Monday, June 18, 2012

Killjoy

But don't let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Really I'm sad, oh I'm sadder than sad

 - Smokey Robinson

There was a survey conducted recently where kids were asked how they feel about clowns. 100% of the children surveyed (yes, all) said they hated clowns. That goes to show that kids are smart. Still grown-ups continue to mark up their faces with greasepaint in an effort to entertain the little tykes. They also make stupid horror movies about killer clowns even though the concept is tired and dated. This goes to show that adults are dumb.

The killer clown genre is done and it was over way before this movie came out in 2000, but no one told the filmmakers that so we're stuck with this stinky turkey. Killjoy begins with nice guy Michael asking pretty girl Jada to the school dance. But her jealous boyfriend Lorenzo and his two thug homies squash his hopes for romance by beating the crap out of him. Cut to Michael's room where he is intoning the spirit of "Killjoy" while holding what looks to be a doll. The thugs come to his house, trick him into going out with him, accidentally shoot him and that seems to be it. Until a year later when "Killjoy" appears to take out his vengeance on the wrong-doers.

Wow. Just wow. This is one pure piece of trash film. Let's start with the plot. There is none. There, we're done with the plot. Now let's talk about the acting. Nonexistent. Well, except for maybe Michael (Jamal Grimes) and Lorenzo (William L. Johnson) who are merely passable. But really, even Meryl Streep couldn't have given a good performance with the dialogue that consists mainly of "Damn" and "girrrlll." I'll give the filmmakers credit for using an all-black cast. That's something that's sadly lacking in horror movies, but the writing does the actors a huge disservice.

And let's talk about the clown, the aptly-named Killjoy, who is I guess a demon? Or is he Michael? Or was he created by Michael? Or was he the doll? We never find out and we never care since every time he's on screen you're just longing for the moment he's off again. He pops up a year later (after I guess doing nothing but practicing his stand-up routine) to seek vengeance on Lorenzo and his gang but then he decides to kill the not-so-bad guys too. He kills people by whisking them away through his ice cream truck to another dimension that looks just like this one and serves no real purpose at all. You're a clown and your "other world" is a warehouse that has nothing to do with your story of vengeance. Why would a warehouse be scary?

Ugh, and then there's Killjoy's "one-liners" like "I'm your worst nightmare" and "It's never over!" Heck, all the script needed was to have someone say "Come with me if you want to live" and the trifecta of cliché would be complete. All of Killjoy's "jokes" are followed with a hideous cackle that's so obnoxious you want to punch the dude's big red nose in. Okay, there is one redeeming factor in all this mess, Killjoy's make-up is actually pretty darn good, even if the rest of the special effects suck lemonade. The make-up moves well with the actor's face and allows for some interesting facial expressions and the teeth are yellow, pointy and gnarly. If the writing and directing (and acting) were up to par, this could have been an okay movie, if not a great one. But as it is, it's awful.

There are a ton of things I just don't have time to go into, like the old man who appears, attempts to explain Killjoy and then disappears, then appears in the end after Killjoy is killed, just to disappear (again). Or the cheesy romantic subplot involving Jada sleeping with some dude who came over for a study date. Or the fact that the three remaining characters know all about black magic in the end and know how to form inner circles and not to break the circle even though Michael was the one who was into the demonic stuff, not them. Then there's the unnecessary dream sequences and the "oh no, it's not really over!" ending. I could go into all of that but I really don't want to delve too deep into this pool of mud. So let's just say that Killjoy will kill any joy you have for the killer clown genre. You have been warned.

Favorite Moments (may contain spoilers):
  • The expressions of our "heroes" when they see things like the undead killer clown screaming for their blood or the all-knowing hobo dissipating into thin air. It's quite similar to the look one might have after misplacing a mix tape or losing their favorite comb.
  • The least sexiest kiss in movie history and Killjoy's response.
  • The "blinding" of Baby-Boy by Killjoy where he is clearly pushing his thumbs into the actor's forehead.
  • The animated blood spatters on Lorenzo when Killjoy shoots at him with bullets. Seriously? They couldn't even rig a decent squib?
Fun Facts Kids!
  • Followed by two sequels.
  • Arthur Burghardt, who plays the all-seeing, all-knowing hobo, got his start playing a doctor on One Life to Live. 
  •  The budget for the film was $150,000.
  • Angel Vargas (Killjoy) played Tito in a made for TV movie about the Jackson family.
Agree? Disagree? Or just have a random string of curse words you'd like to share? Comment!

2 comments:

Alex Deck said...

I think it was a pretty bad movie. The only saving grace it had was the Michael character. What an actor. My favorite line was "That's not necessary".

Cheryl Z said...

Oh yeah. It was really bad. In fact, I was mentally rewriting it as I was watching but nothing could have saved this turkey.