Funny Man – aka Funnyman – is a 1994 British comedy horror film written and directed by Simon Sprackling and produced by Nigel Odell. The movie stars Tim James, Christopher Lee and Benny Young.
When Max Taylor (Benny Young) wins the ancestral home of Callum Chance (Christopher Lee) in a game of poker, little does he realise that the game is far from over.
After moving into the ancestral home with his family the nightmare begins after Max spins a wheel of chance, (a wheel with four parts, two saying win, and two saying lose). It lands upon lose and this awakens a demonic creature that lives in the soil of the ancestral home.
Soon, one by one, Max’s family are murdered by this strange creature known as the Funny Man (Tim James), a Mr Punch-like jester with a varied and imaginative repertoire of homicidal techniques and a highly irreverent sense of humour.…
On September 4, 2017, Funny Man was released on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK by Screenbound Pictures.
Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk
Filmed in a head-shakingly irritating late 80s/early 90s manner with a plethora of vapid one-dimensional characters (including a clone of Velma from Scooby-Doo), the only minor saving grace in this abomination is the occasional dead-pan one-liners delivered by the titular Northern-accented Funny Man.
Alas, Funny Man‘s supposedly amusing throwaway references to references to ‘Leather Mistress’ magazine, psychedelic weaving and 90s rage (yes, rage) are simply not enough to save the film. Meanwhile, a prolonged attempt to mock spaghetti westerns that is simply painful. At one point, a dismissive character comments ‘really juvenile’ which sums up the proceedings in two words…
Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk
Christopher Lee’s legendary pomposity didn’t prevent him from appearing in this low rent example of British movie-making (even his appearance in Howling II is better, in its own silly way). Thankfully, for Lee and the audience, his ignominy is brief. But he does deliver the film’s most telling line: “You’re a funny man, Mr Taylor, but I’ve met funnier. And so will you.”
Amazingly, this insulting exercise even received a British cinema release. Since then, writer-director Simon Sprackling’s career has thankfully been outside of the horror genre, other than providing DVD extras featuring Linda Hayden (The Blood on Satan’s Claw) and Judy Geeson (Inseminoid).
Funny Man was never a funny idea — and it’s obviously just a massive piss-take of its intended undiscriminating audience — scenes of main character Taylor snorting huge amounts of cocaine are surely the real clue to its very existence?
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
“But sense is not what this film is about (as you’ve probably guessed) – it’s all about the central performance. And it is a cracker. When you call a film Funny Man you really have to deliver the lines, and this film does –- it’s a work of minor genius, and well worth seeking out as a shining jewel in an otherwise moribund decade.” British Horror Films
“The evil jester himself is one of the biggest problems of the film. They try to make him an over the top Leprechaun or Rumpelstiltskin type, which is fine given the type of film it is. However, he’s not very funny. Most of his exchanges are awkward and he constantly talks to the camera and makes little jokes like a stand-up comedian. Most of the time, the jokes fall uncomfortably flat.” Ronnie Angel, Slashed Dreams
“Less a slasher film than a pastiche of gory vignettes centring on the doomed weirdos […] and the wisecracking jester with his variety of regional English accents and to-camera asides, which kill off any suspense and much is stolen from the more comedic Elm Street entries but without an ounce of the subtlety, just misguided attempts at making the text so unbelievably surreal its funny, all of which fail miserably, rendering it one of the worst horror films in existence.” Vegan Voorhees
Cast and characters:
Tim James … Funny Man
Christopher Lee … Callum Chance
Benny Young … Max Taylor
Matthew Devitt … Johnny Taylor
Ingrid Lacey … Tina Taylor
Jamie Heard … Jammie Taylor
Pauline Black … Psychic commando [lead singer of Ska band The Selector]
Stitches (another terrible Brit horror comedy with a punning protagonist)