Funny Man (1994) Poster


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An outrageous English horror film with a difference
Afracious4 October 2000
Disregard the many negative reviews of this film below. It is actually an odd little hidden gem. The story is about a man who wins a card game against Christopher Lee, who then gives him his large old house. The man moves into the house with his family, and they soon discover a sinister jester who resides there, the Funnyman.

This pesky little guy kills people in different ways; some of them are outrageously gory and over the top, and a little bit like Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead. The joker also speaks in a variety of British accents, and takes on different personas, such as a club owner, a footballer, and a few other weird guises.

The film is low budget and very English, and may not appeal to overseas audiences; but it's a worthy effort considering its budget. If you want a horror film with comical gory scenes, dark humour, sprinkles of English silliness, and something different, check out the Funnyman. You might like it.
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Ignore the bad reviews- They're missing the point!
kasimpeter-128 May 2006
The heavy-handed criticism levelled at this film by certain reviewers is mostly irrelevant. This film has merit far-beyond being a simple Freddy Krueger rip-off and is not , i suspect, intended to be that scary. It's British humour of the highest order, and along with this comes the sad inevitability that it will alienate many international viewers. The direction and acting is, for the most part, spot-on, don't confuse this with the crude and meaningless no-talent b-movie drivel that has come to typify the genre. Sure, it's low budget, and it's certainly shallow in the plot department, but the film is all the more charming for such "shortcomings", with a brilliantly hilarious and understated script and production values which clearly display a labour of love on the filmmaker's part. I sincerely urge anyone who has a taste for British humour to investigate. If, like many of the critics here, you don't "get it", then you simply won't, but if you do, you will absolutely adore this film.
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Dismayingly bad
Erewhon25 June 2001
The makers of FUNNY MAN seem to have wanted to create a 100% English version of such wisecracking horror figures as Freddy Krueger, and the figure they've chosen seems on the mark: he's a living embodiment of a joker from a deck of cards. Other joker/jester images are scattered throughout the film.

But the problems overwhelm the movie: to begin with, there's no story. A guy wins a house in a card game (why is the card game in the U.S.?) and moves into it. The Funny Man promptly erupts from the floor and starts killing the new arrivals, including some others who show up later on. But at no point is there even the slightest hint as to WHY this is going on. We never have any idea as to the Funny Man's motives, or the failings (if any) of the people he kills. There's a slight hint that all this is the delusions of an insane Christopher Lee -- but the madhouse scene is in exactly the same style as the rest of the film.

The Funny Man isn't funny (though the makeup is impressive), and isn't even intelligible to most Americans much of the time. Effects are minimal (although there's one bit with a hand spreading wide that's unnerving -- and meaningless), but the photography and use of color are actually quite impressive. It's impossible to judge most of the performances, since the characters (if that's the word) are drawn so broadly that they're repellent caricatures from the moment we meet them. We not only don't give a damn if they die, we don't even know who the heck they ARE (or why they're dying).

Reportedly, the movie was made as an effort to revive English horror, but this ponderous, pretentious mess, unfunny, confusing and inconclusive, wouldn't have revived anything. Some praise is due Christopher Lee for cooperating with this effort; it was an act of courage and generosity. Too bad it was for such a sorry end product.
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Takes lowbrow comedy to new levels of idiocy
Leofwine_draca20 July 2016
Not in the least bit funny, this comedy horror was, although it breaks my heart to say it, made in Britain, and, although it pains my very soul to admit it, stars Christopher Lee. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Poor old Lee, we can't blame him for appearing in these things though; everyone needs to make a living, after all.

The "plot" is a retread of a typical American slasher film of the 1980s, with a group of people in a mansion being bumped off by a psycho killer dressed as 'Punch' from Punch and Judy who offers us the worst one-liners you will ever hear in the history of comedy. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger's wince-inducing puns in BATMAN AND ROBIN come nowhere close to the obnoxious stupidity of the material on offer here.

