Director: Craig Ross Jr. (2000)
Starring: Angel Vargas, Vera Yell, Lee Marks
Find it: IMDB
After years of seeing Killjoy bothering the shelves of my local Poundland and 99p Store outlets, I finally chanced my arm and picked the bastard up, in the form of HMV's exclusive (although you can less-than-exclusively buy it on Amazon) 4 film set containing the movie and its sequel. With the set costing me £6.99, that equates to roughly £1.75 per film. That's a bargain by anyone's maths, right? Right? Um, guys?
Watching the title credits roll, there's that familiar feeling of watching a no-budget nightmare unfold before your very eyes. There's the dodgy music, the even dodgier, apparently thrown-together credits, and the very dodgiest grime of a camera lens that you could probably buy on eBay these days for less than a tenner. Everything about Killjoy screams 'we have no money'. That said, early episodes of The Wire and Oz also happen to have the same sheen of penniless-ness about them, so you shouldn't disregard these things entirely. I should have guessed from the DVD case that looks like a 90s era video game. And, to be fair to director Craig Ross Jr. and the folks at Full Moon, Killjoy looks pretty great. If the entirety of their budget went on that Killjoy get-up, one has to commend them for being wise with their pennies.
Everything else makes me think I was overcharged for this £6.99 box set. While there's nothing out-and-out terrible here, we do spend the entirety of our time following around a gang of, well, gangbangers who make the criminals of The Wire look like upstanding members of the community by comparison (although one of them was Idris Elba,so maybe that's a tad unfair). When they murder a poor nerd obsessed with a girlfriend, so demon clown Killjoy (a superb Vargas) comes to claim revenge on his behalf. Alas, with all the money spent on the make-up, this vengeance amounts to little more than an ice cream van, warehouse, some cardboard boxes and a bit of green CGI. There's death for everyone, but none that you'll actually remember. Somehow, though, it managed not just one but three sequels. If the law of diminishing returns applies here, poor Killjoy is fucked.
While not as bad as its 99 pence reputation might suggest, it's hard to recommend Killjoy for much beyond an entertaining bad guy performance and its entirely black cast (wasted on such nonsense). If nothing else, it's proof that non-white people can have awful horror movies too.
Next: Killjoy 2.