“Welcome my friends to the show that never ends!” Ever since John Lechago took over the helm as director of Full Moon’s Killjoy franchise, the films have taken on a fast, funny, and frenetic pace… but more importantly, they’ve become highly entertaining. For anyone familiar with the series, I assume that I’m not alone when I say the first couple of entries failed to impress. Believe me, I really wanted to like them. Hell, I even bought the Killjoy doll (although I prefer to call it an action figure) because of my undying devotion to Charles Band and his films. However, It wasn’t until Killjoy 3 came out that I genuinely felt intrigued and enthusiastic about the franchise’s titular character. That has a lot to do with Trent Haaga’s over-the-top portrayal of the killer clown. It’s also very difficult not to fall in love with his oddball posse of sidekicks; Punchy, Freakshow, and Batty Boop which have been featured more prominently in these last three movies.
This fifth installment is maybe my favorite of the recent offerings. It picks up shortly after the last one, Killjoy Goes To Hell leaves off. In Killjoy’s Psycho Circus, Killjoy is hosting a late-night variety show called, of course, Psycho Circus. Feeling slighted because she wasn’t invited to the wedding of a couple of fellow clowns, Batty has left the troupe as well as the show, causing ratings to slip. In order to remedy this situation, the producer has replaced her with an imposter. The imposter is none other than Luann from the Evil Bong movies, played by Robin Sydney. When the real Batty discovers what’s going on, she returns to the set to set things straight by delivering a little clown justice. She’s also going to be delivering something else which you’ll find out all about in the third act. Incidentally, I have some artwork that appears in this movie. Right after Killjoy interviews actor Trent Haaga, a cartoon drawing shows up on the screen when they go to commercial. I drew that! There’s a couple drawing that show up later as well but that’s enough self-promotion… back to the review.
Killjoy’s Psycho Circus bobs and weaves it’s way through a number of convoluted plot twists and never leaves the viewer bored. It’s crass and raunchy and if you’re familiar with the Full Moon universe, you’ll find the writing to be quite clever. There are numerous nods to various films as well. I particularly enjoyed the Flash Gordon parody theme that you hear a couple of times in the movie. I’ve seen some reviewers write how they are upset by Full Moon’s recent trend of advertising their own products within their films. Psycho Circus does that far more sparingly then the last couple of Evil Bong movies have done. In fact, I think that it’s done with enough of a broad wink at the audience within the context of this particular story line so that it really works without being intrusive. Just when you think you have the direction of this movie figured out, they throw you another curve ball. The space battle at the end makes you aware of how far removed and how much more adventurous this series has become since the first was released 16 years ago. What have you got to lose? Order it today from Full Moon Direct or watch it on their streaming site.