For me, the film falls flat in every sense. The characters are all ridiculously unfunny, the deaths are simply stupid, the comedy doesn't work and there is no horror. Luckily Christopher Lee doesn't have much screen time to embarrass himself. The film does try, but it's just all downhill from the start. The opening scene is actually quite good, where Lee is engaged in a card game and loses everything to a joker in the pack ("You're a funny man, but I've met funnier" is his simple reply). But switch off straight after it finishes, or you're in for one of the worst times of your life.
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Worst Piece of CRAP ever.
No_Nonsense22 February 2008
I can't for the life of me understand what the heck the users who posted about this movie before me were on when they commented it. I bought this movie at a supermarket wholesale at about $1.50 (bundled with another crappy horror movie) and it was still one of the biggest waste of money I ever got tricked into! And to even think for a second that it was actually NOMINATED for any other award than "crappier film of the decade"...

The story gives cliché a bad name. The dialog is so poor and so boring that "less worse" lines sound almost fine. The movie had such a low budget that they used the same room for most of the scenes, and I am pretty sure they decided to give all the money to hire actors to Christopher Lee, so that they had to ask the technicians to play the other parts. Furthermore, aside from the wife at the very beginning, all women roles are played by transvestites, which adds to the real ridicule of the film. The quality is overall very poor, and obviously they did not think of buying a few spots to make scenes clear for the viewer. The costumes look like they've been stolen from some poor bums, except from the black lady (???) who comes straight from "Hair".

If you ever had the weird idea to watch this movie, just stop right now. This is for your own sake.
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Brilliant and Underated
Fenris Fil26 January 2004
I was suprised to see how low this film has rated. I guess it's been watched by a lot of people that either don't like horror at all or are too caught up in a particular genre to get this.

It's very tounge in cheek, which many simple people won't get. However it has the distinction of being one of the few horror comedies around that is both funny and eerie/disturbing.

The Thelma (from scoobie doo) character was hilarious, especially when she died, and I couldn't help but think of that when that awful Scoobie doo film came out. They should have hired the woman from funny man.

The relation between Christopher Lee's character and the fates of those in the house reminded me a lot of Hammer Horror. But then you can probably drop Chris Lee into any cheap horror and immediately raise the standard. His minor involvement worked for me. Tim James was brilliant as the killer. His Yorkshire accent along with some of his lines had me convinved it was Shawn Bean right up until the end credits. He is the kind of movie bad guy that you could see spawning endless sequels, and while he may not be on the level of a Fred Krueger he's way above the level of a Chucky.

The effects, the set and the sound track are all quite cheap, but you don't need a big budget to make a good movie and this demonstrates that.
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semprini-22 July 2000
Without a doubt the worst film I have ever seen. Deeply unpleasant to watch, not because it is brutal or shocking, but just because the characters don't fail to annoy at any time in the film, particularly the Funny Man himself and it just drags on and on. A reasonably poor idea for a film, but the filmmakers and cast have really dragged it through the dirt.

