Sat 6 Apr 2013
KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE. Sarlui / Diamant, 1988. Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, Michael Siegel, Peter Licassi, Royal Dano. Screenplay: Charles Chiodo, Edward Chiodo (uncredited), Stephen Chiodo. Director: Stephen Chiodo.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space is not a classic — yet. It may well be in a few years, though, since it’s certainly done in the Classic Vein.
A bunch of aliens land in their spaceship and proceed to pillage a small town, taking the locals unaware until a few brave young people get the Authorities on their side and put the blighters to rout. There’s even a nod to the 70s in the person of a redneck Cop who hates College Kids.
The gimmick here is that the aliens look and act like big, ugly clowns; they shoot people with Popcorn Guns, track them down with balloon-sculpture dogs, mummify them in cotton candy and get around in a spaceship that looks like a circus tent. The concept plays much more effectively than I would have thought, thanks to some really imaginative special effects and nice timing.
There’s one really suspenseful scene where a clown is trying to lure a cute little girl outside, smiling and crooking a finger at her, and holding an oversize wooden mallet behind his back. Sounds dumber than dogs, I know, but trust me, it works.