I want to do a mass-review of Killjoy. Not just the 2000 slasher flick, though, no -- I want to review ALL FOUR, all at once. Isn’t that exciting?
So, for those who have never heard of it (you probably haven’t), the Killjoy series of films by Full Moon Entertainment that started in ye olde Y2K. They feature a clown hitman from hell known mostly (but not only) as Killjoy. They vary vastly in quality and consistency, but as a general rule, they are pretty fun.
So, allow me to start with the first film:
The first movie is okay. It features a very basic storyline with a young boy that gets spurned by his prospective lover and accidentally shot by her gangbanger boyfriend. Right before that, however, he uses some black magic (dum dum dummmm) to bring a little doll to life, one that he dubs “Killjoy”.
The movie picks up with the performance of Angel Vargas, who plays the eponymous clown character and arrives one year later in the film’s chronology. He is sinister and playful, with a decent evil laugh and a hammy attitude that is definitely enjoyable for a villain. He also breaks the mould a bit – Killjoy mocks and taunts his thuggish victims by using a lot of cursing and urban language, which comes off as wonderfully eccentric among his basically clownish and silly persona. I refer to this Killjoy as the “silly” Killjoy, and he most often dances about and rubs his palms together, paving the way for what would eventually turn into a very fun character.
This flick has a girl protagonist, some side characters, and a creepy old wizard guy who seems to know a thing or two about a thing or two. Many things occur, with the protagonists trying to find ways to end him and his teasing, reality-warping murders (which are seemingly functional only in his realm, which takes the form of an ice cream truck). They sort-of succeed after trying a lot of stuff that doesn’t work (including trying to take him at his word, which is disastrous), exiting his “realm” and seeming to escape. Spoiler alert, he’s fine and continues to give the protagonist nightmares even after he’s killed his fill. The story of this movie is referenced by every consecutive film, so it’s pretty important that you see it if you’re going to watch the others. It’s low-quality and campy, with shabby acting and a weak plot – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.
For those with an eye out, it contains side-boob with one nipple, giving it a Nudity Rating of 2.
Killjoy 2: Deliverance from Evil (2002)
This movie is… a little bit different. It follows a basic slasher-flick plotline, with a bunch of convicted cons being dragged into the woods for a camping trip by a couple of cops, or… whatever they were. This was the least entertaining of the four films, despite being the introduction of Trent Haaga taking on the role of Killjoy.
This part is important. It heralds a distinct change in Killjoy’s makeup, giving him more sinister red lips and red, wing-like streaks across each eye, as opposed to Angel Vargas’s pink and green semi-ovals. In this movie, Trent Haaga doesn’t seem like he has not fully nestled himself in the role – his speaking voice is deep and gloriously sinister, but his evil laugh lacks conviction. He is hammy, but not perfectly so, and does an absurd amount of evil hand-rubbing.
Killjoy 2 is not referenced in any of the other films, and pretty much seems to have never happened. I am glad for this: it’s the only one of these movies that doesn’t really seem to fit. He doesn’t need a realm to use his powers, and after killing almost everyone he was after, he was casually “killed” by a splash of holy water that completely melts his face. He doesn’t come back, he doesn’t get a creepy stinger after the credits showing his likely return – nothing. However… hope is not lost.
Despite having a sex scene, this is skipped over and this film has no nudity besides some muscular arms in a tank-top, which I am pretty sure do not count. Nudity Rating of 1.
Killjoy 3 (2010)
Eight years pass.
Trent Haaga returns as Killjoy with a whole-new attitude. He’s ditched his bright, satiny costume for some black-and-red threads, his overly-gigantic hair has slimmed down and is now perfect for concealing the demonic horns we never knew he had. His laugh has improved, and so has his acting, and his heavy, hideous makeup has been swapped for some creepy facepaint, turning this incarnation of Killjoy into one of my very favorite killer clowns.
This time-skip also shows a mixed-race cast as opposed to the all-black casting of the first two films, a vast improvement in film and sound quality, and basically the quality of everything. It seems to have a basic premise, an old man summoning Killjoy to wreak havoc and slapping him in a magic mirror to be delivered to some pesky teenagers, who, as everyone knows, are at the bottom of the monster food pyramid.
We also get to enjoy Killjoy’s three clownish lieutenants: Punchy, a demonic behemoth who takes the form of a gigantic hobo clown; Freakshow, a truly disturbing demonic asian mime with a creepy little conjoined twin/dollbaby thing; and Batty Boop, a succubus with an annoyingly endearing baby talk accent who is Killjoy’s “girlfriend” and wears only body paint (yeah).
