Funny Man (1994)
Sound: C+ Extras: C Film: C
In the late 1970s, Christopher Lee made the mistake of
turning down the role Donald Pleasance eventually took in John Carpenter’s Halloween
(1978, reviewed elsewhere on this site) occasionally surfacing in later films
in the “star slasher” cycle from the “slice and dice” films of the 1980s and
beyond. Simon Sprackling’s Funny Man
is a later generation of such films and one of the dullest.
Lee owns a mansion a young record producer wins in a card
game, but there is a joker in the deck almost literally as the place is haunted
by a killer who may have been on drugs and/or had too much brain damage when
watching old episodes of the game show The Joker’s Wild. Unfortunately, any episode of that show has
far more entertainment value than this mess, which does not have enough of Lee
in it or anything new or original to offer.
The curious might be interested, but it is too bad the script is a few
cards short of a full deck.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is not bad, but
not great and shows its age. The Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo has no real surrounds and the combination is just old enough
to reflect the old cycle it comes from.
Extras include trailers, a Pop promo, making of featurette, Lee
interview, original short version of the film, an audio commentary by the
director and actor who played the title annoyance and an 8-page booklet
featuring the director’s production diary.
- Nicholas Sheffo