Title: Killjoy 3
Directed by: John Lechago
Starring: Trent Haaga, Victoria De Mare and Al Burke
The appeal of horror movies to many fans is that they provide an adrenaline rush of terror from things people fear. With the help of the 1990 mini-series ‘It,’ based on the successful Stephen King novel, clowns have reached the top of the list of things people dread, based on their ease of getting joy of playing tricks on others. B-movie production company Full Moon Features hopes to further capitalize on people’s panic of clowns with its newest straight-to-DVD film ‘Killjoy 3.’ But with its light-hearted, comedic take on the insane killer clown genre made famous by ‘It,’ and its shortage of developed plot points, ‘Killjoy 3’ failed to become the next demon clown classic.
‘Killjoy 3,’ the second sequel to the 2000 cult classic slasher film ‘Killjoy,’ follows a group of four college students-Sandy (played by Jessica Whitaker); her boyfriend, Rojer (portrayed by Michael Rupnow); his football teammate Zilla (played by Spiral Jackson); and Sandy’s friend Erica (portrayed by Olivia Dawn York)- who give up going away during their spring break to housesit for their professor (played by Darrow Igus). The night before the professor is due to come back, a mysterious mirror is left on his doorstep, which Rojer brings into the house.
Unbeknown to the students, the professor tried to raise the demon clown Killjoy (portrayed by Trent Haaga) before he left to use him to get his revenge. But since the professor didn’t give Killjoy the name of his intended victim before he left town, the demon starts to pull his students through the mirror to lure him out of hiding. The professor and his students must now fight and defeat Killjoy and his three clown followers, Punch, Freakshow and Batty Boop, in order to survive.
While Killjoy isn’t nearly as terrifying as Pennywise the Dancing Clown from ‘It,’ the latest film in the Full Moon Features trilogy does succeed at bringing some laughs back to the usually overlooked comedic horror sub-genre. While Killjoy’s goal is to get the professor to give him the name of his intended victim and finds joy in terrorizing the students, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. A prime example of this is when Sandy tries to seduce and use him just to make Batty Boop jealous, but he doesn’t seem to mind that Batty Boop falls for Sandy’s trick. He just views Sandy as another easy target he can conquer.
Even though Killjoy and the rest of the characters do add some comedic relief to the terrifying world of demons and killer clowns, their jokes can’t entirely save director-writer John Lechago’s otherwise underdeveloped plot. The script doesn’t hold any true major conflict; throughout the entire film, which runs for just a mere 76 minutes, the students and the professor are just shown trying to get away from Killjoy.
To make the movie more interesting, Lechago should have included more of the professor’s back-story and why he summoned the demon clown in the first place. The actors don’t even seem committed to their roles, as they don’t have much material to work with. What made Pennywise the Dancing Clown so great was that ‘It’ screenwriters Lawrence Cohen and Tommy Lee Wallace had him prey on his victims’ fears and lives.
Overall, Lechago achieved his goal of creating the latest entry in a fan favorite, independent horror franchise with B-movie undertones. ‘Killjoy 3’ is not only a slasher exploitation film that also relies on sexual innuendos to sell its underdeveloped plot, but it also draws on one of people’s biggest fears, clowns, to attract an audience. While certainly not the best comedic horror film ever made, ‘Killjoy 3’ will pave the way for Lechago to continue his love of making terrifying movies and for Full Moon Features to create another Killjoy sequel.
Written by: Karen Benardello