The first shortish feature film about the evil clown Killjoy (2000) scoops the bottom of the barrel for slasher entertainment.
It has very little going for it, though it does add black magic & a teleportation ice cream truck to the mix, so is a little bit more complex (or confusing) than straightforward slasher-clowns in dreadful movies like Mr. Jingles (2006) ;or even the second Killjoy movie.
That it's the "black cast" version of the evil clown cliche is all that sets it apart. It might've worked somewhat better if there'd been a director from the hood.
Craig Ross is at least a black guy directing black performers (using the term "performers" rather too looselky), but his directorial vision gives one the impression he grew up in Honkiville, Iowa. Young African Americans sipping cocktails & shacked up while still in highschool doesn't quite capture the reality of urban youth.
Michael (Jamal Grimes) is a lovelorn dork rejected by Jada (Vera Yell, who will get to yell in the movie). He resorts to black magic in an attempt to bring his clown-doll Killjoy to life, as if that'd help him get laid.
But before he succeeds at his little frankenstein endeavor, he is accidentally killed by Lorenzo (William L. Johnson), one of the bullying gangbangers who like to push dorks around. That Lorenzo didn't do it on purpose indicates he's not the worst thug imaginable, certainly doesn't deserve what's in store for him, & as a clown-doll-loving dufus, there's no sense that Michael is deserving of anything resembling revenge over the matter.
Nevertheless, a year later, there's an ice-cream vendor & dope-dealer (Angel Vargas) who most improbably dresses like a clown. This is of course the doll Michael after all did bring to life. It kidnaps two of the gangbanger bullies by means of teleportation. T-Bone (Corey Hampton) & Baby Boy (Rani Goulant) are soon killed horribly, the horrible part being the pathetic FX.
Soon after, Lorenzo happens upon the clown's ice cream truck & climbs inside. It again proves to be a magic portal to the place where Killjoy stalks & kills bullies.
He kills Lorenzo by capturing a bullet in his mouth & spitting it back at the would-be gangbanger.
Having done in the semi-bad guys before reaching feature film length, new premises have to be introduced. A homeless man (Arthur Burghart) inexplicably knows all about Killjoy & warns Jada & Monique (D Austin) about the killing spree.
He also knows that Killjoy can be destroyed (a la Dracula) only by a woman he loves, & that would be Jada, for whom Michael carried a torch before he was killed by Lorenzo.
Amidst further mayhem, the teleportation ice cream truck, which never makes a lick of sense, for no earthly reason ends up assisting Jada in finding her way to the place where she can stab Killjoy with considerable ease, who turns into Michael as she's killing him.
There's also some shtick about the souls or ghosts of Killjoy's victims being further punished for having done very little to deserve it, & the homeless man turns out to be some dumbass sort of angel, God knows why.
After it's all over, there's one of those universally stupid post-endings, more muddled than usual, where Killjoy after all still exists & will keep killing. Jada screams. Credits roll. Good lord that was awful!
Killjoy came to us courttesy of the low end of the Full Moon shlock factory, which used to make better cheapies, but it's been a long time since Charles Band & company seemed to care if they deilvered two dollars worth of rental value or not.
Many fans regard Killjoy among the worst horror films of all time, but even among clown horrors specifically, there certainly are worse examples. It's the kind of bad that if you're in the mood for laughing at crap, it'll do, whereas clown horrors like S.I.C.K: Serial Insane Clown Killer (2003) are just boringly bad.
Killjoy 2 (2003) still shows no concern for our money's worth. Killjoy's make-up is marginally better than in the original, but nothing else is improved despite that the target for improvement had been set so low.
More intriguing than the film is the fact that it is directed by blonde bombshell Tammi Sutton who is also one of the producers & appears in the film as one of the few whities. She's a scream queen who has been making a transition into the "imature man's world" of horror director, though this first effort doesn't bode well for her capacity.
Bad acting, teenagers a might elderly for the roles, a howlingly bad script, & gore FX that never succeed -- it seemed like the original was funnier, if only accidently so, but perhaps that's an illusion caused by repetition of stuff that was only funny once.
Another largely black-cast excursion, we get a blind voodoo priestess, a couple cops, five black kids being transported to juvie when the police van breaks down in the middle of nowhere (so it isn't even a horror tale from the hood as in the first), & a few additional justifiably unknown actors line up as potential victims.
The non-story lumbers on & on, seeming interminable though the film's quite short, until halfway through, with no reason given, one of the delinquents does the spell that conjures Killjoy (Trent Haaga), which didn't help their situation one whit.
There's one implied situation that indicates Killjoy's false teeth can travel about on their own to kill one of the girls, but like everything else that might have been interesting, it occurs off-screen, so we're left to wonder how a set of wind-up novelty choppers managed that trick.
So even with the demon clown finally in play, it remains pretty damned boring & begs one's finger hold down "fast forward." You'd think a film this bad would at least have a bit of sexploitation & gore in its favor, as that would seem to be the point, but it has nothing.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl