KILLJOY 2 (2002)
WRITER: Douglass Snauffer
DIRECTOR: Tammi Sutton
STARRING: Charles Austin as Nic
Olimpia Fernandez as Charlotte
Debbie Rochon as Denise Martinez
Logan Alexander as Harris Redding
Jermaine Cheeseborough as Eddie
Nicole Pulliam as Ce-Ce
Rhonda Claerbaut as Kadja
Choice Skinner as Ray Ray
Trent Haaga as Killjoy
QUICK CUT: The clown prince of Hell is back, eventually, to kill more people, and this time he's doing it in the middle of the woods.
Redding and Martinez - One's a cop, the other...uh...y'know, I'm honestly not sure if they ever made it clear WHAT she is, but she's not a cop. Anyways, both of them are in charge of the kids on their 90 day field trip to fix a place up to rehabilitate them. They're both protective of their charges to a fault, and genuinely want to better their lives. Too bad about that hellclown...
The Kids - This entire lot are pretty much all the same 'angry black kid who got in trouble' trope. The sole difference being to what degree. And Charlotte likes to whine and cry.
Kadja - A voodoo priestess they all just happen to run into in the middle of nowhere. She's a properly good voodoo practitioner, but knows that all magic comes with a price.
Killjoy - The prince of the tricksters, although pretty much every REAL trickster I can think of would give this guy a run for his money. He's just a mischievous evil spirit that likes to kill in kinda clever ways. He doesn't lie, OR tell the truth to be honest. He just makes bad jokes and kills people. He doesn't have elaborate schemes to fool people, he just...kills people. Loki looks at your trickster degree and scoffs, saying you most have gotten it from one of those online universities.
THE GUTS: Two years ago, I reviewed a movie called The Cr...er, Killjoy. About a killer clown summonned from Hell to seek revenge. The movie was amazingly cheesy, but impressed me at first by knocking over some common horror tropes, and also by breezing through its main plot in the first thirty minutes, to then move on to another plot entirely.
After two years, I return to the franchise with the obviously titled Killjoy 2. How will this one compare to the first? Will I be as equally impressed, only to be similarly betrayed by the ending? Let's find out...
We jump right into things with the cops chasing some guy across rooftops and down to the street, and the music is straight out of an 80s action movie. And is probably the best part of the scene, because the dialogue audio is terrible.
The movie gives us a lovely taste of police brutality and planting cocaine on their suspect. Remember this, Nic gets dragged into this movie because he didn't do anything. Well, he probably did SOMEthing but the cops brought him in on their own shit.
And so Nick is dragged kicking and screaming into the plot, and we meet the rest of the cast in a slightly overused movie trope.
Nic is sent off with a group of other lawbreakers, stuffed in a van with two cops trying to rehabilitate them by driving off somewhere into the woods to do something that will be time served or whatever.
Yes, this is basically the exact same setup as Ticks.
Along with Nic, we meet Ce-Ce, Ray Ray, Charlotte, and Eddie. And don't get your hopes up on them getting characterisations. They're all pretty much the same 'tough black person' trope. I am literally writing their names down for my own benefit and reference.
So, officer Harris and Martinez drive the kids off into the woods for 90 days, and Harris warns them, "No clowning around". ...No. You stop that. Stop that right now.
We go through a long drive that would make the Birdemic credits jealous, and then stop to grab a bite to eat and make attempts at witty dialogue.
Which brings us to the 10 minute mark, with no sign of clowns.
If your movie has enough time to stop for bathroom breaks and chit-chat, you are either too long, too boring, or doing something wrong.
Night falls and most of the van's passengers are asleep by the slow pace of the movie. Even the van is fed up and decides to make something happen by breaking down.
Harris goes off in search of help or a cell signal, and takes the guys with him, to keep them from causing any mischief with the women while he's gone. And it's probably not a bad idea to bring along some redshirts in case of bear attacks.
The four of them find a run down shack where no one seems to be home. While Harris isn't looking, Ray Ray does exactly what he was told to not do, and breaks into the shack, finding the owner waiting inside with a shotgun and gets shot in the back.
20 minutes in, and there's been more mayhem wreaked by a redneck hermit with a shotgun than there's been any clowns.
Before the woman can shoot another of the kids, Harris shoots her in the head. He sends the kids off with Ray Ray to try and find help, while he checks the shack over for anything he can use, or a phone. And yes, the cop shot her point blank.
And I just do not buy his whole, "Don't fuck with my kids!" moment of attempted badassery. It feels so hollow because we don't care about the kids, and never get the impression he does.
They hear more gunshots, and we never actually find out what caused them. But they make it back to the van where everyone freaks out over the shot Ray Ray, so Nic takes away Martinez's gun and takes charge.
Buy the DVD now!
And more attempts at making us care by making her be weepy over the possibility that Harris is dead. I don't know how they spend so much time with these characters with almost nothing happening, and we still don't care.
