Horror 365 Movie 356: Full Moon Friday, Killjoy

Originally, I was gonna watch and review Bride Of Head Of The Family. Instead, I thought maybe I should focus on another movie from another Full Moon franchise. I mean, I’ve talked about Puppet Master as well as a few movies connected to the Demonic Toys series. I’ve even mentioned Evil Bong and Gingerdead Man.

It was in this spirit that I thought “Okay, let’s give Killjoy a shot.” Where do I even start? I mean, credit where it’s due. It’s tough to create a movie so awful even I can’t appreciate it. In that sense, Killjoy is kind of a towering achievement.

But damn.

The basic setup is this: Michael is a kinda nerdy lad who has a crush on Jada. They’re kinda friends, but Jada is involved with local gangbanger Lorenzo. In the first scene, Lorenzo and two of his thugs roll up on Michael talking to Jada and her friend Monique. Lorenzo’s enforcer, T-bone, curb stomps Michael, and everyone drives away. Later, Michael performs a black magic ritual to bring his clown doll Killjoy to life.

Shortly after that, Lorenzo and his merry lads rough Michael up some more. Lorenzo then points a gun at him and pulls the trigger. Click. Just tryin’ to scare Michael it turns out. Ha ha. What a card. When he pulls the trigger again, oopsie, turns out the gun weren’t unloaded after all. Oh well. These things happen.

The seasons change. Time passes. A year goes by. Jada has broken up with Lorenzo and is involved with Jamal. There’s a gratuitous sex scene intercut with Lorenzo hangin’ out with his buds gettin’ high. Lorenzo leaves for a hookup, and his buddies go to hit up a nearby ice cream truck. The ice cream guy offers them drugs, and when they enter the truck, they’re transported to Killjoy’s world.

Our super camped up homicidal demon clown Killjoy is wwwaaayyy overplayed by Angel Vargas. Imagine combining Pennywise, Freddy Krueger, and Beetlejuice, but somehow making that combination come across as a cheap, irritating knockoff. The one-liners fall flat, the gags are stupid, and the outfit looks like something you’d find on November 1 at Spirit Halloween. And he’s the most interesting part of the movie.

Now, Killjoy does have its supporters. Eric Cotenas over at DVDbeaver suggests that it “could even be interpreted as a response to the Candyman series with black characters confronting an urban legend without the need of a white audience identification figure.” He also mentions that “It’s watchable and interesting enough,” but I’m just not seein’ it.

I can understand the point, but it’s not enough to elevate Killjoy from the cinematic muck it ends up getting stuck in. Despite the efforts of a black writer (Carl Washington) and director (Craig Ross), Killjoy never manages to hit those exploitational notes of, say, Rudy Ray Moore and D’Urville Martin with the Dolemite movies.

Some of the mire weighing Killjoy down includes some of The. Worst. CGI. Ever (even allowing for it being made in 2000 on a $150,000 budget). The plot has serious inconsistencies and is, at best, formulaic. Add to that a distinct lack of blood for an R rating, and some flat, emotionless acting so stiff it would make a wood nymph feel right at home. And how in the hell is Lorenzo able to point a revolver at Killjoy and fire 21 shots nonstop? Yes, 21. I counted.

Just shoot me.

I was texting My Favorite Colleague throughout all this. At one point she asked “Why do you keep watching if it’s so bad?” Well, it’s a professional obligation. Sometimes I watch these things so you don’t have to. Plus, I rarely bail on a movie. I can only think of a couple times I’ve done that, and they weren’t horror movies. Still, she raises a fair point.

The things I do for yinz folks.

 SKULLS- 2
 BODIES- 4 onscreen
 Streaming- Full Moon, Tubi
 Rent- Prime

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