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Good Horror Farce – FUNNY MAN

FUNNY MAN is a modern take on Punch and Judy, minus the Judy but heavy on the Punch.

Simon Sprackling’s 1994 horror comedy is an unusual beast, a notch or two below the classics of the genre but worthy of a viewing if you like cult horror-comedies. The thing that truly separates it from the pack is its intense contempt for its characters, who are executed, tortured, ogled and mocked with a degree of flippancy which borders on the pathological. The movie’s nasty streak is wide and inviting, as the titular Freddy Krueger-esque villain (or is it hero?) quips and drops one-liners before dispatching these slightly imperfect but otherwise innocent beings. I mean, clearly the dad is a scumbag – a record executive with a cocaine habit (which provides one of the most memorable set pieces of the film) – but what did his kids do to deserve such punishment? Funny Man doesn’t care! He preens and postures and directly addresses the audience as if we’re asking him to play the psychopathic jester on our behalves (which we are: how meta-textual!). Full of WTF moments, like Thelma from Scooby Doo popping in, or Funny Man turning himself into a buxom stripper, or Christopher Lee appearing every once in awhile to comment on it all (harking back to his Hammer omnibus days), it all feels like Monty Python on bad acid – you know, fun!

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