Killer Piñata (2015) Movie Review

When you’re getting ready to watch a movie called Killer Piñata, you expect certain things. First of all, the movie has to have sex – or at least a set or two of naked, jiggly boobs. Second, you anticipate a pretty high level of tongue-in-cheekness. There has to be over the top ridiculousness for a good amount of the running time. You also expect some nods to classic horror movie – these meta moments can sometimes be the best part of a movie like this. Last but not least, you call for – even demand –  original, gory and extremely overblown bloodshed. Does Killer Piñata hit on all of those points?

The official synopsis for Killer Piñata: A possessed pinata, seeking to avenge the savagery that humanity has inflicted on his kind, picks off a group of friends one by one in an unending night of terror.

Killer Piñata was directed by Stephen Tramontana (Grindhouse 2003) from a script co-written by Tramontana, Megan MacManus (Secret Lives 2003) and Nick Weeks. The film stars Steven James Price (CUTEeGRL 2011), Lindsay Ashcroft (Monica 2017), Nate Bryan (Kings 2015), Joette Waters (Open Caskets 2014), Eliza-Jane Morris (Uptown 2016) and Billy Chengary (Crisis TV series). FX artist Alex Falk (The Declassified 2014) was in charge of special effects makeup.

Man, that Piñata looks pissed!

The film starts off as the owner of Chicago’s Dulcelandia, a purple hat wearing little Spanish lady (Waters) with a hook for a hand, realizes that one of her rainbow colored piñatas is possessed by an ancient Mexican curse (or, you know, the ghost of a disgruntled factory worker – could go either way). When she leaves the store to find what she needs to destroy the evil thing, it and several other piñatas get sold to a harried dad looking for party decorations for his son’s birthday. As the possessed toy watches in horror, its piñata peers are slaughtered one after another by partygoers – both children and teens alike. He stays silent until mother, father and son take off for the weekend, leaving their teenage daughter, Lindsey (Morris), alone to hang out with her man-hungry best friend, Rosetta Stone (Ashcroft).

As often happens in horror movies, this turns into a party, complete with Lindsey’s ex-boyfriend, Scott (Chengary), his good looking buddy, Chad (Bryan), and Rosetta’s awkward cousin, Martin (Daniel Hawkes). The pissed off piñata isn’t having it and immediately starts killing off those arrogant humans. Not only does the party favor’s papery jaws bite and snap with savage, flesh-tearing glee, but he also poops out poisonous candy that kills the eater within seconds. He can even use the dead like marionettes once they’ve eaten those sugary sweets. By far the best death in the movie, there’s slaughter by forced penile removal in a scene that needs to be seen to be believed. Just thinking about that nasty, bloody penis stump still makes me squirm, and I’m a girl.

Killer Piñata worked on almost every level. The characters, while one-dimensional, were exactly what you would expect to see in a horror parody named after an avenging birthday party decoration. Billy Chengary and Eliza-Jane Morris were fantastic in their roles. They both nailed the awesome yet awkward chemistry between exes Lindsey and Scott. They played off of each other perfectly. I’d love to see these two working together more in the future. Daniel Hawkes was oafishly geeky as Martin – his scenes were some of my favorites. I’m really not sure what Tramontana’s deal was with the rainbow colored naked women paintings hanging all over the house. Maybe he was trying to up the boob quotient? There was only one hookup in this flick, although it did involve nipple clamps. So who knows.

My absolute favorite part of Killer Piñata was the weapon making montage in the garage. Horror movies have always had characters making the most destructive arms out of the least offensive materials, and Killer Piñata was batting 1,000 with this scene. I won’t spoil it, but this bit was worth the price of admission alone! I was also amazed at how much expression and meaning Tramontana was able to give the piñata himself. With just a eyeball sticker readjustment or a tilt of the head, the director was able to convey a boatload more than any expository dialogue ever could. Bravo! Using an inanimate object must be near impossible to work with, but these guys did an amazing job with this colorful little guy.

My only complaint for Killer Piñata is that it was a bit long. The film could have been trimmed by 15-20 minutes. This would have tightened up the story and left less down time. But, in the grand scheme of things, this is minor compared to the rest of the film. So, if you’ve got a hankering for some some psychotic paper party goods, check out Killer Piñata , now available on DVD, Blu-ray and VHS through LC Films.

Viva piñata!

 

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of PopHorror.com, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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