Director: Tammi Sutton
Year of release: 2002
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 77-80 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: DVD only
Tagline: "He's Back...For Seconds"!
Also known as: Killjoy 2: Deliverance from Evil
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: Taking a different approach to that of its predecessor which was set in the city this one takes the action into more familiar backwoods slasher territory.
The story focuses on a group of five young delinquents all of whom are in trouble with the law for one reason or another. Now as part of their rehabilitation the five are all assigned to a community service program to restore a building out in the country side. Accompanied by two authority figures the group head out to the worksite only to be left stranded in terrain after their mini bus breaks down on route.
Acting brash and cocky one of the males winds up getting shot by a local red neck which prompts the others to seek the help of a witch doctor type woman they find living out in the woods. With talk of voodoo and magic now going around the kids get to talking about the Killjoy legend with a couple of them later trying to conjure up the demonic clown for themselves. This of course proves to be a bad idea with Killjoy hellbent on killing everyone he can lay his hands on.
Good points: *Killjoy himself makes for an interesting sight and I think his character is the standout thing of the franchise as a whole (as you’d expect I guess seeing that it’s all named after him). Though he doesn’t look particularly scary or disconcerting in the same way as say Art the Clown from Terrifier he still looks half way decent with some effort having been made with the costume and in particular the make-up. The outfit is colourful and clown-like enough to do the job while the Sideshow Bob like hairdo raises a smile. The pointed teeth are a nice touch and do look a little menacing in fairness reminding me a bit of Pennywise/IT.
This time there is a new actor taking over the mantle of Killjoy in the form of Trent Haaga and I think he does a great job. It’s probably later in the franchise that he really comes into his own but it all starts here and for me at least he’s an upgrade on what we had in the original.
*In comparison to some of the other films in the franchise I enjoyed the story in this second film the most. This one cuts out some of the more wacky or supernatural aspects which I sometimes didn’t feel worked very well to deliver a more standard slasher type adventure. Though it’s more cliché and typical with kids getting stranded in isolated woods it still works and it’s perhaps because of this familiarity that I got more of a kick out of it. Despite being predictable the story was more engaging to me than it was in the others and it did a better job of holding my interest.
Next to the dire original I’d say the script is better here, not quite as lame as it was first time out and the acting is also of a slightly better standard which makes for a more watchable film.
*Mild spoilers: After taking a while to heat up and properly get started the kills were mostly fun when they came along. One or two were inventive too with a good amount of blood splashed around.
I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t end up getting more deaths though as the final body count winds up being a low one. On top of this I was hopeful of seeing more of the attack and aftermath when it came to the victim of the false teeth attack.
This said though the rest of the kills were acceptable visually with the highlight being a murder involving a water pump. Taking into account the rumoured budget of around $30,000 the melting face special effects seen towards the end were also fairly impressive.
*The R&B song playing over the title screen of the DVD and then again during the ending credits was very much to my liking. It was fun light hearted stuff and though only playing when the film had essentially finished it didn’t enhance things by much it still warrants a mention.
Bad Points: *The first half or so of the movie is slow paced and light on action with most of the murders not occurring until the mid-way point and beyond. Killjoy himself doesn’t put in an appearance until around this time either. While on one hand this provides more time for the characters to develop as in more dialogue opportunities it also renders the first half a bit ponderous and maybe some would even find it boring.
*There are a couple of things which weren’t explained very well or which didn’t make a lot of sense.
Firstly it wasn’t clear exactly why the two delinquent kids wanted to summon the spirit of Klljoy as the story told about the demon just prior didn’t have a positive outcome for anyone involved. It was evident that he just used the bullied boy from the original to kill rather than help him so it wasn’t logical for the kids here to believe that Killjoy would be wiling to help their injured friend.
Spoiler: Secondly towards the end when the Charlotte character attacks Killjoy throwing the liquid on him which begins to melt his face it wasn’t explained what it was that she threw at him. Earlier on she and a couple of others were seen cutting their hands for a ritual but it didn’t appear as if what she threw was the drippings from that mixed with something else so it was a bit of a mystery. They could have said the witch doctor woman turned the blood into acid which would have solved the issue. I did read online it was supposed to be holy water which would have made sense but I don’t think that was ever mentioned. If it was and I missed it then my apologies.
*For me the film was lacking a proper backable final girl with duties in this area kind of being split between one of the kids Charlotte and a female chaperone/corrections officer. Both failed to make much of an impression with Charlotte actually coming across as a bit of a wimpy cry baby type character. She was by no means as likeable as you would ideally want someone in this position to be.
Verdict: I found this sequel to be an improvement on the original and though that isn’t saying much in itself as it wouldn’t necessarily take much this one appealed to me a lot more story-wise being more of a typical slasher. As with the demonic clowns first outing Killjoy himself is probably the best thing about it and though his appearance has been tweaked and a different actor now installed he remains a fun killer. A couple of the deaths were more than okay as well though they did take a while to arrive after a much slower than normal start.
This isn’t a good film by any stretch but its fun in places and I had a hard time picking out any major negative points which is not something I normally struggle with. Although I never felt it rose above middle of the road mediocre territory it is the film in the franchise which most closely sticks to the slasher conventions without being too zany. As a result it’s probably my favourite of the franchise.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1)Lilly: Shot by Harris.
2)Ray-Ray: Injured by shotgun blast from Lilly and much later on dies from the injuries.
3)Ce-Ce: Killed in outhouse/toilet by a set of Killjoy’s false teeth. We don’t actually see the murder ourselves.
4)Eddie: Impaled on a water pump through the back and head.
5)Nic: Forced to slash his own face with a knife by Killjoy.
6)Kadja Boszo: Throat cut.