PURVOS. 2003
Director: Jerry Williams

. 2008
Director: Danny Kelly

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

PurvosB movies or Exploitation Films are frequently very good movies in their own right, & a different terms is needed for the annual array of direct-to-video digicam movies that come nowhere near the vaunted heights of B movie status.

"Amateur movies" and "Z pictures" are two terms I end up using a lot. And instead of "directors" we need some alterate term, something on the order of "Digital Dorks."

If you watch a lot of such awful movies, as I do, your expectations get really low, & you find some "comparative" gems. Alas Purvos (2004) distinctly is not a comparative gem, & proves that no matter how low one's expectations dip, it's still easy for Z movies to be boring as all get out.

An overweight, snickering man (Dave Workman) seems to be retarded, though that's evidently only the effect of his amazingly bad acting.

He pulls an ugly skull-mask over his head & stalks through a house. Upstairs in the bath, a girl (Leslie Lance), naked in her bath & showing big titties, is on the phone long enough that viewers are informed she's a prostitute, meaning she's worthy of death.

PurvosNameless Whore #1 eases back in the tub to relax. Fat man in skull mask sneaks upstairs & with no fanfare nor any imagination of even the slasher-film sort, he stabs her with a four-inch knife, & that's it for the whore-deserving-death.

With this teaser, which accurately informs us what the whole film will be like, the opening credits begin. While these run, we get to listen to a pornographic rock song by Oedipus Rex, "They Call Me Mofo," filled with four-letter words & a lyric about screwing & killing women.

Apart from being offensive, which of course is the point & therefore a good thing, it's a pretty decent song, & other good moments of raunchy rock by Oedipus Rex will later be heard on the soundtrack. Such will be the only thing even marginally praiseworthy about Purvos.

Advertised as another of the many psycho clown movies, there isn't actually much in the way of psycho clowning. We several times see images of clowns in the forms of dolls or statuettes, & there's a second mask, of a clown, in flashbacks of Max's father, but our killer has a preference for the scarier skull mask & never really looks like he's himself a clown.

PurvosHe sometimes stalks about wearing what looks like a tablecloth, marginally tricked out as a clown sulit. But really he's not a clown, he's just a standard slasher who, after that first lame killing with a four inch knife, gets himself better knives.

There is a clown in the back-story, hwoever. Psycho Max was an abused kid from a circus family.

His mother (Jill Denny) was an incestuous carnival prostitute who still haunts Max's schizophrenic mind. This is why he kills hookers. His father was Purvos the Clown, a drunkard who beat his son daily.

His mom & dad were murdered under "mysterious circumstances" & Max after a stint in an asylum was adopted & grew up weird though apparently no one guessed how weird.

There's an inessential supernatural ingredient that doesn't actually inform the plot much at all. A psychic researcher, Stacy (Stephani Heise), has learned from a sleep disorder psychologist (Nathan Day) who doesn't believe in patient privacy that several of his patients have been having similar dreams about a whore-slayer.

PurvosThe woman with the most vivid of the dreams is Kathy (Natasha Roberts), who coincidentally happens to be Stacy's ex, which provides an excuse for very trivial lesbo action between the two homely female leads.

The film is down-&-dirty cheapo, deviantly porny but too softcore for that to matter, fully amateur with would-be actors putting their all into it even if their all is ridiculously talentless. The giggling lunatic knife-weilder is nothing like the clown cooked up for the dvd cover, but in some vague way I suppose his killer persona is supposed to be the second Purvos the Clown.

As the film is wrapping up, Max is after the dykes, cornering them in a stairwell. He's only killed hookers up to then, but the film doesn't worry about inconsistencies. He pulls out his knife, which seems to have been purchased at a science fiction convention it's so ornately foolish looking. He talks a big game about sticking it in them.

But Stacy summarily shoots him, so there isn't any climactic scene. We do see Max's soul in what must be Hell being eaten alive by zombie-versions of his mother & a dominatrix (Raven Warwick) whom he killed. So I guess that's the climax.

PurvosThere's a long coda the point of which is hard to say, other than Max's skull-mask is saved, perhaps to be recycled in some sequel which we may pray is never made.

The oddest thing about this film is that after lame killings, lame sex, lame acting, lame script, lame cinematography, it goes for a meandering ending that doesn't even attempt a lame climax but just sort of runs out of wind & stops.

An interesting aside is the presence of Conrad Brooks in the cast. He's evidently too old wo walk as they wrote him a small role in which he can be sitting behind a desk the whole time. He's been around since the 1950s, appearing in such famously bad movies as The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961) & a couple Ed Wood films, including the seminal bad movie Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959).

In the 1990s Conrad was dragged out of retirement to "decorate" the Z movies of a new generation, & relished the renewal of his bad-movie career. In the new millenium he has even directed a couple of them himself. His brief appearance in Purvo is just more awful acting, but as no-talents go, he's an entertaining charmer, which can't be said of the rest of the cast.

If you enjoy how nowadays people with no talent & no money can manage to make a sleezy movie anyway, this one's not as bad as they get, bad though it is. And anything with Oedipus Rex scream-singing "I hate you! I hate you dickweed!" on the soundtrack can't be 100% faulted, so only 99% bad.

It's also rather short, clocking in at one-hour fourteen minutes. I used to feel cheated by such lengths fobbed off as full length movies, but by now I'm used to it, & often prefer it since the last time a cheezy horror flick ran to two hours I thought I'd pass out just from the boredom.

Coulrophobia A short film by a youtoober who devotes his "channel" horror, Coulrophobia: The Fear of Clowns (2008) begins in black & white then switches to color.

A kid with a fake British accent (Danny Kelly) finds an ugly clown mask & a knife beside it. So he pretends to be psycho to attack his friend, another faux-British kid (Jamie Marsden), who wasn't fooled for a second.

They've recently moved into a run-down house, & they're so young we'll to assume it's their first time on their own. They don't yet know the house's terrible history.

But after an eight-second phone call to the real estate manager, Danny is able to tell a much longer tale of a circus clown who used to rent the place, & was murdered (by a dwarf we're informed, who got away with it) by being pushed down the stairs into the cellar.

The murdered clown (Matt Trollope) eventually arises with vengeance in mind. While one of the lads hides in a dark room, the clown tries to break down the door with an axe, but really only taps on the door with an axe because the kids making the movie would've gotten in trouble if they caused any damage.

After some fairly standard stalking, the film ends without anything ever happening, & credits role.

The inconsequential thirteen minute film is so badly lit it's impossible to see anything about a third of the time. Very little of it is framed well, but a couple scenes aren't that badly done, with many cuts really trying to look movie-like. As for the acting -- eh. But the soundscape is surprisingly well edited & dramatic. It's only bad the young director didn't have an ending for his film.

Go to the next evil clown:
Amusement (2009)

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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