Movie Reviews 152 – Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

Killer Klowns From Outer SpaceEverybody loves clowns, right? Not really. There have been creepy clowns for almost as long as there have been clowns, and there is even a name for the phobia associated with a fear of clowns: coulrophobia. But Killer Klowns from Outer Space takes clown phobia to a new, demented pie-throwing level. Besides, how can you not want to watch a movie entitled “Killer Klowns from Outer Space”? The addition of the word “Killer” and the purposeful misspelling of Clown not only emphasizes the unique take on the otherwise topic of merriment, but makes it cool. I mean Kool.

The Killer Klowns first arrive on Earth under the guise of a meteor crash which lands close to a secluded ‘lovers lane’. The carnage begins with some kids more curious about the meteor than teenage groping sessions. Instead of finding a impact crater and a smoking meteor rock, they find a fully erected circus tent and we eventually learn that the visible tent is merely the miniscule top of a massive underground ‘human’ processing complex. The Klowns are out to harvest humans by first enveloping them in giant cotton candy sticks and, after a time, eat them. Yes, the Klowns are carnivorous. I mean, Karnivorous.

Of course the town Sheriff (John Vernon) is convinced the kids are just trying to pull a fast one on him and he becomes their greatest impediment to countering the invasion. Instead, the kids have to resort to the help of some bumbling ice cream vendors and their balloon ornamented ice cream truck to save the day.

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This enthusiastic family production directed by Stephen Chiodo, and produced by him along with brothers Charles and Edward (collectively better known as The Chiodo Brothers) is a cult favorite that was a family work in progress for a number of years until everything fell into place and it actually got filmed. The brothers were all Hollywood regulars in one occupation or another but they still needed a lot of help from the various movie trades to make a movie as ambitious as this one. And while it took some doing, eventually they convinced all the right people to chip in and make Killer Klowns from Outer Space a reality.

Sure the some of the looks are somewhat cheesy, but overall, the makeup and effects are still above standard B-movie fare. The magnificent huge clown masks both goofy and menacing at the same time are great designs that live on in statuettes and toys, along with the playful, yet deadly ray-guns.

So if you want some classic horror fun, get over your coulrophobia and watch Killer Klowns from Outer Space. (Or should that be Koulrophobia?)

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