Killer Klowns from Outer Space Movie Review


Killer Klowns from Outer Space Movie Review
Everybody loves carnivorous shadow puppets!

From Joe's Shelf

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

The title for this one says it all. Every decade since the 1950's or so, has had its share of B-movies and all of the cult-following glory that has come with them. The 1980's stood out most to me for having so many low budget, straight -to-video/short theatrically run, offbeat, horror movies. Films like Night of the Creeps, Critters, and Re-Animator, all hold a dirty place in my heart as terrible B-movies from my youth. My hands down favorite though, is from 1988's underrated gem, Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

Brought to us by the talented Chiodo Brothers (Critters, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Ernest Scared Stupid), Killer Klowns may sound stupid, but it looks great. On only a two million dollar budget, these guys designed some of the best looking costumes and masks of the era. This movie has everything that qualifies its B-movie status; A cheezy self-titled theme song, questionable acting, dorky dialogue, an asshole cop, isolated murder scenes, and the cliche-riddled damsel in distress. The story is fairly simple and emulates the drive-in classic, The Blob; Creatures come from space, a hermit looking farmer with a dog discovers them first, and the town's are sucked up for food while a handful of unlikely heroes are able to save the day.

The Majority of the cast is nothing special, except for the fact that they're perfectly bad for a film like this. Grant Cramer (Santa Claws) as the main  hero, is annoyingly big-eyed and optimistic, even when he's angry. Suzanne Snyder (Return of the Living Dead Part II) as his easily excitable girlfriend, is the poster child for bad acting in dangerous situations.

And John Allen Nelson (Deathstalker III) as the nice cop, takes his role far too seriously to be taken...  Cramer has a couple of idiot virgin friends that drive an ice cream truck (The Terenzi Brothers), but the only worth that they have is by showing how obnoxious they are when they're taking up the screen, instead of where more Killer Klown moments should be.

Thank the Klown gods for giving this film the two worthwhile actors that make this movie more fun than it is, with Paul Dano (House II: The Second Story) and John Vernon (Chained Heat). Dano is great as an overacting farmer who discovers the Killer Klowns' circus tent spaceship, and Vernon runs away with the film as the asshole cop that you love to hate.

Highs- Every Klown gimmick in the book is used on the victims, as weapons; Pies, popcorn, cotton candy, shadow puppets, miming, Klown car, balloon animals, tricycles, and more! Klownzilla! And the makeup and sound effects of the Klowns is brilliant.

Lows- Those damn Terenzi bozos. No tears for all those lost in the end? And how much more brutal would this have been if it were rated R?

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a must see for cheezy 80's horror film fans. Look for a brief appearance from comedian Christopher Titus (Titus) as a bespectacled lover boy in the make-out parking scene. The Chiodos plan on making a long awaited sequel, but we all know how modern horror films turn out these days. All I know, is that they better quit Klownin around and make it happen.

Rating- 7 out of 10

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
PG-13 | 1h 28min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi | 27 May 1988 (USA)
Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town.

Director: Stephen Chiodo
Writers: Charles Chiodo, Stephen Chiodo
Stars: Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson