Horror Movie Review: Killjoy (2000)

The first entry in the franchise, Killjoy is a super low budget horror flick directed by Craig Ross and starring Ángel Vargas. It’s a mess of a movie. With a confusing story, bland locations, poor acting and horrible effects.

It begins well enough as we’re introduced to Michael (Jamal Grimes). A young nerdy boy who happens to be in love with a girl named Jada (Vera Yell). She seems to like him too so what’s the problem? Well, Jada happens to be currently involved with a gangster named Lorenzo (William L. Johnson).

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When Lorenzo sees Michael getting close to Jada, he and his gang beat the lad up and warn him off. Hurt and humiliated, Michael tries to summon a spirit. One named Killjoy using a clown doll but it doesn’t seem to work. Later, he is approached by Lorenzo’s boys who make out like they want to apologise but they end up abducting him and take him into the woods. There, Lorenzo tries to scare Michael off from ever talking to Jada again using a gun but it accidentally goes off killing the boy.

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A strong start even if some of the acting is suspect.

The movie jumps to a year later where we’re reintroduced to Jada and Lorenzo who have gone their separate ways but picked up new partners. Jada seems happy and settled but Lorenzo is the same gangster-douche he was the year before. We get a really long scene of ‘banter’ between the trio before Lorenzo leaves and the other two hear the sound of an ice-cream truck.

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High as hell, they rush off to get some sweet treats but actually discover that it’s just a front for drugs. At least that’s what the mysterious clown inside says. He invites the pair into the truck to show them. Once inside they are introduced to Killjoy and his domain. It seems as though Michael’s attempt the year before was successful. Now Killjoy is here to get revenge on all those who wronged the boy. However, the demonic clown is less specific about who he wants to kill. So everyone, including Jada find themselves fighting for their lives.

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Killjoy is a really tough watch. It’s not just because it’s super low budget but rather how little effort was put in to try and make the money go further. Set almost completely in ugly and bland warehouses, the money certainly didn’t go on locations. Nor did it go on effects, which range from passable to laughably bad. Such as the ‘gunshot wounds’ or makeup on one character who has been burned.

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The money certainly didn’t go on the cast, a veritable list of nobodies and few put the effort in to make this an entertaining watch. A real mistake as there is a surprisingly large amount of time spent with characters sitting and talking.

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No, the money went on Killjoy, the actual clown. Ángel Vargas is the bright spark of the movie, working hard to make the killer clown evil and threatening but goofy. He does his best but it’s still not going to rank up there as the best clown performance in horror. That aside though, the makeup is great. Whereas they didn’t bother elsewhere in the movies, with Killjoy they went for it and he really looks great.

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That alone doesn’t make it worth watching though as overall, it’s a pretty terrible movie. The plot is so contrived and muddled that even if you care, it isn’t exactly clear just how and why Killjoy even exists. Of course, this is just the start of the franchise though so maybe things get better in future sequels?

  • The Final Score - 3.5/10
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