Killer Klowns From Outer Space
directed by Stephen Chiodo
starring Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Vernon, John Allen Nelson
Bet you didn’t know Dean Wormer (John Vernon) went on to a career in law enforcement as officer Mooney in this colorful and silly horror comedy. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: An extra-terrestrial circus tent appears, filled with alien clowns. Middle-aged teenagers are drinking and making out, and they must die to satisfy the creepy clown aliens in their silly noses and big floppy shoes. Mike Tobacco (Cramer) and his main squeeze Debbie Stone (Snyder) are up at lovers point when they see a meteor, chase it to the tent and discover a colorful maze-like spacecraft filled with giant bags of cotton candy. Now, the cotton candy is full of the bodies of locals and the aliens need them because…um…it’s the plot. Yeah, that’s it: the plot is about aliens eating teens. But work with me here…
The plot is, by all standards, weak. But the sets are great, the clowns are more creepy than scary, and this is obviously played for laughs. The police doubt everyone who reports in, killer popcorn roams the town, and the teen agers all look about 35. Officer Mooney is the real bad guy here as the voice of arrogant and unfeeling authority. Naturally, he has his comeuppance, and the aliens aren’t quite as evil as they could be. The shower scenes are amazingly chaste, and the cast does play this as straight faced as possible. There’s some excellent puppetry, and the special effects are comedically adequate. Fright is not the point here; this movie aims for comic ambiance and an audience out for light-hearted fun. Yeah, some teens die, but they die FUNNY. Bad taste? You bet. But Los Angles’s favorite punkers The Dickies did the sound track, and that alone saved this from the cut-out bin. Get this for your next video night.