When I read about KILLJOY’S PSYCHO CIRCUS I thought to myself, “Hmmm clowns from outer space? I feel like I’ve seen this before.” However, this was prior to viewing the film.
The back story to the film I found hard to dislike; Killjoy is introduced to us as a self centered steal the show type of clown with some very cheesy, Freddy Krueger type one liners. The premise of the movie was highly ridiculous, in my opinion, but it works. For those who don’t know anything about it, here is the plot description:
Having escaped from hell, psycho clown Killjoy looks for new ways to attract an audience to his failing web talk show, and has to put up with angry co-workers bickering about the production. This grief includes a new sexy sidekick named Batty Boop who is anxious to live up to the reputation of the former Batty. Meanwhile, former demon Beelzebub, who has had his horns stripped by the high council for letting Killjoy go, now travels around in a space ship looking for ways to stop the clown demon and bring his soul back to hell with him.
The first thing that really caught my eye was the costume design. It’s easy to find a clown costume, but it’s excellent and exciting when you put together a unique costume. The costumes prove even more impressive when we are introduced to Killjoys posse of clowns; Batty Boop, Punchy the Clown and Freakshow the Mime. Each of these characters has their own unique design yet sport the same caliber of color as Killjoy himself.
I also found myself especially pleased with the makeup used on the characters. There was a huge amount of detail that went specifically into Killjoy and I can’t describe how much I appreciate that as half-assed make-up really bothers me. Here the make-up was top notch so I never felt disappointed in the production design.
There was a scene where Batty Boop is supposedly about to get down and dirty with a random dude that really made me appreciate the set design. There were horror movie posters and memorabilia all over the wall in the background and I was ecstatic to see that level of detail. The poster that stood out the most to me was one for PUPPET MASTER (1989) which is another famous Charles Band movie.
This scene is especially important to the movie because, although it appears irrelevant, it really starts the story going. Up until this point it was a bit slow going, so it was nice to see things start to chug along again. From here on the plot starts to snowball and I start wondering to myself how awesome this movie could be with a bigger studio budget.
When the plot thickens up and Beelzebub announces to Earth that he is hunting for Killjoy, Killjoy and his homies recognize that it’s time to either nut up or shut up, as Woody Harrelson’s character in ZOMBIELAND would say. During preparation for this we see some of the most ridiculous fire arms that have absolutely insane names to match. There’s also a comment made about a background check before receiving the guns, which was a nice wink towards the current gun control controversy in America.
The climax was completely and utterly insane as we witness a shootout between Killjoy and his posse and laser gun wielding demons summoned by Beelzebub from the depths of hell. All of this is happening while the Psycho Circus fan club has showed up to the studio to rally up to supper Killjoy. There’s also a minor twist involving a backstabbing character proposed to be the “Sixth Psycho” summoned from hell. It’s one of those moments that you just kind of shake your head and say “Okay?”, but it was entertaining regardless.
The fire fight that takes place in outer space was definitely one of my favorite scenes throughout the entire film primarily because it was so, so cheesy. Beelzebub’s space ship had a slight resemblance to the Death Star from the top view which was cool in my book because I am always down to see nods to STAR WARS as I am a huge fan, and this was not the only nod to George Lucas’ cinematic trilogy masterpiece in this movie.
One thing that is particularly annoying while entertaining at the same time was Batty Boop’s ridiculous accent (which even Killjoy comments upon). It’s obvious that it was intentional, though it brought to mind Harley Quinn. At this point I am just about done with that Harley Quinn and her many rip-off characters after the huge media exposure from SUICIDE SQUAD so I was a little annoyed to see it here.
There was a funny sponsor ad for the psycho circus during the course of the movie and it was for “Adam and Eve”, the adult store!! This made me laugh for a few solid seconds. Honestly this movie is chalk full of crude and outlandish comedy which was perfect for me.
Like I had mentioned previously, if this film had a bigger studio budget it would be absolutely insane. Honestly though, this movie doesn’t need a big budget for it to be as effective and entertaining as it was. KILLJOY’S PSYCHO CIRCUS had a nice mix of things that I felt were reminiscent of other campy horror flicks and comedy movies which honestly gave it its own special blend of movie magic. Although there definitely were things that I could poke holes in and I was not a HUGE fan of all the CGI as I am a big supporter of practical effects, I really and truly enjoyed this movie. KILLJOY’S PSYCHO CIRCUS is comparable to anything recent that Troma puts out but I feel the team had a bit more of a budget to work. You don’t even have to be a fan of the horror genre to watch this movie which is something particularly special about it. I definitely recommend taking the opportunity to check this movie out!