Sunday, 12 January 2014

Killjoy (2000)

Killjoy is a terrible movie. The writing is terrible on every front: terrible plot, terrible characterisation, and terrible dialogue. The acting is ... well, it's not all terrible, but a significant chunk of it surely is. The effects - in particular a shooting scene about halfway through - are so laughably awful that they transcend terribleness.

Despite all this, the movie had one eye-opening aspect for me, which I'll get to shortly. First a quick summary of the plot. Killjoy begins by introducing us to Jada, her best friend Monique, and the socially outcast Michael. Michael obviously has a thing for Jada, who seems to have sympathy for him, but who warns him off before her boyfriend turns up. Said boyfriend of course arrives, and Michael gets beaten down.

Michael responds to this by attempting to summon a murderous demon, thereby eliminating any sympathy he might have won in the opening scene. The spell apparently fails, and Michael's not going to live to regret that. A year later, however, a murderous clown appears on the scene, and begins a killing spree that resembles nothing so much as a cut-price, less funny Freddy Krueger. Soon, even Jada is in the firing line.

You probably managed to read those two paragraphs without getting confused, but don't worry if they were too much for you: forty minutes in, the film has a character do a scene by scene recap of everything that's happened so far. Seriously.

So what's the eye-opening aspect of the film? It's that none of the characters are white. Or more accurately, how quickly I noticed the lack of white characters: we'd only seen three of them. I can pretty much guarantee that if the first three characters in a movie were white, I would not notice the lack of other ethnicities. It goes to show the lack of diversity in most films' casting and how unconsciously we absorb it and are affected by it.

So that was an interesting thing to experience. But good grief, I wish it could have happened with a better movie.

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