The following opinions should not be read prior to seeing the films in question. (Though it is possible you have resigned to never watch them at all...)

These are not reviews upon which you should base movie watching decisions. Rather, I write with the hopeful purpose of inciting sometimes interesting, sometimes informative, sometimes humourous discussions about cinema. What may prove unfortunate for the reader is that I often express myself in a pompous and juvenile fashion...mayhap there ought to be a "warning" in recognition of my sense of humour...

Regardless, I implore film fans to always remember that all film is art, and all art is subjective. No one can tell you if you like a movie, except you. Likes and dislikes of film can only be opinion, and opinion can never be wrong; only intelligently expressed and defended. There is nothing wrong with unconditionally loving a film that isn't necessarily held in the highest regard, so long as you understand and accept why you love it.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Director - Stephen Chiodo
Starring - Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson

Recalling the lost 50's and 60's hey-day of "Space Invaders" drive-in flicks, this comedy/horror (emphasis on "comedy") adds a sorely needed touch of the 80's to the familiar sub genre. Predilections towards this one should be immediately obvious; if you genuinely smiled whilst reading the infamous tag-line, you'll probably genuinely smile throughout the film's unfurling. In it's entirety, Killer Klowns... is one, rapid, circus based, pun or sight-gag after the next, laid down atop the stereotypically classic storyline. Anyone who furrows their brow at the idea of deadly cotton candy cocoons or living balloon search dogs should prepare themselves for an arduous journey. Personally, I was hooked from the opening Killer Klowns glam rock theme song. Not for all tastes, but it certainly sets a mood...

The narrative structure is quite simple and familiar; an alien ship passes over make-out point to crash land in a farmer's field. Two protagonists put their heavy petting on hold to investigate, and spend the bulk of the film trying to convince moronic authority figures that what they saw was not a hormone induced hallucination. Meanwhile, the outsiders showcase their threat by dispatching a slew of nondescript townsfolk. An exciting climax ensues. The pacing is kept brisk, with very quick scene changes alternating between clown havoc and our heroes and heroines desperately trying to overcome puberty, jealousy, and popcorn. And timeless 80's humour. Can't forget that 80's humour. Luckily for me, the colourful chaos (both literal and figurative) culminated, every single time, with a close-up of the perpetrating clown's face, laughing maniacally. It heralded the the moment I could put aside my terror, and once again laugh...and love...

Now we reach the real question concerning the film`s construction; Is all this tongue-in-cheek, cheesy-humour laden, death fueled, clown gallivanting preposterousness a loving, exaggerated homage? Or is it lame? Is the movie fun on purpose...or is the fun just a pleasant by-product? (And does it really matter...) I believe the majority of it was on purpose, and it makes the ordeal that much more enjoyable, but pleasure can definitely be garnered on the other end of this subjective see-saw. I still have no real explanation or justification for those "crazy" Torrenzi brothers...I probably would have preferred had they actually melted away with all that exploded ice cream...

Yet, there`s something wholesomely fun about watching a freakishly large clown, with crusty make-up covering his garish animatronic face, attempt to ply a young girl away from Big Top Burger and toward his big-ass hammer. Or a tiny, little clown box the head right off of a dated biker bully. The rousing success for me, as it was simultaneously funny, absurd, and still creepy, was Sheriff Mooney being used as a ventriloquist dummy. Sure, the doll make-up and ominous spot-lighting played integral roles, but it just so happens that one of my fears is not the alarmingly popular coulrophobia, rather a fear of ventriloquist dummies. (They`re just so stilted and unsettling...yet they still toss about scathing insults...)

Even the non-kill scenes, or "plot" as the experts have dubbed it, are in emulation of former cinematic comrades. The boisterous, forced, joviality spewed by Mike as he and Deb enter the ship is mockingly reminiscent of every "Invasion"-esque protagonist of yester-year. Mooney`s stubborn refusal to believe any of the frantic phone calls he receives is also characteristic of the close-minded authority figures upon which he is based.

Killer Klowns... is certainly not the keystone of comic satire...some of the stupidity lives up too much to just that label; but it will be enjoyed. By those who love the base genre, by those who like what is called a "good bad movie". It will also be argued that it is merely a bad movie, and nothing more, and that is an opinion that can be empathized with. What cannot be argued however, is that it is marketed poorly. With a title sporting unnecessary alliteration and that ugly mug on the cover, one gets a fairly good sense of what they are in for.

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