Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

If you haven’t seen this movie…shame on you. B-Movie gold at its finest, Killer Klowns from Outer Space is about…well just that, come on. In their circus-tent space ship these gory goons land on earth, shoot popcorn at people (the popcorn kernels also turn into little Klown-headed monsters at points), and use ray guns spinning cotton candy cocoons around their victims, so they can later drain the blood through elaborately structured crazy straws. Our two heroes, played by Grant Cramer and John Allen Nelson, learn that breaking the Klowns’ noses will destroy them. Now really, could you possibly crave better crap? The pinnacle scene in this zany, would-be horror, is when our boys battle a giant Klown-asaurus rex followed by an epic drive off into the sunset, with their ladies in an ice cream truck.

This was the first film by the Chiodo brothers–who wrote, directed, and headed up the effects, themselves. (They had previously done effects work on Critters.) It’s a goofy, quirky little thing that knows exactly what it is. Held primarily by the effects work, the film makes nods to all its sci-fi/horror inspirations and creates a fun sub-layer guessing game behind the ridiculous foreground of the Klown-alien invasion. From the tag line “In space no one can eat ice cream…” to the interior power chamber of the Klowns’ ship modeled in direct reference to the “Krell chamber” in The Forbidden Planet, the film is truly a treasure trove for genre addicts.

It could be speculated that The Brothers Chiodo didn’t get caught up in all the film school techniques trying to make the perfect shot for the perfect scene in the perfect-fucking movie. Regardless it’s a fun piece and well worth your after-hours time. And if you can make it past the title, with a smile on your face, you will definitely enjoy yourself. To boot, this cult classic was not created to be more than it is e.g. the recent forerunner for Alien.

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