I’m not entirely sure why, but I hated “Killer Klowns” when I was a kid. And I say this as someone who loved “Spaced Invaders.” That said, watching it years later, it’s shocking how great “Killer Klowns” is as much as it is creative. You can tell “Killer Klowns” is working on a tight budget, but it’s also obviously spending every single penny meticulously to work toward the movie’s benefit. While the film isn’t perfect, “Killer Klowns” earns its cult classic status as a very unique horror comedy. It’s creative, it’s funny, it’s delightfully gruesome and you have to love that theme song.
It’s a normal summer night outside the town of Crescent Grove where a group of teenagers witness a huge comet that zips past the sky. When they go to discover what crash landed, they’re shocked to learn that murderous aliens resembling clowns have begun invading and they’re housed in a space ship that resembles a Big Top. After Mike and Debbie infiltrate the ship and barely escape with their lives, the clowns follow them in to their town and begin harvesting human victims for food. With everyone falling prey to their deadly traps, Mike and Debbie have to team with a local sheriff to stop them. “Killer Klowns” is goofy but thankfully never over the top. While it certainly packs a great sense of self awareness, that element never interferes with pacing and or narrative, which is quite interesting even with the clowns.
The alien clowns themselves are fun but occasionally creepy, packing their own bag of deadly weapons that lower the guards of their victims with seemingly non-threatening appearance. They’re packing a popcorn gun, a rabid balloon animal, a very lethal cotton candy ray, and man eating popcorn. “Killer Klowns” greatest asset is its simplicity and ambiguity. There isn’t a lot of time spent on knowing what these monsters are, we’re just given hints and clues and the film takes off from there. The excellent make up and creature effects allow for striking and effective enough monsters to where all we have to know is the bare minimum and how to defeat them. Just when you think the movie is losing momentum, director Stephen Chiodo always drops a fun gag on us, like female clowns with inflatable breasts, and a hilariously gruesome pie throwing skit.
“Killer Klowns from Outer Space” is a great horror comedy you’ll either get and embrace, or pass up. I get why it’s such a huge cult classic and I very much enjoyed its mix of horror comedy science fiction and clowns.
Included in the packed Arrow Video release is the ten minute “Let the Show Begin,” an interview with Leonard Grave Phillips and Stan Lee (no relation), who helped create the theme song. “The Chiodos Walk Among Us” is a twenty three minute retrospective on the directors, with looks at their home movies. There are some of the Chiodo Brothers Early Films, and “Bringing Life to These Things,” an eight minute piece from 2014 with Stephen Chiodo touring the Chiodo Brothers’ production facility. There are a slew of “Killer Interviews” including “Tales of Tobacco,” a 2014 interview featuring Grant Cramer, and “Debbie’s Big Night” a 2014 interview featuring Suzanne Snyder.
“The Making of Killer Klowns” is an archival segment with the Chiodo Brothers. “Visual Effects with Gene Warren, Jr.” is a fourteen minute segment, which also features Charles Chiodo. “Kreating Klowns” is a twelve minute vintage segment with Charles Chiodo and creature fabricator Dwight Roberts. “Komposing Klowns” is a thirteen minute archival interview with composer John Massari, and there’s “Behind the Screams with the Chiodos” a twenty nine minute segment with lots of candid footage from filming. There’s a four minute “Klown Auditions,” and two deleted scenes with optional commentary. There are almost three minutes of Killer Bloopers, as well as image galleries with stills, Behind the scenes Candids, Concept Art, and Storyboards. There’s also the original film’s trailer. Finally, there’s an audio commentary with the Chiodo Brothers. There’s also an Easter Egg included on the blu-ray set for discovering.