• Rev Horror

Killjoy: Killer Clowns From Inner City

Dir. Craig Ross (2000)

Urban story about a vengeful spirit embodied by a ridiculously scary looking clown.

Killjoy is one of those movies you find in a multi-pack. I don't know that I've ever seen it being sold by itself, but it often comes with Puppet Master, or as a trilogy with two of its sequels. I think that's because, if you had bought just the one, it would've been a waste of money, no matter how much you paid.

The movie opens with two women who are talking by a fence when a man named Michael walks up to talk to one of them. He's clearly in love with one of the girls, Jada, who quickly warns him away because her boyfriend is a gangster and is going to kill him if he sees Michael talking to her. Right on cue, her boyfriend, Lorenzo, pulls up and beats the blue hell out of Michael. All of this is being watched by a mysterious homeless man who does absolutely nothing to help. After Jada jumps into Lorenzo's car and speeds away, Michael pulls himself up off of the ground and stares down the homeless man before walking away.

Michael is naturally dejected, so he decides to summon Killjoy, who is represented by a clown doll he has laying around for some reason. He sits in a circle with candles and chants, trying to get Killjoy to kill Lorenzo. He's interrupted by someone who calls to him from outside, insisting that Lorenzo wants to apologize for the events from earlier. After a bit of persuading, Michael goes downstairs and is immediately abducted by Lorenzo and his gang of hoods, because obviously. They're trying to scare him, but, long story short, they accidentally kill him, which unleashes Killjoy on the world, or at least that particular ghetto.

One year later, which is apparently the time frame for a killer voodoo clown doll to gather the strength to hire an otherworldly ice cream truck and seek vengeance, Jada has moved on. The gang that killed him is hanging around and smoking weed, and are lured into Killjoy's ice cream truck, which transports them into an empty warehouse that may or may not be in another dimension. None of this is really explained, it just sort of happens.

Dat contour, tho.

After Killjoy dispatches all of the gangsters, he goes after Jada and her friends. They eventually get rid of Killjoy by performing a ritual to banish him, shockingly suggested by the OG homeless man who wasn't completely useless after all, after which its revealed that, surprise, it didn't work and Killjoy will be around for sequels! I'm not excited by any of this! All of the killing in the first part of the movie leads to a series of seemingly random events that eventually lead us mercifully to the end of the movie. This film had been sitting on my shelf for quite a while, and I wish I had left it there. This is really not a good movie. There was pretty decent production value from the whole thing. We had a little soap opera-style camera work, but all in all, I hope that if I ever make a movie it looks as good as this one. That being said, there was little to no effects, so this was definitely not one for the gorehounds.

Case in point.

It was also interesting that the movie had an all black cast. Generally, African Americans are the first to die in a horror movie, but its weird that there aren't a whole lot of all-black horror films. Hell, the token black guy usually dies first, which kinda throws a wrench into the predictions as to what is going to happen in this movie. However, we're left kinda hoping that they all die at once, because the acting is horrific. (I did, however, absolutely dig the line "Damn, this motherfucker got some big ass feet!") The gore is awful, and the kills all happen either off camera or completely unbelievably on-camera. The only redeeming quality of this film is that it made me believe that I could make a movie that looks good. And it spawned three sequels. Really? Look, I get the "urban horror" thing, and I think we absolutely should get some more African Americans in horror. I think that society as a whole could really benefit from brave, upstanding, black heroes in our horror media. There's gotta be some awesome black actors that can pull off being a believable horror movie hero. But why they gotta be ghetto, though? Urban does not mean ghetto. It apparently means black, or at least that what this movie seems to point to. But it does not necessarily mean ghetto. How are we supposed to be healing racial divides and advancing black and African American culture if we make our heroes look like gangbangers (sorry if that sounded a little white suburbia)? It's present year, for god's sake! I know it would be awesome to say that its a realistic picture of black culture in the inner city, but like... there's a demonic clown that was summoned in the middle of a ritualistic circle that required the death of an innocent to come prowl the ghetto in a possessed ice cream truck. Don't be a stickler for realism. Bottom Line: Movie kinda sucked. The clown was scary looking, though. In a better movie, he could've been a standout presence, maybe even a franchise. Supposedly the sequels are better, so you'll be hearing from me very soon. 1 out of 5 stars.


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