Sunday, November 1, 2015

MR Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Movie: Killer Klowns from Outer Space or KKfOS or simply Killer Klowns
Directed by Stephen Chiodo
Release date 1988
Genre Scifi/Horror comedy film
Country USA

Those clowns can sure look creepy sometimes... And Stephen King's It probably played a large part in terrifying their image in our pop culture.

Strangely only one film really took full use of that portrayal, this great little B-movie. Finally someone to gave justice to clowns' full potential as proper slasher monsters!

Killer Klowns from Outer Space was released in 1988, it was made by The Chiodo Brothers, Stephen, Charles & Edward Chiodo. The siblings worked on special effects for ages. They created effects and puppets behind a lot of great memorable B-movies and even a handful few A-list productions, from the original Critters to Pee-wee's Big Adventure's infamous "large Marge" scene, working with all kinds of prosthetics, miniatures and dioramas. The film was produced through their own company Chiodo Brothers Productions.

That's right, you read that correctly - Killer Klowns from Outer Space! How could anyone type those words with a straight face...

To date it's the only film directed and written by the brothers. And it's a real shame because for all its non-sensical plot and outlandish premise it turned out amazingly great!

KKfOS was their own parody on all these low-budget B-movie horror films we saw in the 1980s such as Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, as well as a great throwback to old alien invasion films.

The story revolves around this alien race that coincidentally appears just like our Earth clowns (and they hint as the possible inspiration behind clowns in our culture..?).

It takes place in Crescent Cove, California. Some kids were making out in this spot in the middle of the forest when they witnessed a falling star. It turns out it wasn't a comet but a circus tent-like shaped spacecraft of some kind! A farmer and his dog are killed immediately by our killer Klowns.

This guy Mike Tobacco and his girlfriend Debbie Stone go investigate the ten. They find some people trapped inside cotton candy cocoons! That's no circus, but actual clown aliens!! They rush to the police station, but they don't believe them. Debbie's ex Dave Hanson decides to have a look while this older cop remains skeptical and mocks the kids. “Killer clowns from outer space? Holy shit!”. The man starts to think the whole town's playing a prank on him...

But the Klowns actually followed our heroes into the town. And they soon start killing and capturing people left and right. With deadly practical pranks and trapping people inside the cotton candy cocoons with ray guns shaped like toys.

There also these friends of Mike, the Terenzi bros. who get mixed into this story, their ice cream truck turns out super useful.

The klowns seem to only have one weakness, their red noses!

Dave and Mike are forced to team up and left their rivalry aside to save Debbie from the Klowns. They run to the tent to get Debbie out. But not before facing one final monster, this giant clown monster, the Klownzilla!

The film is sort of a parody/reimagining of The Blob, note for note. Only replacing the titular blob with alien clowns! Along the appropriate sight gags!

It's a really brutal film.

Far from bad.

It's actually a really creative take on the genre, fairly unique, original and funny. It's a film that never takes itself too seriously. And yet it also works quite effectively as a gruesome horror film. It's probably one of the most inspired creature features I've ever seen!

All things consider, the plot is pretty coherent. And those creepy-looking clowns (or klowns) will haunt you! Like most of these films it's set in a small town in the middle of nowhere, which works great with the circus in town.

The cast is fairly good actually.

The film stars a bunch of obscure names, Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, Royal Dano, Michael Siegel and Peter Licassi. Dirty Harry and Animal House star John Vernon plays the grumpy police chief that sucks at his job, and he does great with the role.

It's truly a work of love. While I doubt anyone's that great an actor here, everybody's clearly playing along and giving their all.

The work on the clowns is particularly impressive. They didn't just bother making all of the clowns look the same, but instead made them each unique with their own look. There's a lot of attention given to the details.

Each clown kind of has his own m.o. and power set.

There's one particularly genuinely creepy scenes in the entire film where a Klown tries to lure a little girl away from her parents...

We do great some pretty great and well executed kills. The film can be quite gruesome and look decent while at it. People get eaten, electrocuted, decapitated, melted by acid pies and even a killer "ventriloquism" act.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a massive cult hit. While others such as Troll 2 are enjoyable bad films, Killer Klown is actually amazingly well put-together. It's well produced, directed and written for a horror comedy film.

You won't like it too much only if you take things too seriously to enjoy this killer horror film!

The only thing that didn't work much for me were the Terenzi brothers, they were pretty annoying. But otherwise it's a fantastic film!

The music was composed by John Massari, an obscure sound designer and composer who actually worked on a ton of things. He did all sorts of background music for Disney and all sorts of behind the scenes stuff, but Killer Klowns remains his biggest production to date. He made a great rockin' score fitting for the film's insane plot and weird dark tone. The film also uses a title song "Killer Klowns", written and performed by The Dickies. The film has a kickass theme and great killer 80s music to boot.

Will we see the Killer Klowns back? Only time will tell..

Overall, Killer Klowns from Outer Space is as stupid as it gets...but it's also infectiously fun!!

This is a proper great low-budget 80s horror film. Highly Recommended if you love the genre! It's clearly a movie that knows what it wants to be, and despite the first impression or what you would imagine from the title alone, it's a great film. All the special effects look amazing, even the characters and the story are perfectly handled by careful hands, they knew exactly what they were doing. The deaths are brutal and gruesome. It's greatly executed. It's just a brilliant film actually!

An enjoyable ride as long as you're not afraid of clowns!

Sure, it's a pretty stupid film, you know it. But it was really fun. It's such a random premise but it works and it's pretty creepy. There's lots of laugh to have. Great creepy special effects.

While the film remained fairly obscure back then, it has since become a cult flick on its own right. There's been several licensed toys over the years and there's even been talks of sequel which would be titled Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space in 3D for the last few years. The story is supposed to talk place now, 30 years after their last invasion. Even the actor Grant Cramer said he would love to reprise his role as a town drunk now which nobody believes.

I give it:
3 / 3 Necronomicons!

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