In a word, unwatchable.
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It's embarrassing ... man
Coventry24 February 2009
If there's one thing I've learned from reading the other reviews around here, it's definitely that "Funny Man" is the type of film that you either praise into the heavens or hate with a passion; there doesn't appear to be a middle way. Personally I'm tempted to unite with the hate crew, but that is preeminently because the fan-boys are exaggeratedly enthusiast without using real arguments. They merely just claim that "Funny Man" is awesomely hilarious; period. I even encountered some reviews where people dreadfully stated that the adversaries of this movie simply "don't get" the type of humor. See, I really hate that… What exactly is there to "get"? It's a cheesy and low-budgeted 90's horror movie about an ugly jester killing off uninteresting characters whilst firing off lousy and wannabe clever one-liners, so it's fairly safe to say there's absolutely nothing specific "to get" here. I'll be the first to admit that "Funny Man" also contains a handful of ingenious elements and mildly amusing gags. The main problem, however, are the bad ratios. For every brief flash of inventiveness, there's an intolerably large amount of tedious sequences. For every effective joke, there's literally a truckload of embarrassingly lame and painfully misplaced farces. After approximately 50 minutes of running time, you've pretty much seen and heard about as much as any normal person can take and the last half hour is practically unendurable to sit through. "Funny Man" is probably the most atypical British horror movie I've seen. Traditionally speaking, British genre movies implement a distinct and easy recognizable sense of humor, but this one is as vulgar and insipid as any random amateur US trash production. Most likely more than half of the entire budget was spent on convincing the almighty Christopher Lee to make a cameo appearance among an extended cast of untalented nobodies. Lee briefly pops up at the beginning of the film and portrays a sinister guy in a white suit who gambles his ancestral house in a game of poker and loses it to a sleazy drug-addicted record producer. The joke's on him – literally – because Christopher forgot to mention anything about the psychopathic buffoon living there. The Funny Man quickly disposes of the producer's family and eagerly awaits the next shipment of brainless victims to waste. They arrive in the form of a van filled with dimwits looking like runaways from a canceled Scooby-Doo episode. Some of the killing scenes are amusing and imaginatively repellent (like the duck hunting and puppet theater), but the majority of them are plain dull and overlong. The Jester may sound like a potentially cool new horror icon, but he's actually rather uninspired and boring. His appearance seems to be based on Jack Nicholson in "Batman" mixed with a "Killer Klown from Outer Space", with the stand-up comedian talents of Chucky the Good Guy Doll or maybe even Freddy Kruger in the later installments of "Nightmare on Elm Street". He has no bizarre background or occult myth attached to him and even the house he operates in doesn't have a morbid history. Well, there we have the problem… "Funny Man" is a movie without depth. Get that?
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Painfully bad
Skutter-223 April 2005
An awful, nearly impossible to watch and deservedly obscure piece of excrement. There us nothing more tedious and hard to sit through than bad comedy and this film is a perfect example of that. The whole victims die by some ironic means of death somehow appropriate to whatever personality traits they have displayed (Usually just the one, as with most movies of this ilk the characters are completely one dimensional) shtick was old a long time before this film was made. Still, it trots out that routine without any real originality, skill, wit or aplomb as the various annoying characters are killed one by one. The funny man the films half arsed British attempt at a Freddy Kruger type character is pretty lame and none of his jokes are remotely funny.

With type of movie the individual scenes can sometimes be amusing even if there is only enough plot to provide a pretext for a series of killings (This film doesn't even go that far, stuff just happens) but they are all so badly staged, nonsensical and at times incoherent that they are hard to sit through. Most the scenes are needlessly protracted and are like a long, rambling joke with a bad punch line that would have been disappointing if the joke had been a quarter the length. Some of the stuff in the movie, like the bits with the Jamaican voodoo woman, or whatever the hell she was supposed to be, going underneath he house were almost entertaining in a WTF kind of way but again it was all so tediously protracted and badly staged that I was just waiting for it to end.

I like to watch bad horror movies and whimsical over the top humour, which I gather this movie was trying for but this movie was a train wreck. Just because something isn't meant to be taken seriously doesn't mean it can't be crap.
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Interesting at least. . .
Lovecraft-Fan25 November 2003
I didn't know what to expect from this film when I watched it, but I was vastly amused. If you like the Monty Python variety of British comedy, and the Nightmare on Elm Street type of horror, you should check this movie out. It doesn't really make sense or have any sort of real plot, but hey, what the hell does? Overall, an amusing horror film, made me laugh more than a few times.
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Great film, rather strange, but worth watching
rhoaste1 July 2004
After winning the huge mansion and family air loom from Callum Chance, Max has a new 'friend' to deal with in his life. The Funny Man is the Joker from the pack, a demon out to get Max, his family and friends once and for all… it's payback time.

