Alien clowns land on Earth and terrorize the citizens of Crescent Cove.
Killer Klowns from
I knew going in that this was gonna be a weird one. I mean, with a title like Killer Klowns from Outer Space, how could you not? So, my expectations were low, which I guess helped in the end. Suffice it to say, this film is probably the weirdest one I've ever reviewed. It's quite a mess, with no real plot and a handful of disposable 80's horror cliches disguised as characters. But this movie was clearly a labor of love. It has to be. Nobody would make a movie about killer space clowns and think they were on their way to making the next Alien. Everyone involved knew they were making something ridiculous, so they had fun with it.
It all begins when a UFO lands on Earth. This UFO is disguised as a circus tent, and with it comes a host of evil alien clowns. They proceed to turn everyone they find into cotton candy, and only a teenage couple and a good cop in a small town can stop them. One thing I'll say for this film is the special effects are top notch. Every scene with the clowns is bonkers, and there are a number of scenes that are pure, freaky horror. For example, the scene where sour old Officer Mooney (Vernon) becomes a human ventriloquist dummy. That was pretty grisly and way less comical than the rest of the film. I think this film would've benefited heavily from an R-rating. Making the film PG-13 keeps it on a leash, never letting it get as crazy and vicious as it could get with a premise like this.
I expected this to be a pure train wreck, but admittedly it wasn't all that bad. It has its moments, few though they are. Not a lot of the characters stand out, but this film isn't character-driven, its space clown-driven. This is a film that will forever represent exactly what a cult classic is. You don't get more fan-beloved than Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
The trio of Stephen, Charles, and Edward Chiodo have been working in the industry for close to 40 years and their resume is extensive. Rising to prominence in the 80's, we can thank them for the ravenous Crites, the titular creatures of Troll, as well as the evil trolls in Ernest Scared Stupid (which actually use recycled clowns from this film). There is more but I just wanted to hit the highlights because they made their mark with this over-the-top horror comedy. The title alone should key you in that you're not going to get a super serious horror film. That could easily have derailed this movie but the Chiodo brothers knocked this one out of the park.
The brothers cut their teeth making home movies and quickly honed their talents in special effects, specifically stop motion, puppetry, and animatronics. Those talents are on full display in this flick. The clowns are fully indulged from the costumes and mannerisms to their methods of travel and human consumption. Everything is played up to the max and the gags pay off. Think of a clown joke and it's turned into a method of killing or riffed on. The absurdity of it all keeps you engaged and laughing from the beginning. I cannot recommend this movie enough because it will have you laughing all the way to the finale.
I purchased the Arrow Video restoration and it looked amazing. The special features had some of the Chiodo brothers early short films so you get a taste for what they were pulling off with no money and see that with just a little (this movie was budgeted at 2 million and took in almost 45 million worldwide) bit of money they can really produce something amazing.