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Funny Man

Directed by Simon Sprackling

Written by Simon Sprackling

Starring Christopher Lee, Tim James, Benny Young, Matt Devitt

Produced by Nigel Odell

Rated R

89 minutes

***

So I’ve become convinced that the Brits are pretty well on their collective way to a looney bin.

I got all the proof I need sitting right on my coffee table, and it’s called “Funny Man”, someone’s idea of a horror movie that really comes off a lot more like a comedy.

For all you horror mavens out there who stuck around through the latter half of the “Nightmare On Elm Street” series, you’re going to find a whole LOT of common ground with “Funny Man” right here.

In fact, you’re going to find a disturbingly LARGE amount of common ground here. There’s so much common ground here that Freddy and the Funny Man are sharing a bathroom and bitching at each other about who used the last roll of toilet paper.

Which isn’t to say that we’ve got a bad movie on our hands here—no, quite the opposite. The Brits have managed to pull off quite the coup, taking an antiquated, tired old plotline (man wins house in card game, man discovers house is inhabited by evil jester demon, man’s family is messily and somewhat comically killed by said evil jester demon, man is involuntarily committed following him being discovered…well…I’d explain how but it’d ruin the last thirty seconds) that should never have worked and making a halfway decent movie out of it.

There’s a lot to like about “Funny Man.” Check out the hitchhiker at the five minute forty six second mark. If you’re not seeing a resemblance somewhere, then jinkies, are you ever a moron.

And if you didn’t get it after THAT, then if you email me objecting to my use of the term “moron” I will spend the next several hours laughing at you.

But anyway…the twenty one minute mark is going to start one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a horror movie in a long time, fourth wall violations be damned.

And yet, at the same time, there are going to be a whole lot of fourth wall violations in this sucker. I don’t think there’s a fourth wall left standing, the sheer number of times they broke through it. Again, more common ground with the Elm Street crew.

If you liked the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series, then you will have absolutely no trouble liking “Funny Man.” If you thought Freddy and company were just another bunch of cookie-cutter slasher types, then you should probably stay far, far away from this one.

There’s going to be a lot of Elm Street-style craziness around here, involving jumper cables and enormous lines of coke and hot Jamaican chicks who grow gatling guns in their hands and plenty more.

In fact, the craziness carries on right through the credits.

The ending, for example, will feature aging rockers, the wanton destruction of ceramic lawn gnomes, disembowelments, involuntary committal, truly goofy statuary, and the last thirty seconds will be either ironic or just completely unexplainable, I can’t quite tell which.

Plus, stick around through the credits. Christopher Lee will sing with what sounds like a children’s choir.

See what I mean?

The special features include the original short version of “Funny Man,” which is really just a scaled-down version with different actors and a much more alarming ending. Plus, we get a trailer for the scaled-down version and the full version, plus a making of featurette, promotional material, and an interview with Christopher Lee.

Plus, the DVD itself will include a filmmaker’s diary which includes a glossary of several distinctly British terms you’ll hear in the movie.

All in all, once you get past the massive common ground this shares with “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and once you can make sense of the dialogue, you’ll likely find “Funny Man” to be worth a rental.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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