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A Fatally Funny & Scary Ride Through The Big Top...
on April 3, 2000
It's hard to believe that an innocuous PG-13 B-movie such as the Chiodo Bros. underrated masterpiece "Killer Klowns From Outer Space" could instill a sense of mysterious dread and thrills to an inveterate horror fan like myself. The Klowns definitely break down the redundant slasher film villian barriers that ran rampant during the 80's and give a frighteningly original, yet humorous flair to their evil work that parallels the old alien invasion films of the 50's (right down to the backwoods farmer and his dog and to the overly-skeptical village police). These extraterrestial jokesters are by no means makers of fun merriment, but rather ravenous predators who hoodwink their victims with circus magic and sinister smiles.
The first time I viewed this acclaimed cult classic, John Mussari's ominous circus synth soundtrack, grizzled Officer Mooney (John Vernon) turned into a klown merrionette, and the corrosive cream pie death of the security guard each made a frightful impact on me! Not only that, I developed a short-lived repulsion to cotton candy after seeing the homicidal Klowns in action! Now, that I'm older, wiser, and even more desensitized, I've begun to see "Killer Klowns From Outer Space" as 70% comedy/30% horror since this film does boast some of the most baffoonish dialogue and action I've seen in a B-movie. Mike (Grant Cramer), Officer Mooney, and the hilariously inept Terrenzi Bros. (Peter Licassi & Mike Siegel) give just the right amount of comedic chemistry needed against the story's spooky premise. The Klowns themselves do offer a couple of cheesy chuckles via the duplicitous "child's play" antics they use to capture and expunge the town populace for their own vampiric food supply. And one just cannot get over the elaborately designed circus tent sets, props, and klown costumes! The theme song video feature by The Dickies is also pretty darn cool. All in all, this indelible pic proves that 1988 was a gem year for the horror genre.
I have been fortunate enough to obtain a previously-viewed copy of KKFOS this year after a near-exhaustive search on the Web! I found it through Amazon's zShop site, which may still have some English-version copies left (knowing that this film has become a rare find both in retail and rental). I wish Media Home Entertainment/HVG Video would get off their languid behinds and re-release the Klowns on VHS widescreen or DVD seeing that the Killer Klowns cult is bigger than they probably realize.
Believe it or not, a Klown sequel is in the planning stages according to the Chiodo Bros' official website (as well as a coveted email I received last year from Stephen himself)...so keep on watching the skies for more intergalatic Big Top mayhem and laughs!