3/17/2013

Killer Klowns From Outer Space was just released on Blu-Ray, which gives me a perfect excuse to review one of my all-time favorite movies. I'm not afraid of clowns, but this movie made me understand why anyone would be.

Just like all great B-movies, the title says it all. The movie is about a spaceship full of aliens that look like demented clowns that visit a small town and start killing people. It's the execution that makes this movie great. The clowns use an assortment of clown and circus-related tools to terrify the populace. They cocoon victims in cotton candy, melt them with cream pies, and use balloon animal dogs to hunt them down. At times, it's genuinely funny in the same macabre way that we laugh when the Joker kills someone with an electrified joy buzzer.

Killer Klowns is smartly written for a B-movie. There are the standard horror movie characters - the guy and his girlfriend, the ignorant sheriff, the hapless farmer - but they all come off as knowing winks at the genre. For instance, it's the girlfriend who figures out what's going on, not the boyfriend. The writers even came up with a semi-plausible explanation for the bizarre premise: what if these aliens visited Earth long ago and that's where we got the idea of clowns?

The production design is what's takes Killer Klowns over the top. The Chiodo Brothers, the movie's writers and directors, are visual effects artists, and it shows. The make-up and costuming is fantastic in the horrifyingly exaggerated portrayal of clowns.

Really, this movie is better than it has any right to be. Compare this movie to the truly awful evil clown movie, Killjoy, and you'll see why it gets high praise.


[Image Source: bryanreesman]
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7 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I watched it in the 80's, but it's been so long I don't remember it well.

Pat Dilloway said...

It does deliver exactly what it promises: Killer Clowns from Outer Space. It seems like the kind of premise Ed Wood might have come up with.

Liesel Hill said...

Haven't seen that one, but it sounds interesting. I always wonder about why we have a phobia of clowns. I'm sure it's a psychological thing, but I always have to stop and ponder. Like you, I'm not afraid of clowns, but I totally get it. It seems to me that clowns scare more people and more badly than most other phobia's combined. Is it a childhood thing? The fact that their faces are painted? Anyway, great post. I'll check this movie out if I ever run into it. :D

jeremy [retro] said...

there is a sequel coming? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1979370/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

Nigel Mitchell said...

I know, Jeremy, I'm excited

Nigel Mitchell said...

I think it is the artificial faces and the exaggeration

Nigel Mitchell said...

True, Pat

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