Certainly, the idea of serial killer and homeless people seems an incongruous mix. Most homeless that one has encountered are physically derelict and/or suffering substance abuse problems, not exactly people that readily have the physical prowess or strength to hunt and physically overpower victims. Moreover, the logistics of living on the street with ones belongings in a shopping trolley would not exactly make it easy for the usual serial killer business of imprisoning and torturing victims. Nevertheless, the idea of a homeless person taking revenge on those that regard him as nothing or (as seen here) kick him in disgust holds a certain promise. Alas, that opening title card manages to be about the sum of Homeless Joes nod to social relevance and thereafter it makes a beeline for gore and horror movie convention. Disappointingly, nothing is ever made of the homeless person seeking revenge angle.
Homeless Joe is a low-budget independently made film from a group of California-based filmmakers. A basic competence is maintained on the level of production. The early scenes make an effort to develop a natural interplay between the actors. The scenes with the group heading to the party are written with an appealingly sarcastic amusement, where the writers appear to have a great deal of affinity for the horny best friend. The film is occasionally beset by amateur actors the actor in the prologue screaming Not my dick as said item is severed delivers surely the least convincing cries of anguish ever committed to celluloid.
On the other hand, the film suffers from several abrupt changes of pace and tone. The opening party scenes come with a darkly funny amusement and these passably segue into the serial killers attack on the group as they walk to the other partygoers house. On the other hand, when it ventures into the sewer tunnels, the film turns into something else. The relatively realist aboveground scenes about a homeless killer become a science-fiction/horror hybrid with a sinister underground labyrinth and mad scientists having created monsters. Finally, the latter section back aboveground turn into a survival horror scenario as the party are hunted through the woods and gorily despatched by the little-seen killer. The hunting scenes in particular come with an over-hyped soundtrack that is constantly trying to achieve sinister effect. A good deal of gore is splattered about but most of this tends to look fake. For some reason, these scenes have also been solarized and tinted various colours.
Throughout all of these turns, the script piles on twists that are bizarre to the point of being unbelievable that the homeless serial killer has been genetically engineered in a series of experiments (by whom is not exactly made clear) for the purpose of creating mayhem. The means whereby this has been done holds little credibility indeed, offers exactly the same problem as the virtual android serial killer film Virtuosity (1995) did in trying to suggest the absurd idea of creating a serial killer by psychological cut-and-paste methods, which fail at a moments thought due to the fact that each killers circumstances and methodology is wildly different.