CYST (2020) Reviews of pus-filled comedy horror

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Cyst is a 2020 American science fiction comedy horror film about a demented doctor that inadvertently creates a giant monster.

Directed by Tyler Russell from a screenplay co-written with Andy Silverman. Produced by Travis Ayers, Jeremy Morrison, Tyler Russell and Andy Silverman.

The Fantomfilm Narrative-Films TX production stars George Hardy (Troll 2), Eva Habermann, Greg Sestero (director of Miracle Valley; Big SharkDude Bro Party Massacre III; The Pit and the Pendulum 2009; Alien Presence; Retro Puppet Master), Jason Douglas and Gene Jones.

In the early 1960s and a small-town doctor creates a machine that uses laser technology to remove skin abnormalities. He pulls out all the stops to make sure his final chance to get the patent on his ‘Get Gone’ appliance goes smoothly.

However, his nurse thinks the contraption is dangerous and not ready. The struggle between the two causes the apparatus to malfunction creating a giant cyst monster that goes on a bloody rampage…

Our review:
Cyst is gooey good fun with some welcome retro monster effects. It’s a well-done pastiche of the ’50s and ’60s B-movie flicks that actually works as a modern piece too rather than just recreate the past. The cast, led by George Hardy as the manic doctor, all seem to be having a great time. It’s also positive that Eva Habermann has a strong strong role as a nurse who can see the situation going rapidly into chaos.

Tyler Russell keeps everything fairly tight and the claustrophobic setting works to Cyst‘s advantage. That said, a bit more of a budget and a longer running time might have allowed the monster to break out for some street mayhem which would have been even more appreciated. Maybe that’ll happen if there’s a Cyst 2?
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:
“…the real star of Cyst has got to be the monster. Created through a mixture of practical effects and actors in suits, this hulking abomination looks like something straight out of John Carpenter’s The Thing, and every second it appears onscreen serves as a reminder of the good old days of practical FX before CGI ruined everything.” Dread Central

“It’s a fantastic throwback to the 60s and it’s refreshing to watch a film that doesn’t take itself seriously. The cast look to have had as much fun making it as you will watching it, and that infectious energy benefits the film greatly […] Tyler Russell’s direction is zippy, the film looks fantastic and the cast is brilliant – what more could you want from a monster movie?” Entertainment Focus

“Whilst the monster itself is good and will charm fans of classic B-movie horror, with its cute glowing eyes and wiggling tentacles, it doesn’t get to do much rampaging when it only has the clinic to move around in. This is probably a budgetary issue first and foremost, the story having been written to cater that, but there’s no enough inventiveness to make up for it.” Eye for Film

“There isn’t much that’s new here with everything signposted to some degree or another, also playing on the viewer’s knowledge about these types of movies. The main point is that it’s a pastiche and affectionate homage to the monster movies of the 1950s and is a lot of grotesque fun. The practical effects are first class, harping back to an earlier age, though having something of a revival at the moment.” Film News

” …Cyst is far more fun than a film about bursting honking great puss deposits has any right to be. A trashy b-movie tribute with more gunge than Noel’s House Party and no time to stop for breath. If you’ve got a puerile sense of humour and a little over an hour to spare, this one is worth a look.” Film Stories

“The sets reinforce the acting style, dialling into that B-movie aesthetic, and showcase some rather impressive production values on what must have been a modest budget.  Although it takes slightly too long getting to where the audience wants it to be, Cyst is a slice of zany fun.” The Hollywood News

” …there’s a Looney Tunes-esque quality to the violence which makes it easier to stomach. It’s enjoyably repulsive, but not quite as gag-inducing as it could have been. There’s a surprising level of restraint; not only to the gore but also the direction and writing. Russell allows his cast to ham it up – Hardy is especially fun as the maniacal Doctor Guy – but not to the detriment of the film or its story.” Horror DNA

” …moves at a frenetic pace and once the pus starts spouting from the titular ailments, it rarely lets up except to let blood have its turn at running, too. The practical effects may be low-budget, but they look impressive, and a couple of times when a growth gets squeezed and gives away a bit that it is a practical appliance, it only adds to the homage effect of the film.” Horror Fuel


Cyst is a fun-filled homage with practical effects sure to leave even the strongest stomach queasy. While the plot and characters are a bit flat, the film’s outrageous acting and splatstick style makes it an easy choice for any horror lover looking for laughs.” Killer Horror Critic

“It’s a gross, ridiculous comedy with inventive gags – one about a reflex-test hammer is perfectly-timed – and enthusiastically repulsive special effects, but in the middle of all the mugging and screaming there’s a quite affecting character piece about the unappreciated woman – Habermann is an appealingly unconventional-looking young-middle-aged leading lady…” The Kim Newman Web Site

Cyst‘s monster is a one-eyed monstrosity borne from a gross-out scene and only gets grosser, and bigger, as the film progresses – absorbing its victims into its body, making them the cysts on its pus-filled shell – with a design that looks both ridiculous and terrifying at the same time. Never one to take itself too seriously, Cyst is a loving pastiche of filmmaking of another time – which has no problem mocking the bad and rejoicing in the good, of that era.” Nerdly

“Despite the film’s short running time, there are notable longueurs in scenes of Patricia and the others sneaking about through the clinic’s interiors, although these are lightened by often surreal dialogue, and occasionally punctuated by sudden, outrageous explosions of gore […] Yet Cyst is less tawdry schlock than a knowing pastiche of it…” Projected Figures

“As a pastiche, Cyst works well, but even at just under 70mins, there’s not much substance. It would have made a killer short film, but Russell attempts to squeeze out too much and the result is generally fun but could be punchier. That said, there’s certainly a cult market for this, and no doubt it will find its fans.” Starburst

Cyst had its world premiere at the virtual online Arrow Video FrightFest on October 24th 2020.
In the US, Cyst will be released On-Demand (VOD), Digital and DVD by RLJE Films on June 21, 2022.

Cast and characters:
George Hardy … Doctor Guy
Eva Habermann … Patricia
Greg Sestero … Bill
Jason Douglas … Al
Gene Jones … Mr Sherman
Darren Ewing … Preston
Francesca Santoro … Carol
Kyle Roberts … Cyst Monster
Brianna Anderson … Patient One
Keturah Branch … Tammie
Torren Davis … Clarence
Terri Merritt Bennett … Della

Filming locations:

Technical details:
69 minutes

Teaser trailer:


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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