Day Three. Oh boy. We’ve gone from Bad to Really Bad to Makes Birdemic Look Like Citizen Kane. I’m talking about the pungently trashy Killer Piñata. Gee, wonder what the plot of this little 2015 film is gonna be?
The first few minutes are harbingers of the hilarity to come. A shopkeeper (Joette Waters) with a hook for a hand goes to work at her party store, Candyworld, only to find Lori (Melissa Genova Hill), her dead employee, splayed out on the floor. Her last act was to write the word, “Piñata” on the floor in her own (fake) blood, and then point her finger in the direction of a seemingly harmless donkey piñata.
One week later, the Goodmans are having a birthday party, and David (Steven James Price), the husband, comes into the shop to buy…what else? Piñatas. He’s especially interested in the donkey behind the counter. The one with the “Do Not Cell” sign pinned to it.
Abandon all hope, all ye who continue reading, because it only gets worse from here. Ye have been warned.
David persists in wanting to buy the mysterious donkey piñata, and the poor salesclerk, Juan (Elvis Garcia) finally gives in. When the shopkeeper comes in the next day, she is aghast and wants to see all the receipts so they can find out who bought the evil piñata, but Juan would rather know about the “evil that walks the earth.”
The shopkeeper is aghast but remains tight-lipped. She tells Juan in Spanish to inform his mother she won’t be home for dinner and storms out of the shop, after which she combs the neighborhood for the wayward piñata, any piñata, but especially that one. She terrorizes a teenage girl’s birthday party by ripping into their piñata right in front of the guests’ horrified faces. Too late, though, she realizes her mistake, and totters off with a sheepish “Feliz cumpleaños.”
Meanwhile, the Goodmans’ party is going strong. A few guests have arrived, but no kids except one toddler, so Luke (Elias Acevedo) gets to take all the swings at the piñatas. He picks a cheerful pink piñata and goes nuts, decapitating the creature and sending its candy innards flying while the theme from Swan Lake swells over the scene. The donkey watches as only a secretly animate object can, the guests little knowing what is going through its cardboard head.
The Goodmans are off to Wisconsin Dells for a family vacay the day after the party, but their daughter, Lindsey (Eliza-Jane Morris) stays behind for some alone time. Well, “alone” includes her college friend, Rosetta Stone (!) (Lindsay Ashcroft), who really likes the guys. She’s invited Scott (Bill Chengary) and his friend, Chad (Nate Bryan), two fellas she just met someplace over to Lindsey’s house because she’s got one thing on her mind. She also brings her cousin, Marty (Daniel Hawkes), a hapless, hopelessly awkward nice guy who is nothing more than an odd wheel.
All the while the piñata is in the shed, plotting its revenge. A homeless guy will be its next victim after eating candy expelled from the piñata’s orifice. Marty, is alone again, naturally, while the rest of the group goes on a beer run. He will spend the rest of the night, and possibly all eternity, stuffed in a trash can following a violent end.
Lindsey and Company are none the wiser, and Rosetta shrugs off her cousin’s disappearance because she’s too busy exchanging googly eyes with Chad. Picking up on the painfully obvious hints, Scott and Lindsey watch a movie on Lindsey’s laptop while Chad and Rosetta go the way of all flesh. Meanwhile the piñata is on the move.
None of this ends well, folks.
This film is a lot smuttier than I anticipated–the trailer doesn’t give any indication of how NSFW it gets. I had to turn it off about halfway through and wait for my son to go to bed before I finished it. That’s how bad it is. It’s not only in poor taste, but it adds a lot of needless flotsam. Most of the characters do nothing but make dumb sexual puns everywhere they go because sex is all they think about, even when danger is imminent.
Like when Lindsey, Rosetta, and Chad come back from their beer run. They’re a little too casual about Marty being missing, especially Rosetta. Such nice people in this crowd.
There are a lot of “other hands” to this movie. If the Bloodbath & Beyond folks and IMDb can be believed, Killer Piñata had a non-existent budget of $3,000 and an eight-day shooting schedule. It shows. Most of the money seemed to go into kinda decent camerawork and some brief animation, but that’s where it ends. Everything else was cheaply done and real locations used. The store set is literally a store. The house is a house. Nothing was done on soundstages or changed in these environments, so there’s a lot of shooting around furniture and down hallways.
Then there’s the talent. The title character looks like it was bought at a Walmart and the filmmakers made it look angry by turning its paper eyes upside down. It blends very nicely with its fellow cast members, because, with the exception of Eliza-Jane Morris, the acting is mediocre to terrible. When the piñata rushes Chad and Rosetta they’re actually smiling and trying not to laugh.
It’s understandable, though, considering the absurdity of the situation. The best part is when the characters finally spring into action and Lindsey yells, “We don’t have weapons!”
Ummmmm….try a baseball bat? Cricket bat? Frying pan? Bic lighter? Heck, turn on the garden hose and douse the creature. It’s only tissue paper and carboard, after all, even if it has a death wish. The sky’s the limit, people.
But no, the movie does this lightning-quick A-Team-like montage of Scott and Lindsey building stuff. Scott sprays a baseball bat with spray paint. He then saws a plank of wood with great fervor, which magically turns into a shotgun. Lindsey wraps twine around a broom handle which somehow becomes a bow and arrow that look like they were bought at Sportsman’s Warehouse. After all that, Scott and Lindsey wind up with a chummy high-five.
In the end none of their preparation matters because all Scott has to do is throw the piñata down the hall, which he does a couple of times, and it’s still not enough.
Sorry, guys, I’m not going to give any spoilers because the sooner I forget this movie, the better. If Killer Piñata stuck to horror it would have been hilarious, but it doesn’t, and I would not recommend it under any circumstances. Not even if, heaven forbid, it’s the last film on Earth.
I’m happy to say the movie doesn’t have much of a life beyond Amazon Prime. The filmmakers unsuccessfully tried to fund a sequel on Kickstarter and its website still exists, if only to sell a very limited selection of merchandise. Other than that, it’s firmly on the outer fringes of the cult film universe.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m gonna go read some Shakespeare by way of a brain cleanser. Details to arrive on Wednesday.
More badness can be found here. As always, thanks for reading, all…
~Any purchases made via Amazon Links found on this site help support Taking Up Room at no extra cost to you.~