Killjoy 2 (2002)

Killjoy was not what people in the industry would refer to as, um, “good,” but Angel Vargas’s performance as the killer clown was one of the few bright spots. Imagine my dismay, then, when the sequel came out featuring Trent Haaga as KJ. Watching it, I was further miffed to find that Haaga is a white guy. Now, I have nothing against white clowns — some of my best friends are white clowns — but if I’m not mistaken, Killjoy is supposed to be black. At least, that would explain the mega-‘fro. What in the name of Al Jolson is going on here?

It might not have been so distressing if Haaga had made a better villain than Vargas, but while Haaga is more ominous, he lacks the playful giddiness and straight-up bitchiness that made Vargas’s performance so effective. The movie itself looks better than the first — basically, a better digital video camera — and features a story that’s a bit more involving: a group of juvenile delinquents (so of course they’re largely black) is being transported to the countryside to do some sort of outdoorsy work (pickin’ cotton?) when their van breaks down, one of them gets shot (as delinquents are apt to do) and yadda yadda yadda Killjoy is summoned. OK, so the story’s not that interesting.

I don’t know if the director was going for the whole “natural lighting” thing or what, but the movie’s so dark, you can hardly even make out the kills…which frankly aren’t worth making out anyway. And that includes Killjoy’s own death, which must be the easiest, most wussified end of any bad guy in horror history. Damn, how does this guy kill anybody if he’s so easy to do away with? What a clown.

Killjoy 2 signaled the start of a whitewashing trend in this franchise that would see each successive film feature less and less of a black presence (and more and more corny attempts at humor that fall flat). Clown gentrification: write your congressman about it today.

There’s a horrific scene in there somewhere.
Harold never mastered the art of flipping the bird.
“Neck wounds tickle!”
“Last year, I was doing Shakespeare in the Park.”


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