REVIEW: Clown (2014)

Haunted clown suits: How the fuck do they work?

Haunted clown suits: How the fuck do they work?

Clown: C+

There isn’t really anything fresh about this movie. Everything in it has been done a billion times, but it was compelling and silly enough to keep me interested. As far as clown movies go, it is funnier than Patch Adams but less funny than It. All three movies have dead kids though. So there’s that.

A guy finds a haunted clown suit, which he dons in order to amuse a battalion of annoying brats at his son’s birthday party. BAM: He’s cursed.

As explained by the Wise Elder character, Peter Stormare (the guy who feeds Steve Buscemi into a wood chipper in Fargo), clowns were originally not balloon sculpting ding-dongs, but cave dwelling Nordic demons who would feast on children. The costume is haunted and infested with demonic energy. Stormare even has a leather bound ancient text complete with Guillermo del Toroesque clown monster sketches, so you know he’s legit.

Dude can’t get out of the clown suit; it’s bonded to him like the Venom symbiote or the Goosebumps haunted mask and it is slowly transforming him into the Icelandic variety of Bronze Age kid-munching clowns. The only way to get him out of the suit/stop the clown-demon is to chop his head off or let him eat five children. Once he gets started munching on kids, you’d think they would just let him finish, but the other characters are committed to decapitation despite the pileup of child corpses.

To the guy’s credit, he tries to decapitate himself, but he quits trying once he realizes how fun it is to eat kids. Once the dust from the exposition settles, the rest of the movie is pretty typical possession/demon/slasher stuff that borrows from other popular killer clown stories: He has the fangs of It, but none of the one liners; he has the charisma of Gacy, but none of the sodomy; he looks just like a juggalo, but doesn’t dump Faygo all over himself or rap about titties.

The origin story of the actual movie is more interesting than the clown mythology in the film itself. A couple of guys made a fake trailer for this movie with no (clear) intention of ever filming the thing. In their mock trailer, they start with “From Master of Horror, Eli Roth…” which I guess flattered/interested Roth enough to track these guys down and invite himself on board as the producer. No one probably thought of this movie as “theirs”; the trailer-makers probably thought their inside joke got scooped up as Roth’s new pet and Roth probably thought his semi-pandering to internet horror nerds and attachment of his name would be enough of a contribution. What emerges is a pretty “meh” horror movie with some cool cinematography and make-up that follows a played out formula.

REVIEW: Gacy (2003)


Gacy: F

Who would have thought that the homoerotic killing spree of an overweight clown would be so un-fun? The guy who plays Francis in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure plays Gacy, an overweight clown who goes on a homoerotic and un-fun killing spree. If reading those two sentences back-to-back annoyed you, don’t watch this movie because you obviously have a low threshold for annoying shit.

Gacy appears to be a model citizen. He hosts BBQ’s, drinks scotch with everyone, dresses up like a clown and does magic, and playfully wrestles with the misguided young boys he hires at his construction business. His favorite thing to do it not the stuff of model citizens; the guy loves to lure male drifters and other unfortunate boys to his house so he can rape/choke them to death. His basement starts to stink really bad because of all the raped/choked boy corpses he hides down there.

That’s what the whole movie is about. Gacy pretends to be a swell guy in the public eye but when no one is watching, he gets his rape/choke on. He just does this until he gets caught. The end.

Oddly, the actual movie isn’t made up of a bunch of murder scenes; it’s mostly scenes of Gacy being frustrated because he isn’t raping/choking people. I’d say a good 90% of the movie is him huffing and puffing because a dozen bystanders at his BBQ are keeping him from strangling some cute blonde boy. The film is also punctuated with uninteresting flashbacks of his dad being really mean to him.

Watching this was an overall unpleasant experience. Maybe they were trying to make this a sort of character study instead of a gore-fest but who wants to watch a 90 minute study of a guy who gets high blood pressure because he can’t murder-molest dudes?

REVIEW: Stitches (2012)



Stitches (2012): B+

This is why I watch bundles of horror movies, to find diamonds in the rough that surprise with a good story, good gore and and at least average acting.

Stitches is an overweight alcoholic clown that despises children and lives in a trailer on the outskirts of Ireland. At Tommy’s 11th birthday party Stitches is being tormented by a group of snotty children who eventually end up killing him when they tie his shoelaces together and he face plants onto a knife. Later that evening Tommy is spying on the graveyard with his telescope and he sees a group of clowns laying stitches to rest. It is here where we learn the great secret: no clown can rest peacefully if he does not finish a party! Flash forward 6 years and Tommy and the rest of the brats are in high school getting ready for a party at Tommy’s house. It is here where Stitches gets his revenge as he hunts down the kids who tormented him one by one.

This movie has everything you could ask for in a low budget horror film. The killer’s motivation makes sense and is not too far fetched. The victims are at a centralized location and there is an abundance of fresh meat. The kills are violent, evenly spaced, and unique. Examples include a guy getting his head soccer kicked off, and a kid getting his brains scooped out with an ice cream scooper. Most importantly however, the movie had a good pace. Most low budget horror films have way too much filler and down time. Stitches kept moving and kept the viewer engrossed throughout the film.

Recommended if your looking for a really good, unique horror film.