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Shaun vs. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

klowns1Directed by Stephen Chiodo

Starring Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson and John Vernon

A small town becomes the target of an invasion of clown-like aliens who are stopping by for a bite to eat and only a group of horny teens can stop them.



Killer clowns…from outer space.  Hooooly shit.

It’s just your typical Friday night at the make out point when Mike and Debbie notice a shooting star fly overhead and lands in the nearby forest.  Forgoing the foreplay, they decide to check out the scene since the object landed fairly close by.  A farmer who lives in the area also sees the object land near his farm.  Believing it to be a comet, he investigates and comes upon what looks like a circus tent though there’s not a soul to be found.  Once his dog is mysteriously abducted, the farmer tries to enter the tent but is surrounded by what appear to be giant clowns to shoot him with a ray gun.

klowns2

If you see this face, run!

Deb and Mike show up not long after and find the entrance to the tent and go inside.  Going deeper into the tent, they realize that this is no ordinary circus tent, with all the sci-fi stuff inside, but rather it could be a space ship.  They come upon a room with what appear to be large hanging bunches of cotton candy but when Mike tries to rip a piece off, he sees the face of the farmer and they suitably freak out and escape…and the march of the clowns is on their tail.  They call on one of Deb’s old boyfriends, Dave, an officer at the local precinct, to try to help them out but raise the ire of local hard ass cop, Officer Mooney, who thinks it’s all a game to make him and the force look stupid so he’s not buying it.  Mike recruits his idiot ice cream-selling friends, the Terenzi brothers, to help and it’s just up to this small group to stop the aliens from abducting the entire town.

klowns3

I’d probably run if I saw this face too.

After watching the film, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the imagination put into the film as well as the work put into the alien clowns themselves, which is just as well since the movie was created by a trio of brothers who run a Hollywood effects shop.  The film is pretty low budget, even for the 80s, so it’s all the more impressive at how good they look.  The majority of the aliens are giant, lumbering creatures that tower over most people and though they have limited facial movement, it’s neat that they have it at all.  The clowns use a variety of suitably silly weapons like a ray gun that turns people into melted cotton candy and a burst gun that shoots harmless popcorn until the popcorn actually evolves into snake-like clowns.  Then there’s the zany, cartoon-like ways they can get their prey as they use anything from puppet show to bring in a crowd or using a shadow puppet monster to consume people.

klowns4

That that, Dean Wormer!

Of course it sounds ridiculous but that’s the charm of the film and that’s where the entertainment value comes in because the film is so over-the-big top.  This is what you would expect from alien clowns, right?  If you’re ready to accept what the movie offers, you’ll be in for a fun time but if you’re the type to take movies seriously, why the hell are you even looking at this?

klowns5

You’ve been served…pie!

TL;DR

Story: 8 – Aliens that act like clowns stop by Earth to feed on a small town and only a group of kids can stop them because who else is going to believe them?  Mulder and Scully?

Blood: 4 – The film isn’t all that bloody though there are a couple of dark moments where the film reminds you it is horror/sci-fi/comedy with a guy getting his block knocked off his shoulders, a clown using a human as a puppet to communicate (so that’s where Independence Day got that from) and one officer gets pelted with acid pies.

Nudity: 3 – Suzanne Snyder in the shower is nice but only shows mid-riff.  Still nice though.

Overall: 7 – Pretty sure you can tell by the box art if you’ll love it or hate it, so if it looks good to you, give it a shot!

Trivia

-The $2 million budget went primarily on production costs. The clowns and visual effects were created almost entirely by the filmmakers at very little cost.

-Horrorcore rap group, the Insane Clown Posse have sampled quotes from the film and put it in their music.

-It also has a kick ass song from The Dickies:

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