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Film / Funny Man

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Funny Man is a 1994 British horror comedy film written and directed by Simon Sprackling.

Record producer Max Taylor (Benny Young) wins a mansion in England in a game of poker from a man named Callum Chance (Christopher Lee). When Max arrives at the premises with his family, they come in contact with a deadly supernatural jokester known as the Funny Man (Tim James) who lives within its walls.

Not to be confused with the completely unrelated 1948 comic book.

This film has examples of:

  • Antagonist Title: No name is given to the villainous jester, but he is credited as The Funny Man.
  • Arm Cannon: The Psychic Commando manifests a gun from her left hand to have a gunfight against the Funny Man within his lair.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Funny Man kills every single character before torturing the last survivor into insanity. Then he quietly sits back, awaiting more victims.
  • Big Bad: Callum Chance, master of the Funny Man.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Funny Man frequently makes comments to the audience about his victims.
  • Captain Ersatz: Thelma, with her glasses, orange sweater and haircut, looks exactly like Velma from Scooby-Doo.
  • Cartoon Bomb: The puppeteer loses half of his head when he finds himself in a Punch and Judy show where the main characters plant a bomb labeled as a bomb on top of his head.
  • Deadly Prank: The Funny Man's modus operandi is entirely composed of inflicting lethal pranks on people, the next crazier than the last. Naturally, given his Villainous Harlequin trickster nature.
  • Death by Irony: Most of the deaths are related to the characters' hobbies and dreams. One example is Thelma, an avid birdwatcher, who is given a death thematically similar to the other birdwatching hobby; duck hunting.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: EVERY character is unlikable to one extent or another, to the point where you'll just find yourself rooting for the Funny Man. At least he brings some Black Comedy to the table!
  • Destination Defenestration: After Johnny learns that his brother Max stiffed him a job in The Rolling Stones, he appears before him and flies through a window.
  • Downer Ending: The Funny Man kills all but one of the survivors, the final one being tortured into insanity. Neither he nor his master is punished for their crimes, and the demon sits back and waits for more victims to enter his lair.
  • Epigraph: The film opens on a quote from The Bible, specifically from the book of Corinthians.
  • Eye Scream: Funny Man sticks a heel of a high-heeled shoe to the Hard Man's left eye.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: When Max finds himself in a dark space with a mysterious pile of white powder on front of him, he tastes it to make sure it's really cocaine.
  • Gag Penis: Funny Man has a rather exaggerated codpiece.
  • Guns Akimbo: Funny Man confronts Psychic Commando with two revolvers in hand.
  • Jerkass: The Hard Man, who is constantly a dick to the puppeteer.
  • Laughably Evil: The Funny Man is essentially a British Freddy Krueger. He warps the environment to kill people in inventive ways while treating the whole thing as a joke.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Big Bad Callum Chance, whenever he is shown, wears a completely white outfit.
  • Male Gaze: As the hitchhikers help Max to move the crates from his van, the camera lingers on Thelma's exposed knickers.
  • Meaningful Name: Chance, a gambler who has decorated his house with card motifs.
  • Motifs: Playing cards (especially jokers), gambling, Punch and Judy, and jesters.
  • My Card: When Max comes face to face with the Funny Man, he asks who he is. Funny Man presents a joker card and says; "My card."
  • No Name Given: Aside from Thelma, no names are given to the hitchhikers that Johnny picks up. The credits name them as The Psychic Commando, The Crap Puppeteer and The Hard Man.
  • Reality Warper: The Funny Man can apparently do just about anything he wants to the environment if it serves his trickster schemes.
  • Sadist: The Funny Man, a demon who spends his whole screen time brutally murdering people while cracking bad jokes.
  • Severed Head Sports: The Funny Man uses one of his victims' severed heads to play football.
  • Shoe Slap: The Funny Man kills one of his victims by stabbing him in the eye with a high-heeled shoe.
  • Sinister Schnoz: As part of his Villainous Harlequin appearance, the Funny Man has a very crooked nose.
  • The Stinger: After the credits, the Funny Man appears to address the audience once more.
  • Thin Chin of Sin: As part of his Villainous Harlequin appearance, the Funny Man has a very elongated chin.
  • Title Drop: "You're a funny man Mr. Taylor. But I have met funnier. And you will too."
  • Villainous Harlequin: The Funny Man himself is a demonic trickster whose appearance is based on Punch and a joker playing card.
  • Voice Changeling: Funny Man mimics Johnny's voice as he speaks to his parents behind a door.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Funny Man's first victim is Max's son Harry.