The Horror Honeys: Be Nice to The Janitor or He'll Rip Your Arms Off!

Be Nice to The Janitor or He'll Rip Your Arms Off!

A Revenge Honey Review by Linnie

The Janitor (2003)

Thanks to being the weird kid in school who made friends with the custodian and Janitor from Scrubs basically being my spirit animal, I've always had a healthy appreciation for those who practice the custodial arts.

Yup. Spirit animal. Of all the Honeys, actually.

So, when I was offered a copy of TJ Nordiker and Andy Signore's The Janitor, I was stoked. A no-budget B-movie with a murderous janitor as the lead? Sign me up! And kids, I can say with the utmost confidence, that I wasn't one bit disappointed. The Janitor is pure, 100%, schlocky B-movie heaven and is not to be missed.

The Plot: Custodians Lionel and Mr. Growbo live in the supply closet of the office where they work, due to a mysterious fire burning down their house (I didn't ask questions). In his downtime from cleaning, Lionel likes to rip people's arms off and beat them to death with them. Literally. In all honestly, the plot is kind of irrelevant. Just trust me when I say there are a lot of people getting their arms ripped off and then being beaten to death with them.

Not ten minutes into The Janitor, I found myself thinking, "Man, this feels like a Troma film." And sure enough, who should pop up from behind a dumpster but Troma President Lloyd Kaufman, himself. It wasn't just Nordaker and Signore's indie, DIY spirit that gave off that old Troma vibe: it was the buckets of gore, blood, and balls-to-the-wall commitment to inappropriate humor. But what sets The Janitor apart from the majority of Troma's movies is that it's really well acted, and the gore is actually well done.

Much of the FX work on The Janitor was done by makeup effects artist Lance Anderson. Anderson has worked on a series of small projects... Like Cabin in the Woods, Death Becomes Her, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Pet Semetary, The Crow, L.A. Confidential, and the Dawn of the Dead remake. So you know, the gore and make-up effects are pretty good. They're pretty good.

Revenge Honey PSA: After I finished the film, I watched the making-of documentary that accompanied it, and some of the extra footage was of auditions. In one clip, a young woman was interviewing for the position of makeup FX artist. When asked what her favorite horror film was? She answered Scream. When asked about her favorite horror makeup artist? She didn't have one. Nor did she recognize the names of Tom Savini and Jack Pierce.

Don't lie on your resume. Don't lie in an interview. You will always get caught. This has been a Revenge Honey PSA!

He had a baby in there. Do I know why? Nope. Do I care? NOPE!
Anyway, the acting in The Janitor is actually far better than it probably has a right to be, given its place in the B-movie cannon. As soon as the FBI agent (played by Skip Pipo... great name dude) referred to a semen sample as "psychopathic clam juice," I was hooked. This movie is disgusting in ways I don't even want to ruin, a lot of them related to sperm, but it's so triumphantly disgusting that I absolutely couldn't get enough.

Signore, who is one of the minds behind Honest Trailers (if you click that link, be prepared to lose at minimum an hour in a YouTube rabbit hole), is hilarious, creepy, and strangely endearing as Lionel. His gruff, monosyllabic tone and gleeful rage make him an ideal slasher icon in a world of cookie-cutter horror killers. How it is that more people haven't been turned on to this film or continued talking about in the 10+ years since its release is beyond me. A scene of Rocky-inspired murder training alone seems worthy of consideration for the most clever horror scenes in recent history.

I highly suggest that you seek out a copy of The Janitor and add it to your collection. This is one you will be watching with your friends and enjoying for years to come.

Revenge Honey Rating: As a B-movie, I give this 5 Toilet Brush Deaths out of 5