Dead & Rotting (2002)

Starring Stephen O’Mahoney, Tom Hoover, Debbie Rochon, Trent Haaga, Jeff Dylan Graham, Barbara Katz-Norrod, Christopher Suciu, Beth Biasella, Tammi Sutton, Jamie Star

Directed by David P. Barton

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


I always hope to like the movie I’m watching, but I must admit that I started Dead & Rotting with a real sinking feeling. The title seemed prophetic of the film’s quality, and its ugly cover art (see above) didn’t reassure me any. So when I began the film and it wasn’t an immediate train wreck, my spirits lifted a bit. A few minutes in, I actually thought to myself, “This is actually pretty good!” By the end of the film, I had been converted completely, and I can now declare Dead & Rotting to actually be one of the best Full Moon films of the early 2000s. Maybe now I’ll have learned my lesson not to judge a movie by its title/cover, but with Full Moon movies like Magic in the Mirror: Fowl Play still on deck for review, I’m unsure if it’ll stick.

Three prankster buddies are out for a night ride in their truck, daring each other to check out a scary house in the woods rumored to be the house of a witch. Before they can get too close, though, they meet a weird, dirty man who runs them off the property by attacking the truck with some kind of animal on a stick. One thing leads to another and the witch sets out to curse the men, asking them, “Do you know what it feels like to be dead and rotting?” It’s a fairly simple, straightforward movie and it’s also short, so I’ll leave it at that. You get the gist.

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Killjoy 2: Deliverance from Evil (2002)

Starring Charles Austin, Wayland Geremy Boyd, Bobby Marsden, Aaron Brown, Logan Alexander, Debbie Rochon, Nicole Pulliam, Choice Skinner, Olimpia Fernandez

Directed by Tammi Sutton

Expectations: Moderate. I loved the first one, but I have a bad feeling about this one.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


I loved the original Killjoy, and even though I had heard some horrid things about this sequel, I held out hope. With an intro featuring a badass foot chase through an office building with low-rent funk blasting out of the soundtrack and white cops calling black perps motherfuckers, I thought I was about to find another modern blaxploitation horror gem. It was all a ruse, though, and quickly my excitement waned as the actual movie set in. Killjoy 2 concerns a group of young criminals being transported in a van to another facility… somewhere. At night, their van breaks down in the middle of nowhere and without any cell service, they venture out in search of a house with a phone they can use. That’s about half the movie so I should probably stop there.

The original Killjoy was low-budget at around the $150,000 mark, but it made the best with what it had and crafted an interesting, fun film. Killjoy 2 was made for the smaller sum of $30,000, and while it tries to make that work, the quality of the writing and the situations are just so poor that it’s nearly impossible to be entertained by this film. It only runs seventy-two minutes but it is an absolute slog to get through… well, that’s not entirely true. The first half, while bad, is infinitely more enjoyable than the last half when Killjoy is around. I know that sounds odd, but Killjoy was so scaled back and different in this that he only made me sad. Perhaps his on-screen strength is directly proportionate to the quality of the reason why someone is summoning him. In the first film there was a lifetime of pain and bullying, but in this film it’s only a desperate attempt to heal their friend’s gunshot wound. What were they thinking? Killjoy isn’t named Healjoy, he’s a fucking killer clown! The bastards in Killjoy 3 better have a damn good reason to call up Killjoy from the depths!

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