Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


The cop fights a giant killer klown!
KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988). Director: Stephen Chiodo.

A small town becomes subjected to an invasion by unusual aliens: they look like clowns, set up an HQ in a circus tent, and use special guns to wrap up people in "cotton candy" that liquefies their bodies for a food supply. Say what you will about Killer Klowns, it has an inventive premise and some clever sequences. The plot is driven by a trio of young residents: Mike (Grant Cramer), his girlfriend Deb (Suzanne Snyder), and her ex, a handsome police officer named  Dave (John Allen Nelson), who at first thinks the other two are pulling his leg until he sees Deb trapped in a balloon by one of the clowns. The killer klowns also use balloons twisted together for  bloodhounds, have popcorn that masses together to form other, vicious klowns, and can create shadow puppets that can actually engulf and swallow people. In one scene a klown uses the dead body of nasty Sheriff Mooney (John Vernon) as a dummy, and when two of Mike's horny friends are cornered by female klowns with big lips and big busts, they show up covered with exaggerated lip prints. Then there's the giant King Kong-sized klown that tries to crush Dave. Killer Klowns is amiably silly, features some excellent make ups and costumes, has a snappy title tune, and some better production values than you might imagine, none of which quite disguise its low-budget, kind of schlocky, veneer. Still, the movie has too many interesting moments to dismiss it. Vernon [Curtains] gives an especially good performance, and the other actors are fine. The movie may have been inspired by the evil alien clowns who bedeviled the Metal Men in the silver age comic of the same name.

Verdict: Watch out for those clowns! **1/2.

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