For such a unique premise and concept, it’s surprising how unremarkable “Clown” ends up being, in the end. Despite its best efforts, “Clown” feels like a short film that perhaps should have stayed a short film, as most of its narrative feels spread out to fit a hundred minutes. And I don’t know how they’ll pull off a sequel, if the final scene is any indication. “Clown” probably watches a lot better as a short film, but it breezes through the premise in the first thirty minutes and stops being interesting by the end of the first hour. Kent is an average dad who finds out the clown he had booked for his son’s birthday has cancelled. Anxious to keep his promise of a clown, Kent goes rummaging through his basement and finds a clown suit locked in a mysterious chest.
I honestly never go in to a movie hoping its bad, but most times I almost never go in to a horror movie with high expectations. I went in to “The Funhouse Massacre” with almost no expectations, and oddly enough ended up with a damn good and damn fun splatter horror comedy. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy “The Funhouse Massacre,” but I plan to re-visit it during Halloween. Were I wealthy enough, I’d even buy a bunch of copies and put them in the bags of select trick or treaters. If you love Halloween, director Andy Palmer’s horror comedy is a blast, and the very definition of a Halloween treat. Granted, there are some flaws here and there (blatant CGI sky shots, and a brutally predictable final scene), but once you forgive them, you can appreciate the good intentions Andy Palmer has for the audience.
“The Funhouse Massacre” is gory, it’s sadistic, it’s funny, and it has a damn creative concept I had a lot of fun with. Director Palmer charges in to the premise head first, even giving a logical reason as to why literally no one recognizes these serial killers occupying a Halloween funhouse. Palmer’s movie feels almost like a stand alone Batman tale, where Candice De Visser plays a demented psychopath and brutally sexy maniac in the vein of Harley Quinn, who breaks out a group of vicious serial killers from a local asylum. Jere Burns is fantastic as Mental Manny, the ring leader of the funhouse killers who almost seems to be channeling his version of the Joker, at times. Burns was always a fine actor, but he goes the extra mile here. When the group of killers invades a local funhouse, unsuspecting Halloween fans walk in to death and murder.
We follow a group of friends out for the night, prepared for laughs, unaware that the gore and splatter around them are really helpless victims walking in to the slaughter. Realizing what’s happening much too late, the group is locked in the funhouse without any escape. It’s now up to a local sheriff, her inept deputy, and one of the group’s survivors to stop them. A lot of the mayhem and premise certainly has a catch to it, as Palmer isn’t content with just throwing blood at the wall, offering a very slick reveal in the chaotic climax that I thought really tied the movie together. The collective cast is just top notch, as Palmer brings the best out of his performers, from a small cameo by Robert Englund, to a very funny supporting performance by Ben Begley who steals scenes left and right.
“The Funhouse Massacre” is a grab bag of laughs, gore, and creeps, and it’s definitely a horror comedy you should look in to come October. The Blu-Ray release from Scream Factory comes with an interesting audio commentary with director Andy Palmer, producer Warner Davis and actors Clint Howard and Courtney Gains. There’s “Popcorn Talk’s Video Commentary” with director Andy Palmer and co-writers/co-stars Ben Begley and Renee Dorian. There’s the three minute segment “A Day on the Set,” a five minute Production Diary, and the original Theatrical trailer for “The Funhouse Massacre.”