Killjoy’s Revenge (2010)

Mania Banner Killjoy [alt]

Directed by John Lechago

Synopsis
Our story begins with an older, unnamed Professor hiring an occultist-hermit type to raise Killjoy. The occultist-hermit cuts the professor’s hands, stating, “The beast requires flesh to become flesh. Your blood will be his price.” Killjoy appears, and cuts the guy’s hands even more, barking, “I need more… I need a posse!” using the blood to birth a trio of minions — Punchy the Carny-speaking hobo clown, Freakshow the mime and Batty Boop the naked, body-painted succubus. While Killjoy’s back is turned, the Professor slinks away without naming a victim, forcing the demon clowns to retreat back to Hell.

Cut to the Professor’s house. Police have broken up a rauceous party house-sitter Sandie threw for half her college. The next morning, boyfriend Rojer steps out to fetch the paper and finds a big sack on the porch. When Sandie and Rojer’s best friends Zilla and Erica stop by later, curiosity gets the better of them. They open it. My god, there’s an old-timey mirror inside! Feeling free to decorate a house that’s not theirs, they hang it up on the wall.

What they don’t know is: whoever gazes into the mirror will be whisked away to Killjoy’s nightmare realm. Zilla gets sucked in first, and boxed around like a chump by the brawny Punchy. Luckily, Big Zil’s friends are able to snap him out of his near-deadly hallucination before it’s too late.

Our heroes attempt to run, but a force field surrounding the house now blocks their exit. Calls for help prove to be useless too, rerouting to an evil-sounding voice. As Rojer puts it, “Something weird is happening.” Nah, dude. Ya think?

Later that night, curious Erica steals a glance at the mirror and gets pulled in too. When the Professor whose house it is finally returns home (apparently, people can enter, they just can’t leave), our heroes come to realize Erica’s missing, presumably trapped in the mirror. Can they make the save, and banish this baleful bozo once and for all?

Killjoy III 2

Review (SPOILERS)
First off, kudos to writer/director Lechago for incorporating all these different clowns and clown-related plot devices. As mentioned above, Killjoy is flanked by a hobo clown, a mime and a female clown. Then, you’ve got these ingenious touches, like a plan our characters come up with to laugh at Killjoy, thinking maybe, just maybe, it’ll do him in, or at least weaken him (a clown’s goal is to make people laugh after all, and Killjoy is the inverse of a normal clown, so hey, it’s sound logic). When you think about it, the first two entries never really addressed or played up the fact that Killjoy was a clown. He just as easily could have been a cowboy, a mortgage broker, a bear. Anything. Here, Lechago really runs with the clown motif. I love it. Mad props to this guy for his clever take on the fairly-underexplored material he was given to work with.

As far as the timeline goes, Zilla mentions this film takes place a decade after the first. Now, Part Deux: Deliverance From Evil, took place an indeterminate amount of time after the first, though probably not more than ten years. As you’ll recall, a teenage character claimed to have heard of the first film’s events “as a kid”. So that checks out. I think.

What’s great is the way our fanged, frizzy-haired fiend has gone back to suckering victims into his nightmarish realm for killin’, instead of menacing more random woodlands. In fact, this one goes the extra step, retroactively justifying (there’s a word for that — retconning) why Killjoy was able to murder outside of his own little world last time, albeit in passing. “Why can’t I just go in there and kill them?” Batty Boop inquires. Then, with a pelvic thrust, “Booyah!”

“Because, if they die in there, we don’t get to collect their souls.” Killjoy clarifies. “They’ve got to come to me.” Ok, so in case you weren’t clear, KJ can fuck up whoever he damn well pleases, anytime, anywhere that he wants to — it’s just that he really prefers to go about said fucking up in his own realm where he’s able to harvest their sweet, sweet human souls. Seems supernatural villains are always obsessed with those.

Not only is there a good story packed with cool concepts that mostly makes sense to boot, but yer end result looks way better visually than both of the previous films — tighter, slicker, more colorful, with more sets and props and just more of a big-budget feel.

As far as effects go, they’re mostly digital. Now, if you’ve been here before, you probably know that I generally dislike digital effects, but I’ve gotta say, Killjoy 3‘s are pretty seamless and well-done. One character’s head is bashed off with a giant novelty mallet. Another is squished like a bug. And it looks… pretty good. Shocker.

Trent Haaga returns as the titular boogeyman. Thankfully, he’s given a lot more to work with this time. His dialogue, costuming, heck, every imaginable variable is better, allowing him to shine, molding this character from a pitiful mess into one of the more iconic horror villains of recent years, in my humble opinion.

Less is more, as they say. The same could be said for Killjoy’s outfit this go-around, which is less of a noisy eyesore than in Parts 1 and 2. Dark green pants, a black long-sleeve shirt, black gloves and a dark red vest. I can finally take him seriously. Well, not exactly seriously. Killjoy is still hella goofy, but cool goofy.

Killjoy III 1

Yessiree, Killjoy 3 is well-made for a change. At the same time, it’s also a tongue-in-cheek romp that’s fully aware of itself as a campy horror sequel — and, to that end, it works, and it’s funny — which is more than anyone could (or should) say for the awful Part 2. There’s physical humor, like fart jokes and pies to the face (again, in keeping that clown motif going), cheap satire (look for an obvious Rocky riff during the boxing scene), as well as some genuinely funny dialogue.

In short, it’s a blast! A huge, huge improvement.

Note: the number of black actors has dropped even further to two (well, three including a bit part at the end that serves to tie the series together), opposed to the all-black-but-one-actor cast in Part 1 and the all-black-but-two-actors cast in Part 2. I think it’s safe to say Full Moon has abandoned its original vision for this series.

Killjoy III 3

Easter eggs: If you’ve ever seen a Full Moon film, you’ll know they plug themselves whenever possible. Early on, if you listen closely during the party, you’ll hear the “Run, Run, Run” theme from Gingerdead Man 2. Later, Sandie and friends watch Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge.

A Few Questions
Why was there already a nail in the wall on which to conveniently hang the mirror?

The Verdict
Buy it and watch it.

Recommendations
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

KilljoyMania Doink the Clown Rating: Five Doinks
Doink Scale 5

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