They drag Ray Ray back off into the woods to continue to try and find help., and he is surprisingly resilient for a guy shot in the back and bleeding to death. And the movie takes *another* break to sit around the woods, and make a fire. DO SOMETHING!
After finding yet another cabin in the woods, they sneak up and try to not get shot again, and instead stumble into the voodoo lair of Kadja Boszo. Okay, we can get the plot rolling now, right??
Kadjagoogoo offers her help for Ray Ray, and at least manages to stabilise him. And you know what the movie needs right now? More sitting around! Who do voodoo? She do voodoo!
And over thirty minutes in, SOMEONE at least mentions the name Killjoy. She tells the story of the first movie's general plot. The plot of which it was over and done with while this movie is still waiting for the hellclown to arrive.
Which brings us to the halfway point of the movie, and the only sign of clowns has been a mention of the first movie's plot. They could've at least reused footage.
Nic and Ce-Ce wander off to smoke a joint because the movie is boring them, but he talks her into summoning Killjoy. Because she apparently knows enough voodoo to do that.
Hrrmph. No one tried to summon any hellclowns to keep the original Jason from dying, and instead you got me, the clone replacement.
And rather than just straightforward summon him, she passes out and drags things out even longer. And then they talk about how voodoo isn't real and she didn't summon shit. Get ON with it already.
We cut back to Martinez who is worried about the two wandering off into the woods at night, and Kadja Barsoom comes out to tell her that they summoned Killjoy, "The dark one". Yeah, excuse me, you just called a killer clown dressed in neon who tells worse jokes than Freddy, "The Dark One". I'll be over here laughing.
40 minutes in, still no Killjoy.
And Ce-Ce goes and finds an outhouse. This movie has LITERALLY stopped and had people take a piss THREE TIMES in 40 minutes. There is more going to the bathroom in this movie than there is clowns. This is just *wrong*.
The movie literally has 30 minutes left, and it finally brings its villain into the movie for the very first time. That gives him zero characterisation, and is instead just a force of killing and bad jokes.. We are OVER halfway done, we are in final act territory. This is not how you tell a story. I'm okay with spending some time to get to know the characters, but somehow, this movie takes 40 minutes to sit around and relax, and I don't care at all.
But still, at least he's finally here, so we can maybe salvage these final minutes. ...Or he'll spend two minutes banging on the outhouse going, "Oooh, oooOOoh!"
Finally, the clown prince of taking his sweet time removes his teeth and drops them into the outhouse to kill Ce-Ce. Which we don't see, just get to hear the screams. So, rather than take 40 minutes to get to the big moment and have it be huge, it is instead a whimper. Killjoy 2: Disappointment from Evil.
Eddie goes out back, all alone, to pump out some water to drink, and because the movie needs to kill of its cast quick in the final minutes of the film.
So of course, while we're watching thrilling water pumping action, Killjoy shows up to do his thing. Which seems to be giggling in the woods, so far.
He finds Ce-Ce in the outhouse at least, but then they don't show anything, just have him shout, "OH NO BLOOD!" Prove it. Prove there's blood, damnit!
Eddie rushes back to the pump, where Killjoy shows up and threatens to throw the bucket of water at him, until he finally does. But what is actually in the bucket when he throws it? Just water? Is it a bucket of blood?? Maybe acid?! I would settle for boiling hot, scalding coffee at this point.
NO. THE BUCKET IS FILLED WITH CONFETTI. HE THREW CONFETTI AT A GUY. How to anticlimax, by Killjoy P. Clownberg.
Eddie is just as impressed as I am, so Killjoy uses magical telepathic powers he must have borrowed from Leprechaun 4 to throw the kid on a handy pipe sticking out of the ground. Great, Killjoy showed up 15 minutes late to his own movie with a Bloody Mary.
The remaining cast yells at Nic for summoning a clown demon known for killing people to try and save Ray Ray, so he wanders off after they point out the entire plot makes zero sense.. Because it's his turn to be alone in the movie. And somewhere in all this, Nic makes another "clowning around" joke. STOP. You DID that already. This franchise is only two movies old, and already they've run out of good jokes.
Nic pulls a gun and tries to shoot the clown, and it's a shame I burned through all my Crow jokes in the first movie, because this one scene would burn through a bunch more, from Killjoy shrugging off the bullets like Eric, to telling Nic he missed, and even some fun with knives.
Killjoy again uses his telepathic powers to make Nic play the worst game of, "Why do you keep hitting yourself??" until he's stabbed himself to death.
Back in the voodoo shack, the girls are doing a ritual to protect themselves or something, but Charlotte is being a crybaby about slicing her hand. Come on, you gotta trust Kadjagoogoo! Don't be too shy! Hush, hush! You'll see eye to eye!
Kadja Pryde and Martinez rush off to stop Killjoy, leaving Charlotte behind to probably die. Martinez hides while Killjoy prances around clucking like a chicken. ...The Dark One.