The plot is basic, showing some basic kids getting killed in increasingly creative and enjoyable reality-warping ways as soon as they enter the mirror, which is Killjoy’s realm in this movie (however, he does seem to have some power outside of it, as the kids are unable to leave the house the mirror is in). All of his lieutenants get a chance to have fun, with Punchy getting a boxing match with Zilla (the resident Big Guy in the teenager team), Batty seduces the main man-guy, and Freakshow just… just terrifies everyone with his horrifying eyes and creepier baby-buddy (seriously, this guy scares me, can you tell?).
When Michael (from the first movie)’s dad shows up, revealing that it was he that summoned Killjoy for the purpose of getting revenge on him, things twist a little bit. Now he and the surviving kids jump into the mirror and try to stop Killjoy there, using any and all methods – by turning his lieutenants against him, to using his true names (of which he has 53) against him, to using the souls of his victims against him, to using good ol’ fashioned protagonist power.
Spoiler alert: None of those things work. When his henchmen turn, he kills them. True names are irrelevant (unless you actually have power of them, see Killjoy 4), and it’s revealed that all of his victims become a part of him, as he absorbs their souls (you see a bit of this at the end of the first film, but it’s vague, he just says “dinner time” to Michael after the entire affair ends). Oh, and protagonist power means nothing.
With just about everyone dead, including the old man, it is revealed that one thing seemingly annoys him enough to temporarily defeat him – laughter. Zilla and Sandie figure this out at the last second, and while Zilla still doesn’t make it, Sandie does. Killjoy is defeated and the mirror disappears, but Sandie is left with an eternal case of psychotic giggles. Whoops.
This flick is by far better than the first and second flicks combined. Trent Haaga’s performance is fantastic and memorable, bringing back to old slang from the first flick to seem eerily modernized with lines like “I’m f***ing Killjoy, I don’t need an excuse!”
This film gets a Nudity Rating of 3 – Batty Boop is a regular character and appears only in body paint throughout the entire film. Add on the fact that those with fetishes for body paint or clowns (cough cough) will get a little something extra, and she provides enough fanservice for the movie.
Killjoy Goes to Hell (2012)
The best film yet – this movie has decided to vote yay for consistency! Trent Haaga returns in his latest, most sinister incarnation, along with, well, EVERYONE ELSE that’s still alive! Batty Boop, Freakshow (sans little baby buddy – he gets a robotic replacement) and Punchy are all back and taking their parts in Hell.
This one features Killjoy standing trial in Hell for incompetent softness, specifically for letting a survivor escape in Killjoy 3 (this seems like a hard attempt to ignore the second film, as he lets two people escape in that one. In the first movie some people live, but they weren’t his targets).
He is stripped of his powers (and a lot of his names) and forced to take part in an infernal court. A deep-voiced, bearded Beelzebub stands as the judge, and the annoying little pimple of a barely-demonic mortal named Skid is his defending attorney against his scantily-clad ex-girlfriend, Jezebeth, who is working against him.
Everyone’s performances are as good as can be expected for a movie with such a low budget. Even the special effects are decent, and some people who were only alright in the third movie (like Batty and Freakshow) have greatly improved by the fourth film, along with much larger parts. Killjoy Goes to Hell perfectly blends comedy with an enjoyable plotline and some distinctly eerie scenes (again, Freakshow, with a surprising show of scariness from Batty). Writing and dialogue are all terrific, and even Sadie, the giggling survivor from the last film, shows up. This is my favorite of the four movies and has solidly cemented the series as a favorite of mine. Yeah – I consider myself a Killjoy fan.
The movie is satisfying from start to finish. If you are a fan of a little camp, comedy, and evil clowns in general, this is the holy grail.
This film has a Nudity Rating of 4 – Batty is back and as naked as ever. Add to that some burly, bare-chested fellas for those who are into that, a DA (Devil’s Advocate, apparently) in a dress that is as indecent as a dress can be, and another demon girl dressed in red paint who appears towards the end, and you have a film with plenty of skin.
This concludes my review for the Killjoy series, and I’m hoping for more to come! Please go check out the films (might wanna skip the second, unless you are into completion like me), and let me know what you thought!
“I’m Killjoy! I’m guilty as hell!”