This movie is a tongue in cheek cult horror/comedy made on a shoe-string budget. Despite this constraint, Simon Sprackling (director and producer), has done some excellent work. The story line is whacky, the special effects a little to be desired, and the characters are extremely strange. Some of the scenes are very surreal, and there are a number of class one liners in this film, which will only really gel if you have a British sense of humour.

The result is well worth watching, particularly if you have a strange film fetish, as I do.
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Funnyman = Funny film.
CaptainBirdcat25 September 2005
Fantastic horror comedy. If your looking for a film to make you laugh out loud for an hour and a half this could be it. Especially if you like the sillier side of British humour. It's not quite up there with the Monty Python boys (but then again tell me who is) but add in the gore and the tongue in cheek approach to the horror and you've got more than a pleasant film. After I watched it the 1st time I had no idea what the plot was but at the same time didn't care. I was just happy that I had. If your having your mates round for a few, and you want a film that is funny without being too involving or taxing on the brain than this is perfect
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A film to NOT remember
x-lechard20 June 2003
In the mid-nineties, Christopher Lee faced a serious financial crisis. His pension funds failed, his country house encountered plumbing problems, and some dues were to be paid. He had no other solution but playing in a stupid film that left him ashamed for all the rest of his life. Ten years after, Mr. Lee still has nightmares about that film, and restlessly fights for all copies being destroyed. Alas, some perverse folks recently released it in DVD format. Well, time to be serious. "Funny Man" is one of the worst films I have ever seen. There's nothing redeeming about it. Screenplay is non-existent, without any kind of narrative logic. Also, and some puzzling for a film with such a title, "Funny Man" actually has nothing funny, unless you are quirky enough for laughing at people having atrocious deaths for no valid reasons. The Funny Man himself is annoying and I often thought he was the one in the film really deserving to die. So please support Mr. Lee. Don't buy, don't rent, don't watch "Funny Man". Don't tell your friends about it. Just forget it. I did already.
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Run, don't walk, away from this one!
Bobo-4317 May 1999
A little prelude, some friends and I were wandering around the video store, spotted this movie, and picked it up, thinking it would be one of the "so bad it's funny" sort of movies that the horror genre is famous for. It's not. The plot is so flimsy that it's evident that it was added as an afterthought to justify all of the killing. That's fine, pretty common, in fact. However, they don't get away with it because, as a british film, all of the actors have very thick british accents. It's made worse by the fact that the actors are also mumbling about half their lines, making the whole thing utterly incomprehensible to non-UK viewers. All in all, this one really qualifies in the "I can't believe I threw away irreplacable hours of my life for this" category.
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Less is gore.
archer758 October 2006
This film needed polishing. It just never seems to get going. although maybe that is the point. I would have preferred to have some deeper explanation than Christopher Lee playing cards in an asylum.

The victims are so stupid, it could have been set in Troma land. I would have hoped that the victims would at least put up a fight and not just sit / stand there and take it. We don't care about the victims (which is not necessarily a bad thing). Unfortunately, there is little encouragement to side with the Jester and we are merely observers in someone's wandering vision.

