Shaun vs. Funnyman (1994)

A man wins a mansion (and a curse) in a poker game and now he and his family must deal with a demonic jester who is out to kill them all.

Judging a Book by its Cover

Aw, he’s half jester and half demon.  He’s so glad to kill people.

This must be one of those horror comedies I’ve heard about.  I hope it’s good.

Directed by Simon Sprackling

Starring Benny Young, Ingrid Lacey, Tim James and Christopher Lee

The film begins with several gentlemen at a poker table.  The last and largest hand of the game is down to two of them — Max, a record producer (Young) and an elderly man (Lee).  In order to match the bet, the old man puts his English manor up as collateral and winds up losing his home.  Max moves his family into the manor and has invited his brother (who has managed to pick up several victims hitchhikers in the process) to stay over as well.  Little does the family know that not only have they inherited a massive money pit of a mansion, it also has a demonic creature that looks like an old tyme jester with intentions on murdering every single member of the family.

That's my seeing eye, it is, guvna!

That’s my seeing eye, it is, guvna!

I really wanted to like Funnyman but it wasn’t meant to be as there was so little to enjoy.  The story, such as it is, is shockingly thin.  I don’t need much I need more than I was given here.  The poker game is a decent set up but once the family is moved in, that jester appears and its murder after murder, one after the other like an assembly line or at least that’s what it felt like.  The movie started off boldly by taking out the child first, looking to be that dark comedy/horror I wanted it to be but it lost me early on and couldn’t get me back and it’s all because of that jester.

I was told the title was ironic.

I was told the title was ironic.

A frequent criticism of Freddy Kruger is that while he was funny and scary in Nightmare on Elm Street 3, he became less so as the series carried on.  By the time the sixth Nightmare came around everyone was tired of the schtick.  The point I’m making is that the jester in Funnyman, much like the sixth incarnation of Mr. Kruger, is not very funny most of the time and not very scary all of the time.  He’s only a means to see the best part of the film — the gore effects — but I didn’t enjoy the fourth-wall breaking pandering around before and after the kills.  Some may find it funny the first time but all the time?  The jester is unlikeable for all the wrong reasons and killed the movie for me.

It’s a penis, get it!?


Story: 3 –  Christopher Lee shows up for a few minutes to lose his house to a snotty record producer who brings his whole family to get killed by a demonic jester.  That’s a summary of the entire movie, nothing else happens.

Blood: 7 – Easily the best part of the movie, the over-the-top effects are fun to watch, much more than that stupid jester.

Nudity: 2 – There’s that one scene with the jester and boobs…but…bleh, nope.

Overall: 4 – There’s a part of a recommendation from the gorehound in me, but that’s it, you won’t get any enjoyment from anything else.  Other than seeing Christopher Lee in a turd of a film.


Christopher Lee filmed his scenes in one day.

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