predator. He co-directed the first Guyver with Screaming Mad George but then he took the reins on Guyver 2. It's a great monster mash-up with really crazy creature design mixed with a lot of action and martial arts. It's feels very Power Rangers but the hard-R version of that. I saw it as a kid and was expecting it to be kid-friendly. I think my parents saw the box art and thought, oh, yeah, this is suitable for Steven at age twelve or whatever. I was caught off-guard by how crazy violent it was. It definitely made an impression on me and definitely had an influence on PG.

Virus (1999)

KOSTANSKI: It's got Jamie Lee Curtis in it. I was obsessed with it when it came out. It's got a fun cast and some really crazy creature design. It's got these bio-mechanical, half-human, half-robot monster creatures roaming around in this ship. It's just really brutal and violent and I love the designs of the monsters in it. Donald Sutherland at one point gets turned into one of these bio-mechanical monsters. It's a forgotten gem that people don't talk about enough. I think Jamie Lee Curtis kind of disowned the movie a little bit. But I don't think that's fair. I think it's a super fun movie.

PG: Pycho Goreman stars Matthew Ninaber, Nita-Josee Hanna, Owen Myre, Adam Brooks, and Steven Vlahos. RLJE Films is releasing the film in theaters, On Demand and Digital on Jan. 22.

Watch the movie's trailer below.

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