Technically, Funland isn't a horror film, but I decided to review it because it will pique the interest of horror fans. I mean, the DVD cover says it all. I'm inclined to sue the crack team of sitcom writers responsible for the script. This is a classic case of false advertising. I'll refrain from summoning these swindlers to court, though. For one, I'm not the litigious type, and at the end of the day, Funland isn't too shabby. I wouldn't call it a must-see cult oddity, but it entertained me on an insipid Wednesday afternoon.
David Lander plays Bruce Burger, a menial clown who serves as the family-friendly mouthpiece for an amusement park. Bruce is unstable. He talks to a puppet, he breaks down in high-pressure situations and he doesn't answer to his birth name. But he means well, which is enough for the altruistic owner of the park. Mr. Burger is allowed to keep his job until the business is bought out by crooked members of a crime syndicate. This sends our greasepainted protagonist spiraling into a deep depression. He is forced to move into a derelict wax museum where he commiserates with ghosts and plots to sabotage his old stomping grounds.
I know what you're thinking. "Dom, how could this not be a horror film?" Easy! It's a comedy, albeit a morbid one. I wasn't expecting to laugh at any of the jokes, but I did. Funland has a warped, wayward sense of humor. Now, I don't want to give the impression that it will leave you in hysterics. There was never a point where I was gasping for air and reaching for a box of tissues, but most of the absurdity on display nestled my funny bone. The third act is actually disturbing. While this rickety rollercoaster refuses to become a full-blown scare pic, it does teeter on the edge of terror.
Could Funland go toe-to-toe with some of the more popular "killer clown" romps? No. No, it could not. If you want gore, suspense, atmosphere...well, let me put it this way. If you want a horror show, don't even flirt with the notion of renting Funland. It's a serviceable black comedy. I don't regret watching it. Hey, I dug Squiggy the Clown (I knew I recognized Lander from somewhere), but this isn't a movie that I'll remember down the line. Visually, it's not particularly indelible. I'll say this much; if the MTV Movie Awards existed in 1987 and had a category for Best Freestyle Rap in a Cafeteria Scene, Funland would have cleaned house.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 11:20 PM