Killjoy’s Psycho Circus (2016)

killjoy5_1Starring Trent Haaga, Victoria De Mare, Tai Chan Ngo, Al Burke, Robin Sydney, Stephen F. Cardwell, Lauren Nash, Tim Chizmar, Victoria Levine

Directed by John Lechago

Expectations: Moderate to high.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-movie scale:
twostar


John Lechago’s Killjoy films have been the shining star of Full Moon’s modern efforts, easily outpacing just about every one of the studio’s other recent efforts. I was so taken with Killjoy 3: Killjoy’s Revenge (and to a lesser extent Killjoy Goes to Hell), that I made it a point to check out all of Lechago’s other films. I really enjoyed them all — especially Blood Gnome — and they exhibit the same low-budget ingenuity and ambition apparent in his Killjoy films. So I definitely went into his latest film, Killjoy’s Psycho Circus, with an expectation to enjoy it. Instead I came away hoping it’s the end of the Killjoy series (although I know it won’t be).

Killjoy’s Psycho Circus sees the clown (Trent Haaga) in his new semi-mortal state achieved at the end of Killjoy Goes to Hell. He’s hosting his own talk show called Killjoy’s Psycho Circus, and Batty Boop (Victoria De Mare) has tired of his antics and left him. Meanwhile, Beelzebub (Stephen F. Cardwell) is put on trial for losing Killjoy in the last film, and now he’s tasked with bringing Killjoy’s soul back to hell. He simply requests one thing to do this job: a massive space ship! Why? Who cares? Killjoy’s going to space!

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Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong (2013)

gingerdeadvsevilbong_3Starring John Patrick Jordan, Robin Sydney, Sonny Carl Davis, The Don, Michelle Mais, Bob Ramos, Victoria Levine, Ryan Curry, Amy Paffrath, Masuimi Max, Mindy Robinson, Chanell Heart, Tian Wang, Jinhee Joung, Chance A. Rearden,  Joss Glennie-Smith, Orson Chaplin

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: I don’t even know, honestly. On the low end, for sure.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


Despite what that poster to the right might make you think, Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong is not a movie for everyone. I’m inclined to go with the tired adage, “It’s for the fans,” but since I’m not the biggest fan of either series and I really enjoyed this one, I can’t say that it’s as exclusive as that. And liking this movie leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. I’ve lambasted some of Full Moon’s modern films for a few recurrent reasons: being excessively trashy, being questionably racist and for being shameless in their self-promotion of the company’s merch. The conundrum comes when Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong is all three and yet I still liked it. I guess what it boils down to is that when it’s not being horrible, Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong is a lot of stupid fun. I can’t fully explain it, but I definitely enjoyed Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong. Most of it, anyway.

As the fourth entry in both the Gingerdead Man and Evil Bong series, there’s definitely a bit of baggage going into this one. So thank God Full Moon decided to pair the heroes from the respective series with a new friend each, allowing them to regale their new acquaintances (and the audience) with stories of what happened in the previous films. But wait, this is a movie! Who wants to hear boring stories about what happened when you can just show a bunch of clips from said movies? Charles Band actually has the gumption to do this to summarize all three previous Evil Bong films, as well as the first Gingerdead Man movie. The other two Gingerdead films are apparently non-canon, which makes sense as they’re not about anything even remotely related to the tale of blood and dough told in the first film. Surprisingly though, I actually enjoyed the recaps as it had been a while since I’d seen the films so it got me back up to speed.

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Zombies vs. Strippers (2012)

Starring Circus-Szalewski, Eve Mauro, Victoria Levine, Adriana Sephora, J. Scott, Don Baldaramos, Tanner Horn, Brittany Gael Vaughn, Adam Brooks, Patrick Lazzara, Brad Potts, Jonathan Erickson Eisley, Paul Vinson, Chance A. Rearden, William Thomas Jones

Directed by Alex Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate, the trailer was good, but I’m still apprehensive. It is called Zombies vs. Strippers.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


When Full Moon announced the film Zombies vs. Strippers, I expected two thing from it: strippers and zombies. I didn’t really expect them to fight as I assumed that Full Moon was just creating a flashy title for their next pseudo-softcore movie. To my surprise, Zombies vs. Strippers is much more reserved with its nudity than you’d expect (not that it doesn’t have its share of titties), but unfortunately it’s also somewhat reserved with its use of the zombies. There are many problems here, but the main one is a question of the budget. One location is fine if you’re innovative, but most of the time Full Moon is never clever enough to keep your mind engaged so that you won’t notice.

The Tough Titty is a strip joint in a shit part of LA run by Spider (Circus-Szalewski). He’s in love with the tiki aesthetic and flower-print shirts and his titty bar is a reflection of that personal style. It’s not the most modern decor, but it is unique. The zombie apocalypse is happening throughout the city, but everyone in the bar is completely oblivious to it. When the only two (zombie) patrons in the bar don’t raise anything more than a tired groan when one of the dancers shakes her thing for them, no one thinks anything is amiss. Even when one starts eating the other’s fingers, they just shrug it off as two crazy dudes. I suppose that’s not a crazy response to that situation; if I saw two guys eating each other’s hands at my workplace I might think of zombies, but I wouldn’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that the apocalypse was upon us. For once it seems that Full Moon has provided us with a realism in the characters we never knew we wanted. It doesn’t really work for a zombie movie, but the character’s reactions do lead us down some good paths that the quick-thinking, self-aware yahoos of some zombie films would have never let us see. Things like a stripper giving a man turning into a zombie a lap dance and thinking he’s complementing her when he groans “Brains!” after she asks him why he likes her so much.

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