In 10 years time, maybe someone will remake it and put more emphasis behind the ideas and give the film some impetus.
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b-zar, weird, very worthwhile
illitrate26 May 2000
i love this movie. its a bit weird. actually, its very weird. not everyone's cup of tea. but quite funny, very surreal, very enjoyable. you'll either love it or hate it. the acting isn't totally spot on, the effects are enthusiastic and energetic more than hi-tec spectacular. But if you're looking for something alternative to the Hollywood drivel, this might be worth trying.
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Cruel little funny man
ladymidath25 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I admit I had to watch this movie a couple of times before I could really appreciate the weird humour and bloody violence that it had to offer. Funny Man is a movie that is totally different in every way. It is not the usual horror fare that is served up to us and there a moments when you really laugh out loud at the nasty little jester's murderous antics. As usual, Christopher Lee is perfect in his role as Mr Chance and raises the film to a higher level. The other actors are fine in their roles but Tim James as the Funny Man was brilliant. This is a film that you will either love or loathe, but one thing is sure, you won't forget it in a hurry.
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"I've seen amputees with better hands than this." I quite liked it actually.
poolandrews11 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Funny Man starts as Max Taylor (Benny young) & his mates are playing poker, serious poker for serious stakes. One of the other players Callum Chance (Christopher Lee) runs out of cash so puts up his English ancestral home worth about £1 million & promptly loses it. Max, his wife Tina (Ingrid Lacey) & children Harry (Harry Heard) & Jammie (Jamie Heard) pitch up there one night to check it out & wait for his brother Johnny (Matthew Devitt) who is driving there along with a load of weird hitchhikers to drop some of Max's stuff off to store there. However once there Max & his family are terrorised by a strange demonic Jester known as the Funny Man (co-producer Tim James) who comes from a place called Sod's Law, the Funny Man twists the things that people say & use it to come up with cruel & unusual ways to kill them. I have no idea why though...

This English production (this is the sort of thing which makes me proud to call myself an Englishman...) was written & directed by Simon Sprackling & without quite knowing why I rather liked it for what it was. I should also say that according to the IMDb's 'Alternate Versions' section Funny Man was cut for a US 'R' rating & that I definitely watched the longer uncut version complete with the brains shooting out of the girls head, so bear that in mind. The script for Funny Man is a strange one & I don't quite know what to make of it, there's little in the way of story & it has a habit of switching tone from straight horror to comedy to slapstick to deadpan humour to downright crudeness & it's frankly weird at times & there's even enough time for it to be a musical as well but I thought it all came together rather well to create an enjoyable comedy horror that never takes itself seriously, it moves along like a rocket so it's never dull or boring & I actually found it quietly amusing at times although I think you will need a slightly twisted sense of humour to get the most out of it, I'm not sure what that says about me... The best way I can describe Funny Man is to liken it to a comedy sketch show where the Funny Man creates little mini films within the overall film to dispatch his victims in a ironic & gory way, yeah I'd call it the first horror orientated comedy sketch film that I've seen & for what it is & what it tries to be I found it good fun & good entertainment.

Director Sprackling does a good job, I don't think I've seen another film quite like it. The Funny Man (who lives in a place called Sod's Law, nice touch) looks like an ugly Jester although he occasionally changes outfits & he regularly turns to the camera & 'talks' to the audience a bit like a stand up comedian. I have no idea why there is a character in this who is obviously modelled on Velma from Scooby-Doo, here called Thelma. I'd imagine the gore is probably restrained in the cut American version but here in the UK it's always been uncut with such delights as decapitated heads, brains blown out, the top of some guys head is blown off & there's a nice shot of him on the floor twitching with the top half of his head missing spurting blood, the Funny Man burrows through someones stomach, he sticks a stiletto heel in someones eye, someone is battered to death with a baseball bat & more.

With a supposed budget of about £1,000,000 Funny Man is well made with good production values although the film takes place almost entirely with the confines of one house. Some of the special effects aren't that great but they'll do considering. The acting is OK & there are one or two pretty funny performances here, while looking at the credits list on the IMDb I noticed one listed for 'Crap Puppeteer' & I must admit I'm struggling to know who this refers too... Arsenal football club fans should note that ex-striker Ian Wright makes a voice cameo. For about two lines of dialogue.

