CarousHELL 2: Judgment Day

This is the Terminator 2 of living-murderous-magical-carousel-unicorn-based horror films. 

I genuinely owe an apology to the creators of this film, as they asked me to review it when I first went on vacation. I thought I would review it for Halloween… of 2021. Since then I’ve been distracted by things. I’ve gotten a dog, gotten engaged, and beaten Stray. Those are not in order of importance. I’m not sure how much I’m “back” now, but I recently started to miss ranting into the void, so here we are. While the movie that actually made me sit down and write again was Black Adam (after writing most of a review of Everything Everywhere All At Once that consisted of “this was amazing” 500 times), I decided this would be the first one I publish. And just in time for you to find and rent it while drunk on Halloween! Or watch it on Tubi for free.

And the original, of course.

So, in the previous CarousHELL, we found out that a carousel unicorn named Duke (Steve Rimpici) was alive and sentient and, sadly for a group of teenagers, murderous as hell. Despite the fact that he doesn’t seem capable of moving any of his limbs or mouth while on-screen, Duke managed to massacre an entire party using everything from ninja stars to laser beams… and conceive a son (it was an awkward scene that we should probably not think long upon). In this film, we find out that Duke’s son, Robbie (B. Barnabei) is now an adolescent half-human half-carousel horse who is fundamentally a good kid.. Robbie has been raised by his adopted mom Ms. Laurence (Judy Casella), whose family Duke murdered. Duke now finds himself in the position of having to be a father, try not to murder too many people, and… what was the third thing? Oh, right, deal with the Nazis who created him coming back and trying to capture him and Robbie. Yes, in this film, Duke is now being hunted by Nazis, giving him a target that actually deserves the things he does.

The dead-eyed puppet is what happens when you make a half-animate life form.

I have to give it to the creators of this film, this is a swing for the fences. If you enjoyed a murderous unicorn massacring teens and just wanted more of the same, you are not going to find it here. Might I suggest rewatching the first film. Instead, the film decides to make our villain protagonist into mostly a straight protagonist by having him undergo character growth and have antagonists that are even worse than he is. When that happened in the sequel to Don’t Breathe, I hated it, but in a movie with a murderous carousel unicorn, you expect things to be a little less serious and it ends up working. While this movie does continue to play up the inherently ridiculous imagery that comes from an unmoving figure doing things like driving a car, the movie mostly doesn’t rely on it as much for the humor. Instead, a lot of the jokes come from either the complete incompetence of the Nazis (including a series of bad costumes that made me laugh out loud) or from Duke trying to avoid being outed as a murderer to his son. We do also get an extremely long homoerotic sex scene involving Duke which manages to be so awkward that you end up laughing at the ridiculous thing you’re subjecting your eyes to. When the kills come, they’re still creative and fun to watch, particularly because they’re happening to Nazis.

Okay, not EXCLUSIVELY Nazis.

Overall, this movie, like its predecessor, knows what it is. It’s a low-budget comedy where a lot of the humor comes from how much they’re trying to accomplish with a carousel horse and a puppet of its offspring. If you can appreciate movies like that, then this one will work for you.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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