Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

When I was thinking of how good Alien was my mind turned to a film which might be placed somewhat closer towards the other end of the science-fiction/horror quality spectrum. With its premise readily apparent from the title I have to confess that I do hold Killer Klowns in something approaching genuine affection. It’s probably because it’s one of the first films I can remember watching as a child (I had very negligent parents) but with a few years growth under my belt I can still identify one or two redeeming features for any Black Lagoon readers who might happen across a copy to look out for.

Unashamedly aspiring to cult status by being as silly as possible, there is nothing sophisticated about Killer Klowns. From entombing their victims in candy floss through to their circus tent shaped spaceship (they’re aliens by the way, in case you missed it in the title), we’re never given any indication as to precisely why the Klowns are doing what they do. This is a shame as I’m quite intrigued by the idea of an alien race of killer clowns who draw sustenance from human blood (it’d spice up Royal Variety Performances no end). The scenes where hapless humans realise that these aren’t real clowns but are instead quite bitey are a treasure to behold, with most of the cast trying to play it straight but the few lucky enough to be wearing the red noses realising they have more to gain by playing it for everything it’s worth.

What the Chiodo brothers offer up is a film fitting the mould of the numerous ‘made for midnight’ movies that the big American TV networks pumped out to provide waddage to their late night schedules in the late 1970s. You shouldn’t base your evening around watching Killer Klowns but I can’t, as much as I try, say you should omit to viewing it all together. It’s one of the silliest films you’re likely to watch but there’s something inherently enjoyable about watching clowns kill people, especially so when they’re aliens and wrap them in candy floss. Surely it sells itself?