I was surprised about how much I liked Funny Man, it has a certain style & originality. This definitely isn't just another boring slasher & the attempted start of a soulless franchise, I personally think there's more to Funny Man than that. Not everything works, not everything is funny in it but it certainly gets points for effort & enthusiasm, not bad at all & if you like your horror light & mixed with laughs then you could do a hell of a lot worse than Funny Man you really could...
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The worst!
jaibo19 April 2000
This is probably the worst film I have ever seen - an insultingly unfunny, atrociously acted, incompetently made mess which is by turns irritating, boring and offensive. The Funny Man himself is simply the most pathetic "monster" in the history of the movies - not frightening but eminently punchable. Steer well clear!
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Love This Film!
maidenlord17 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Totally British and perfect for a night in with a load of beer.I don't understand all the negative reviews but whatever-I enjoyed it and everyone i know who watched it thought it was great too!If you want serious horror then there is plenty of choice out there.Nothing wrong with having a laugh whilst the characters get bumped off in very original ways-Where else do you see a Jester dancing around whilst electrocuting,stabbing eyes with stilettos and as for what he does in the van-Hilarious stuff!In some ways it reminds me of Revenge Of Billy The Kid-another British horror comedy.Perhaps the humour doesn't translate that well overseas .Just wish the proposed follow up had been made but sadly we just get Friday the 13th part 54 etc........

Now lets have a long overdue DVD release-my VHS copy is getting worn out!

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Bo' Selecta meets Rent-a-Ghost
RogueMonkey2 February 2005
If your mansion house needs haunting, just call... the Funnyman. Undecided about whether it's a comedy or a horror, it tries to be both and ends up neither.

The Jester would scare the pants off you if you were eight years old. However, you're not eight any more. Freddy Kruger dressed as Mr Claypole is less scary than Mr Claypole dressed as... er... Mr Claypole.

There is some witty banter, a few funny exchanges of dialogue and some top-drawer 'just nodding' acting. The Club Sexy sequence (up until 'Hardman' meets his end) is the highlight of the film.

With the Jesters big rubber head, I'm reminded of Bo' Selecta – Series 3. Just like Bo' Selecta – Series 3 it could've been good… but it's not.
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FunnyMan is a lot of "Fun"
ssjohnsonusa26 July 2006
I finally got the pleasure of viewing FunnyMan after missing my chance on VHS years ago, I have to say I was very pleased with this little known gem.A word of advice before viewing the film, don't go into it expecting serious horror and gore, you wont find it, But if you want to watch a fun and "funny" film then by all means check it out, the original short in the extras is worth the ten bucks alone. There is no need to go into the details of the film as other user comments have already done so, All I have to say is that take it for what is is, a fun film with humor, acting that's better than some low boa films and decent make up/costumes.
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life itself isn't as important as 'funnyman'
judahverrecke-131 July 2005
if you enjoy schlock, British humor, cocaine slides, comic violence, dancing and prancing, huge codpieces, and going off for a toss (and who doesn't??) then 'funnyman' is for you..

i've seriously never seen a movie that has altered how i view movies moreso than this.. a brilliant film that people need to grasp firmly with their subconscious before it hits..

simon sprackling, you have saved my life.. it's given me a reason to both love and live, and want more of each..

every time i talk to a girl now i have to use the line 'come 'ere often?'.. it seems normal enough.. but if they only knew..

good god, if only they knew..
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WickerMan15 January 2004
Some people it seems just take life far too seriously.This film is meant to be fun.....hence the title!Dont go expecting a deep psychological horror,just take it for what it is-an hour and a half of slapstick humour with some gore thrown in for good measure!

When I first saw this film back in 95 i lent the video to my friends and everyone loved it-a perfect film for parties and drinking beer too!Life is short as it is so lighten up you people who slagged this film off and learn to enjoy yourselves!

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whitemattk24 July 2003
I don't know why everyone else hated this movie, they must of been fans of the english patient or something. Non-stop entertainment at it's finest. The funny man makes no sense, and is extremely violent for no reason. The story makes no sense. Everyone mumbling in heavy english accents make no sense. The ending makes no sense. The rock star who rocks out so hard he dies makes no sense. It was breath taking. There's no need to explain the plot, there is none. It's 100% non-stop entertainment. Rent it. Right now. All my friends agree. My dvd copy is in the mail. If you think meg ryan and hugh grant movies suck then this is made for you.
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