Killer Clown (2012)
“All bad clowns go to hell!”
Director: John Lechago
Cast: Trent Haaga, Victoria De Mare, Al Burke
Synopsis: Killjoy is back in the fourth installment of the demonic clown series. This time Killjoy is being accused of not being evil, since he let one of his victims get away.
It turns out that Killer Clown is actually the fourth instalment of Full Moon’s little-known Killjoy franchise (it’s original US release title is Killjoy Goes to Hell) which perhaps makes reviewing it before having seen any of the preceding movies a little unfair, even though it can be viewed as a stand-alone movie despite the fact that writer-director John Lechago clearly assumes anyone watching has some prior knowledge of the characters. To be honest, though, after watching this episode, it’s unlikely I’ll be seeking out any of the other movies in the series any time soon. In fact, it’s difficult to understand how anyone can make a movie about satanic clowns so tedious, but Lechago somehow manages to pull it off. Having said that, this is a movie from Charles Band, the movie industry’s equivalent of a stack ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap used car salesman.
The plot has Killjoy (Trent Haaga), a demonic clown, being summoned to hell to face charges of being incompetent, inadequate and just plain not evil enough. At his trial, presided over by no less than a Beelzebub (Stephen F. Cardwell) who looks not unlike popular 1980s Country & Western superstar Kenny Rogers, Killjoy dismisses his clueless defence attorney, Skid Mark (John Karyus), a novice demon who was once human, to conduct his own defence. Feeling he requires a little help in his corner, he summons the help of his old cohorts Punchy (Al Burke), Freakshow (Tai Chan Ngo) and ex-girlfriend Batty Boop (Victoria De Mare). Meanwhile, back on earth, an investigation into the deaths of characters from the previous movie is undertaken by a cop with the help of a doctor who is treating sole survivor Sandie (Jessica Whittaker), who believes that only perpetual laughter will protect her from Killjoy and his mates.
As far as storyline and characterisation go, Killer Clown is a complete zero. Only in the final fifteen minutes, when the characters from both plot strands finally come together, does the movie generate any interest. Too often, Killer Clown confines itself to a series of shots of talking heads spouting sub-standard dialogue. Where the movie does score, however, is in the make-up of Killjoy and his sidekicks. Clowns were never scarier, and the fact that they’re based on recognisable clown stereotypes makes them all the more interesting. Lechago definitely has some imaginative ideas about these clowns and the world in which they operate — and the special effects are actually quite reasonable considering the budget — but he just doesn’t seem to have the ability to devise a convincing story around these fascinating creations.