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.
Gene becomes the first person to encounter the Killer Klowns.
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.
They find a hellish, circus-themed spaceship and bodies cocooned in cotton candy.
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?
There’s also the deeply unsettling fact that the Terenzi brothers had sex with these clown ladies.
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.