Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Carny (2009)


Written by Douglas G. Davis
Directed by Sheldon Wilson

A sleazy old-school traveling carnival manages to procure a new act for their sideshow: the infamous Jersey Devil.  It should be a real moneymaker...so long as they can keep the beast tranquilized.

Haven't these people seen King Kong?  During the Devil's first "performance", he breaks free from his cage and flies away to terrorize the backwater burg where they have temporarily dropped anchor.  It's up to the lone wolf sheriff (the ever-present Lou Diamond Phillips) to track down the monster before he can harm any of the townsfolk he has sworn to protect.

He's got a few things standing in the way of doing his job, though.  The carnies want to protect their investment; and an angry preacher has decided to go vigilante.  And let's not forget, he's got God on his side!

It's a decent enough film, and it surpasses its low-budget in both style and substance, but it still didn't live up to its potential.  I generally love films with a circus or carnival theme, simply because of how colorful and eclectic the characters are--the bearded lady, the illustrated man, the wild child of Borneo, etc.  Here, none of them are given the opportunity to shine and we're never allowed to get to know them, as the film chooses instead to concentrate on the exploits of the mundane and slightly dull sheriff.

The renegade preacher was a nice touch, though, as it's always refreshing to see a decidedly moral man lose his shit and evolve into a name-taking badass.

All in all, not bad for a SyFy made-for-TV movie.

Not Rated
88 Minutes



  1. I've actually wanted to see this one as it looked like a step above the usual low-budget monster film trash that comes out. Plus, I too love carnival settings and LDP!

  2. Give it a shot, Mr. Suzaka, and let me know what you thought!

    LDP=Hollywood Gold

    "I strangled him and his body's decomposing in my locker."

  3. I am a sucker for carnival films as well but passed this one up because I was certain it would be terrible. Thanks for the positive review, renewed my faith in humanity Jonny!

  4. Good review! And I think you propose an interesting OTHER movie in the course of it... what if interesting sideshow freaks had to fight the monster instead of the typical "normals"?


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