Cyst Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

Released by FantomFilm


Directed by Tyler Russell
Written by Tyler Russell and Andy Silverman
2020, 69 minutes, Not Yet Rated
FrightFest UK Premiere on 24th October 2020

Greg Sestero as Bill
Jason Douglas as Al
Eva Habermann as Patricia
Gene Jones as Mr. Sherman


An invention designed to remove skin abnormalities goes awry when the machine malfunctions and creates a rampaging cyst monster. So much for a quiet retirement; on her last day at work, world-weary nurse Patricia’s (Eva Habermann) last day will be spent fighting the thing off, as well as bickering with mad scientist and boss Doctor Guy (George Hardy).

With a cast that boasts the stars of Troll 2 and The Room (Greg Sestero, not the other one), there’s little doubt as to the sort of movie Cyst aspires to be. It wears its B-movie status on its sleeve, and isn’t to be taken seriously at all. At the same time, there’s more than just a rampaging cyst monster on the field here. Cysts are promised, and cysts are what Cyst delivers; there’s more pimple-popping here than a high school bathroom. And director Tyler Russell doesn’t just pop them; these things are exploding like geysers all over the place.

cyst 01 cyst 02

Those with a weaker constitution would be advised to steer clear of this comedic body horror. Russell takes full advantage of the film’s setting, lining up gore gag after gore gag to spurt and pop all over poor Patricia. This is comedic Cronenberg; The Fly crossed with Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. While the story (and certainly the monster) are presented as a joke, it takes grossing out the audience incredibly seriously. This is not one to watch with a snack platter. But if you really must, maybe avoid anything custard-based, or go without the butter-slathered popcorn.

That said, this 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. Cyst’s tone may have been inspired by some of the worst movies ever made, but Russell is wise not to go all in on the pastiche. This is a solid body horror/sci-fi in its own right.

cyst 03 cyst 04

Habermann takes all of this in her stride, as Patricia is squirted on, verbally abused by her boss and chased by a repulsive great cyst monster. The exhausted, embattled nurse is a different kind of lead character to what you’d usually get in this sort of film, and it makes for compelling viewing. It’s easy to miss amidst all of the ballooning boils and septic spots, but there’s more to Cyst than meets the stye. Sorry, eye.


Movie: 3 Star Rating Cover

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Joel Harley
Staff Reviewer
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
Other articles by this writer


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