Movie review: “Killer Klowns From Outer Space”


Maya Holt, Web Editor-in-Chief

Considering the clown hysteria that has swept the nation, “Killer Klowns From Outer Space” has never been more terrifying. This movie does not only feature an alien race of grotesque, animatronic clowns, it features an alien race of clowns that is out to kill.

In almost every scene of the 1988 cult classic, we witness some sort of death-by-clown, be it by popcorn bazooka or acid pie. This methodical clown massacre, paired with zany fantasy (a staple of a Chiodo Brothers movie), is what makes this low-budget movie just unnerving enough to be worth a watch.

After the opening credits roll and the Killer Klowns theme song plays (containing inspiring lyrics by The Dickies such as “Some make us laugh, some make us cry/These clowns only gonna make you die”), we are introduced to couple Mike Tobacco, (Grant Cramer), and Debbie Stone, (Suzanne Snyder).

The story unfolds from there into a cliched alien invasion plotline: Mike and Debbie are having a romantic evening together when suddenly they see something colorful fly across the sky. They go after the “shooting star” and soon discover that it’s really a circus-tent-shaped spaceship filled with killer clowns.

When Mike and Debbie go to the authorities, the police sergeant Curtis Mooney (John Vernon) doesn’t believe their outlandish report, so the shaken couple decides to take matters into their own hands. They recruit a couple of guys with an ice-cream truck (for comic relief) and Debbie’s ex-boyfriend-turned-cop, Dave (John Allen Nelson), to help them save humanity.

“Killer Klowns” was never meant to make cinematic history; it’s a low-budget ’80s movie with outdated effects, cheesy lines and campy acting. That said, it has some of the creepiest clowns imaginable, and that creepiness is intensified by the relevance of clowns in 2016.

While lacking in pretty much everything else, “Killer Klowns” has the most important aspect of any horror movie: the fear factor.