Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

Whatta Ya Gonna Do?  Knock My Block Off?

Today’s movie came as a request from friend and coworker Jake.  He seemed to be very surprised that I had somehow neglected to see this cult horror movie, even though I had decided not to watch it because it didn’t seem very good.  But it was requested, and that means I will watch it.  So, I found the movie on Netflix streaming and got to watching a pretty ridiculous movie.  Today’s review is of Killer Klowns from Outer Space, written by Charles Chiodo, directed by Stephen Chiodo, and starring Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, and Royal Dano.

As is typical in sci-fi, horror, B movies, this movie starts with a bunch of kids up at some various make-out spot.  Mike Tobacco (Grant Cramer) and his girlfriend Debbie Stone (Suzanne Snyder) are about to get all freaky-naughty when their nookie is interrupted by a shooting star that seems to land nearby.  Debbie wants to go check it out.  They go and find a circus tent in the middle of the woods.  They go inside and eventually stumble upon some giant, cotton candy cocoons with people inside them.  They also see some sinister looking clowns (or Klowns) who seem to be responsible.  The Klowns try to get Mike and Debbie by shooting popcorn at them, but (as with most people) they find the popcorn to be less than fatal.  Mike and Debbie go to talk to Debbie’s ex-boyfriend, Officer Dave Hanson (John Allen Nelson), and Officer Curtis Mooney (John Vernon).  They report the happenings, but are met only with mockery.  The mockery begins to lose steam as the Klowns start openly attacking and capturing the townspeople in all kinds of goofy, but brutal, ways.  Mike, Debbie, and Dave have to figure out how to stop them before it’s too late.

I was very surprised to find that this movie was actually about Killer Klowns from Outer Space.  Whoda thunk it?  The movie itself is alright, filled with lots of camp and things that are funny, although the things that are funny are mostly not what they intended to be funny.  It looks pretty mediocre, what little story it has is pretty dumb, but altogether I’d say I found it entertaining.  The story of the movie is super basic and exactly what you expect out of such a movie.  Some creature(s) show(s) up, wreaks some havoc, then gets stopped.  The extra time in the movie is filled with random scenes of the Klowns attacking townspeople.  There were some interesting/goofy ways that they captured people, but some also didn’t work.  I liked the part where the Klown was doing shadow puppets on the wall and turned them into a monster that swallowed them.  The part where they threw a bunch of pies at a security guard and then he was dead did not work as well.  I have no idea what killed him.  They could have been acidic in nature but they couldn’t afford to show the guy melting, but they should have given us a little more of a hint.  Of course, in a movie like this you accept some things not making any sense.  The look of the movie is not particularly good either.  The whole look of the movie reminds me of an episode of Power Rangers from back in the day, sharing a similar color pallet and quality.  I wouldn’t say this is a compliment though.  At one point, when they show that the Klowns are drinking the blood of the townspeople while they’re in the cotton candy cocoons, they use about a minute long pan shot going up the elaborate crazy straw.  How interesting did you think that straw would be to us?  The Klowns themselves look decent, but the faces don’t move particularly well most of the time.  They are creepy though.  Their creepiness is somewhat lessened by the fact that their voices make them sound like Ewoks, though.

One should probably not go into a movie such as this expecting great performances.  And you’d be right.  There are three de facto leads to this movie that are not Klowns, and all of them are pretty mediocre.  Grant Cramer doesn’t do a whole lot in the movie beyond wearing a Cosby sweater, but he is the girl’s boyfriend.  John Allen Nelson does all the heroic work, and I think is the only one that ever actually manages to kill the Klowns.  One thing he did made me wonder how people shoot at something a few times, then lift their gun and lower it slowly to take aim and are instantly much better at shooting.  It’s like a charge move on a plasma gun from a video game or something.  Suzanne Snyder is the girl lead, and plays a girl very convincingly.  It began to bother me towards the end of the movie that she seemed pretty quick to forget which one of the guys was her boyfriend because near the end she would grab onto her ex-boyfriend when scared.  Slut!  The other thing that bothered me was that this was a B movie and there weren’t any boobs!  And this Snyder girl takes a shower that lasts over about 30 minutes of this movie, but nary a boob to be seen.  She takes this shower piece by piece as other things are happening, then we cut back and she gets a little closer to completing her shower, making this probably the longest shower on film.  Also, she gets put into a balloon at one point, remains in it for about 40 minutes of movie-time, and then claims she was unable to breathe in there when she’s released.  I’m pretty sure that means you’d be dead.  This movie also had two annoying and pointless guys that drove an ice cream truck that I thought for a while had DMC on the hood as if it was the Delorean from Back to the Future, but it was GMC.  They were also very desperate poon-hounds that seemed totally willing to ignore the fact that two ladies were actually two hideous lady Klowns just because their boobs could inflate.  That is the answer to the question “How desperate can you get?”

Well, that’s that.  I have now seen Killer Klowns from Outer Space and been completely underwhelmed by it at the same time.  It’s exactly the movie it makes itself out to be: a sci-fi, horror, B movie that includes Klowns that kill people and are also from another planet.  The story exists, but does not impress.  The performances also dip slightly below “whelming” you.  It doesn’t look particularly good and doesn’t make sense, but I found it entertaining enough in it’s goofiness.  You can catch this movie on Netflix streaming as I did, and if you haven’t yet seen the movie, it’s worth a look, but don’t expect too much.  Killer Klowns from Outer Space gets “They took your wife away in a balloon?” out of “What’re ya gonna do with those pies, boys?”

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