Killjoy (2000)

Resident nerd Michael (Jamal Grimes) is beaten up for flirting with resident thug Lorenzo’s (William L. Johnson) girl Jada (Vera Yell), then runs home to do what anyone in that situation would do: invoke a demonic clown. Is there any good reason why he knows how to do this? Or is this the new hip thing for kids to do nowadays? He does it so matter-of-factly, like he’s going to the fridge to get a sandwich.

Anyway, the conjuring doesn’t appear to work, and Mike is later killed by the thugs. Fast-forward a year, and the killer clown suddenly appears to wreak havoc. Why does it take a year? Is that how long it takes to write a bad script? He lures his victims into his magical ice cream truck, which is remarkably spacious — containing what appears to be an abandoned warehouse. In a genre that values bad guy character design, Killjoy (Angel Vargas) is an interesting killer — slim and effeminate, charismatic and jokey, with a cackle like the Cryptkeeper — sort of like a satanic Michael Jackson. Still, he’d be more imposing if his fake teeth didn’t give him a teenager’s retainer-like lisp.

As for the acting, it’s above-average for a film of this size and ilk (except for the stiff male lead, Jamal), particularly Vargas, whose previous claim to fame had been playing Tito in The Jacksons: An American Dream. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about Killjoy, though, is that it knows when to quit. Clocking it at barely 70 minutes long, it manages to get in and out before you realize how bad it is.

“Let’s see, if I were a demonic clown, where would I hide…?”
“You’re not bad! I’m bad!”
God had a surprise for Tupac.
Tayquan was surprised at how long the all-day lipstick lasted.

What do you think?