Killer Klowns from Outer Space

"Did ancient alien clowns visit Earth?  Next on the History Channel..."

“Did ancient alien clowns visit Earth? Next on the History Channel…”


If you’re in the know, like me, then you know that this is the face of evil. Clowns! Clowns are damn evil. I’m not really scared of them, I just dislike them. But I do love the 1988 cheese-fest Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
Farmer Gene Green (Royal Dano) and his dog, Pooh Bear, see something flying through the sky. He follows it, thinking it’ Halley’s Comet. Instead, he finds a terrifying and obviously evil circus tent that shocks him and kidnaps his dog.
tent
Gene becomes the first person to encounter the Killer Klowns.
klown
Meanwhile, Debbie Stone (Suzanne Snyder) and Mike Tobacco (Grant Cramer) are on a date at the “Top of the World.” They see the clown-dreidel space ship and decide to follow it.
debbiemike
They find a hellish, circus-themed spaceship and bodies cocooned in cotton candy.
body
They go to Debbie’s ex, Dave (John Allen Nelson), who’s on the local police force. They take him to where the tent landed but the tent is gone. The precinct is being flooded with calls about clowns but they’re ignored by the resident psycho cop, Mooney (John Vernon.)
The clowns are running amok in town. They show up instead of a woman’s pizza, they attack a biker gang, and devour a group of old people with a shadow puppet. Mike and Dave unite with local pranksters, Rich (Michael Siegel) and Paul Terenzi (Peter Licassi) and find the clown tent after Debbie’s captured and imprisoned in a huge balloon. They search the ship, rescue Debbie, and have to face off against the huge boss clown. Dave pops its nose and the clowns leave. But there are definitely some unanswered questions.
What’s going to happen to the town? One of the characters estimates that about half the population’s been cocooned. How do you even begin to cover up something like that? Plus, the clowns left with the cocoons so we know that about half the town is going to be eaten by alien clown monsters. How do you even explain what happened to Mooney?
dummymooney
There’s also the deeply unsettling fact that the Terenzi brothers had sex with these clown ladies.
ladyclowns
Clearly, this movie is more funny than scary. It has a special place in my heart as a movie that I’d stop everything to watch when it was on t.v. It’s also the kind of movie that everyone my age seemed to know about although I’d guess that only half of us ever saw it. How could anyone resist this cover?

I know that my affection for the movie is something like 95% nostalgia because it’s certainly not the best written or acted movie. It’s mostly just funny and a little creepy. That being said, the effects mostly hold up well. The clown ship taking off definitely looks dated but the clown effects are pretty cool, especially when you consider that this is twenty-five years old. This movie’s definitely right for anyone looking for a campy blast from the past but don’t expect to be actually scared. Maybe just grossed out.

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About scarina

I like scary movies a little too much. I thought I'd share my obsession with you.
This entry was posted in 1980's, aliens, comedy, creatures and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Killer Klowns from Outer Space

  1. Crypticpsych says:

    I really need to watch this some day….

    Back when I was more active in the forums over on the site, there was a question where people asked what the worst horror movie ever was. Invariably there and other places I see this pop up. I’ve never seen it myself but anyone should be able to tell this was intentionally campy and goofy. I don’t understand the mindset that can rank this alongside truly bad cinema when it’s clear it’s never meant to be taken completely seriously in the first place.

    • scarina says:

      It’s fun! The eighties really were the time for horror comedies, although I might just be bitter b/c I’m not a fan of the “Scary Movie” franchise & the only other contemporary horror comedies I can think of are “Attack the Block” & “Shaun of the Dead.” Oh, “Slither.”
      People who’ve say that have never seen a Coleman Francis movie. I despise him even more than Bill Rebane, Francis’ movies are like essence of urine distilled into movie form.

      • Crypticpsych says:

        I know a few other contemporary horror comedies…

        -Tucker and Dale vs Evil
        -Dead Snow (kinda)
        -Drag Me To Hell (kinda)
        -Sexykiller (though you’d have to import it from England and be able to play region 2 DVDs unless you have a bootleg)
        -Suck
        -Blood Car
        -Burke and Hare (the John Landis version)
        …..I imagine I could come up with some others…

      • scarina says:

        Good calls. I’ve actually seen “Suck,” it was pretty okay. Is “Dead Snow” funny? It’s coming up in my queue and I’m looking forward to it.

  2. Crypticpsych says:

    Dead Snow has some humorous moments to it. It’s mostly played serious..but the battle between the people and the Nazi zombies definitely has some comedy to it.

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