The voodoo priestess finds a spot in the woods to do her ritual thing, and Killjoy shows up to taunt her. And uses his telekinetic powers to make her throat magically slash open with his finger, in a scene that would confuse Drax the Destroyer.
Martinez returns to the voodoo hut, but Killjoy is already there. Charlotte grabs a book that Kadja left to protect them. Possibly the single best scene is watching Killjoy getting bored and telling her to get on with it as she tries to read a banishment spell. Even the villain is fed up with the slowness of his own movie, and he only showed up 15 minutes ago!!
He finally gets bored and tries to choke Charlotte, but that's when Harris returns to the plot after disappearing what feels like an eternity ago. The movie goes to great lengths to make us think he's dead, although they never explain what happened to him to make people think that, beyond "gunshots were heard". And then never explain how he came back. Gee, if only there was a lot of space this movie could have used to flesh out plotlines, instead of just sitting around and going to the bathroom.
The clown makes Harris toss the shotgun away, but before he can cause any further mayhem, Charlotte grabs a random jar and throws it at Killjoy, causing his face to melt.
Well, that's the definition of anti-climax. An anti-climax of an anti-climax. He takes so long to arrive, he finally kills some people, and gets killed by a Dororthy Gale wannabe with no real fight.
So the last three survivors make it to dawn, there's no surprise twist of Not Dead Yet, and they drive off into the sunrise.
Video: Looks decent enough, for this sort of thing.
Audio: I did mock the movie early on for terrible audio, but it's a relief to say that was limited to the opening scene, and everything else is fine.
Sound Bite: "We're going to Locksahatchee Canyon." "Locksafuckee where?!"
Body Count - A respectable amount for a 70 minute movie, even though the killer doesn't show up until the very end.
1 - 22 minutes in, and a redneck in the woods does make a sound when she falls over from a gunshot.
2 - Another 20 minutes later, Killjoy shows up and lets his teeth kill Ce-Ce off camera.
3 - And Ray Ray died while that was happening, doubly off camera.
4 - Eddie gets pumped to death by Killjoy.
5 - Killjoy makes Nic give himself a Joker smile.
6 - Kadja gets a Colombian necktie courtesy of mystical telekinesis.
7 - Finally, Killjoy himself dies after a bad batch of moonshine.
Best Corpse: That award this time goes to Eddie, since we get to see it, and it's pretty creative.
Blood Type - C+: Some decent blood, mostly spewing out of a pump, but then they just don't show anything.
Sex Appeal: Zzzzzz.
Drink Up! Every freaking time someone goes to the bathroom.
Video Nasties: A great clip of Killjoy mocking Charlotte as she tries to banish him with magic she doesn't understand. The mocking is tons of fun, and I just love Charlotte flipping him off, it's such a good reaction.
Movie Review: Gaaaah. In Killjoy's own words; Boring! Boring!! BORING!!! NOTHING happens in this movie, for nearly two thirds of the runtime. I trimmed this movie down a lot from my usual in depth mocking, because it just spins its wheels so much and so slowly. I could've gone even further, to be honest, but I had a few good jokes I wanted to get in. The villain isn't even *mentioned* until the movie is half over, and he doesn't show up until the final act. The first forty minutes of this movie are almost entirely pointless. Some events yes, are needed, but then they did nothing *with* all that time. If they were determined to go this route, they could've at least done a better job of diversifying the characterisations, and making us care about anyone in this movie. But they could have, and should have, done an entire rethink on that first half. Skip busting Nic and framing him for holding drugs. Jump right to the lineup of kids at the van, do the intros, and get to the camp almost immediately. Don't spend lots of time driving around, wandering, going to the bathroom, etc. Have the characters settle in, introduce them, let us spend time at camp, then have things go wrong, and the clown appears when summoned MUCH earlier...oh wait, that's the plot of Ticks. But that structure *worked* and this one just goes nowhere slow. One out of five broken down vans.
Entertainment Value: The first 40 minutes of the movie get a one out of five plastic skulls, because so little happens and you will want to slam that fast forward button so damned hard, if you don't outright stop the movie. Once Killjoy arrives, the entertainment value jumps up A LOT. It's still silly, and there's no real engagement thanks to wasting those first 40 minutes, but there's a renewed energy at least. Trent Haaga is not the same guy who played Killjoy the first time around, and the general fan concensus is that the first guy was better, and I mostly agree. He was more menacing, he was still funny while being threatening, and just a better actor. Trent certainly isn't bad, but I felt he had a better energy about him, and felt more like a clown. If the character wasn't trying to hard to be Freddy in satin and clown shoes, it would be better. But he had very little to work with in very little time. The last 30 minutes at least get to be entertaining, have some fun kills, and great fun from Killjoy as he taunts and teases. The final act gets at least a three out of five magic spellbooks. I might even inch towards a four on a good day. Skip most of the movie, watch the ending. You won't miss a damned thing.