Friday, October 5, 2012

Clownin' Around Under the Full Moon!

Killjoy  (Full Moon Entertainment, 2000)

Before the Camera:

Angel Vargas  (Quick Change)
Vera Yell  (Stigmata)
Lee Marks  (Half-Life)
Dee Dee Marks  (only feature!)
Jamal Grimes  (only feature!)
Corey Hampton  (only feature!)
Rani Goulant  (only feature!)
Napiera Groves  (Airborne '93)
William L. Johnson  (Motives)
Penny Ford  (Ticker)
Dionne Rochelle  (only feature!)
Carl Washington  (Creepies)
Arthur Burghardt  (A Rage in Harlem)
Homeless Man

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Craig Ross

Produced by Charles Band, Mel Johnson Jr., and Gary Schmoeller

Written by Carl Washington

As the 1990s came to an end, Full Moon was in another of their cyclical transition stages. The deal with Paramount for distribution had ended; there was a deal with Kushner/Locke for a series of movies produced by Full Moon people, but with the logo nowhere in sight and Band’s contributions as executive producer mostly uncredited. Another venture the company undertook at this time was for a series of “urban/inner city horror movies” with predominantly African-American casts, but following the standard Full Moon formula. This movie was an entry in that unofficial series, somewhat under the banner of City Lights Films.

Low budget - but with some visual style.

Through some fast dialogue, we meet Jada, a lovely young woman still in high school with a taste for bad boys like Lorenzo, the local gang banger celebrity. She is also receiving the attentions of Michael, a shlub who has been crushing on her for years. The movie manages to set this all up and bring all the characters together in about 7 minutes. Michael gets a beating in the presence of the girls, then later is tricked into further retaliation by the vengeful Lorenzo. It’s supposed to be one of those “threatened with an empty gun” things – but as so often happens in these things, there was one buwwet weft – and soon Michael lies dead on the ground. One year later, everyone is carrying on with their lives. But a really wicked looking clown shows up in an ice cream truck, and when Lorenzo’s buddies step inside for some promised recreational gardening treats – they find themselves transported to another world – the world of Killjoy – the clown doll who apparently takes 52 weeks to come to life and seek revenge! Now no one is safe, including Jada or her friends. Killjoy is on the warpath – and he’s not clowning around!

What? My daddy was Pennywise! My momma was Pippi Longstockings!
And if you don't believe that you can suck it!

I found this very low budget movie fairly entertaining – though maybe not always for the reasons the filmmakers intended. It was obviously produced on a shoestring budget, but it has some interesting ideas and is built around a pretty good main character – the creepy murderous clown. Clowns are scary, and while Killjoy here is more along the lines of a low rent Freddy Krueger – with his dreamlike powers and cheesy quips – he is still a well designed character with a great look. Vargas plays him well – though his monster teeth dental appliance affects his speech exactly like the vampire fangs did Chris Sarandon and Stephen Geoffreys in the original Fright Night – with a thickened pronunciation of certain words and a real difficulty with S’s – and at times Vargas sounds EXACTLY like Geoffreys playing Evil Ed post bite. Still, he’s entertaining in the role, and he bodily carries this movie toward the entertainment finish line.

There has never been a ritual using these things that
ended well.

The other characters and actors range from tolerable to pretty good, although the homeless guy who shows up to deliver exposition in the second half is pretty unneeded, especially since he fulfills this function by merely showing flashback footage to events we watched about a half hour previously. Thanks, useless recap guy! So, there’s a little gore, some decent makeup effects, and a lot of fairly cheesy CGI that manages somehow to be somewhat charming and the whole thing revolves around the same “come into my world” plot that was used for Evil Bong a couple of years later. It’s all wrapped up in a 71 minute package, and I thought it was okay. You’ll have to base your decision to watch on your fondness for such things.

Let's Get Out of Here ?

At approximately 57:38, Dee Dee Marks thinks the movie is over.

Eye Candy ?

It's not a great showcase movie - but Vera Yell makes it onto the list! Welcome Ms. Yell!

Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says " Not to be a killjoy, but Killjoy might
kill your joy, unless you're into movies like Killjoy."

I think you summed that up nicely, BM! Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. no thank you, I prefer my clowns to be...quieter.

  2. i just watched this... i thought the sequels got better, though i do agree on the eye candy...

    1. I'm pleased to hear that - since I didn't hate the first, I might enjoy the sequels a lot!

  3. just recently I would have go the chance to get a screener of the newest Killjoy installment, but I turned it down because I haven't seen any of the previous three Killjoy-movies. Guess this would be something for PT :)

    1. It could be - though I doubt anyone would call it terrible. Think the worst it might get is "meh."