31 Days of Horror 2016, Day 22: Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

Having little interest in clown horror, I have never felt the need to see this movie. But, having recently been motivated to give this cult classic a chance, I made room for it in this month’s lineup. Mostly, I found that the me of many years ago was right about Killer Klowns from Outer Space, but not for the reasons I expected. 

If you know me, you might know how much I don’t like puppets. It’s less about being afraid of them, and more about finding them offensive on the eyes. The stiff way that they move, and their exhaggerated features just have a way of making me mentally spew. And the clowns…uhhh, klowns…in this flick are basically big puppets. I realize they’re men in suits, and I also acknowledge that their faces have a surprising range of movement and expression; but, I cannot look at their big ugly heads without seeing a weird, wrinkly, puppet face. I don’t like it. And unfortunately that kinda killed the movie for me. I can’t decide which clown is the ugliest.

And it’s a shame really. This horror comedy had a lot going for it. The movie was pretty stylized and I did like the general aesthetic of it outside of the villains themselves. The circus tent, glowing in the middle of the woods, was a nice touch. The elder cop Mooney, played by the prolific John Vernon, was amusing in that pompous minor antagonist kinda way. There was carniverous popcorn running amok, as well. I could have watched a whole movie about that popcorn. There were also several clown related gags that I liked, like some pie throwing scenes, a man-eating shadow puppet, trampolines waiting below windows, citizens trapped in balloons, and streamers that appear upon attack on the house of Debbie (the film’s damsel in distress). Of course, you also kind of have to love the cotton candy cocoons that encase the victims of these interplanetary bozos. 

And geez, this dude took his role super seriously, and that was pretty funny. I don’t think he realized what movie he was in. 

I guess all told, I’m just not silly enough for this movie. I can see why other people might enjoy it. If you want to get a taste of the movie without committing to the full feature, I recommend this scene with a biker gang. It’s pretty stupid. 

Challenge Fulfilled: Rated PG-13


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