Four years after the demonic clown went to (and then escaped from) Hell, Killjoy (Trent Haaga) is back with his fifth (really!) instalment of murderous adventures! Having escaped the clutches of Beelzebub at the end of 2012's imaginatively-named Killjoy Goes To Hell, the eponymous foul-mouthed clown has shacked up on earth with his collection of freakish sidekicks and is now the host of his very own web series, “Killjoy's Psycho Circus”. However, it's not all fun and games - he's slowly turning mortal, his girlfriend has left him, and Beelzebub is scouring the planet in a super-sized spaceship in an attempt to track down Killjoy and take his soul back to Hell with the help of the “Six Psychos”...
The incredible tour de force that is Trent Haaga will be a familiar face to fans of this sort of nonsense, not only from his earlier appearances in the previous Killjoy movies (except for the first one) but also from Troma classics Terror Firmer and Tromeo & Juliet. If you don't know who he is, think of a slightly less rubbery but much more sweary Jim Carrey and you're half way there. Haaga always puts the effort in no matter how dodgy the material he's given to work with might be, and he's pretty much the only thing that makes Psycho Circus watchable.
Remember that opening paragraph where we outlined the story for you? That probably takes up about 15-20 minutes of the actual film, with the other 60 minutes spent on scenes that in theory should tie everything together but in reality rarely hit their marks. Attempts at breaking the fourth wall fall flat (Trent Haaga appearing as a guest on Killjoy's talk show, effectively therefore interviewing himself), the jokes generally aren't up to much, and the budget seems to have been so low that any parts of the film that were intended to gross out the audience just aren't gross enough to get a reaction.
As far as trashy movies go, Psycho Circus isn't exactly bad, despite how we've probably made it sound. You wouldn't go into this sort of thing without knowing what you're letting yourself in for (chances are you'd only even know this film existed if you were a fan of the genre already), but even those of us with relatively low expectations still have some kind of standards. It would be ridiculous to complain about the bad acting, ropey CGI, and crappy script because that kind of stuff is par for the course, but it would have been nice if there'd been a little more going on here. The battle with the Six Psychos, for instance, lasts about a minute and consists of nothing more than a shootout with some CGI lasers resulting in a few painted-on scorch marks. One of the cast members is clearly on the verge of cracking up with laughter during his death scene, which doesn't help matters. It's a shame, but the whole thing all just feels a little bit disappointing.
You get the feeling that this would have been amazing as a half-hour short, but there just wasn't enough content to stretch to a whole feature. In the grand scheme of things, it definitely isn't the worst of the no-budget disasterpieces out there, but it's far from one of the best. When a solid performance from one of the genre's leading men can't save you, there unfortunately can't be much else to recommend.
KILLJOY'S PSYCHO CIRCUS / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: JOHN LECHAGO / STARRING: TRENT HAAGA, VICTORIA DEMARE, AL BURKE, TAI CHAN NGO, VICTORIA LEVINE, STEVE CARDWELL / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (DVD/VOD)