|Killer Klowns from Outer Space|
Theatrical Release Poster
|Directed by||Stephen Chiodo|
|Produced by||Charles Chiodo
|Music by||John Massari|
|Edited by||Christopher Roth|
|Distributed by||Trans World Entertainment|
Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a 1988 American science fiction horror comedy film directed by The Chiodo Brothers and starring Grant Cramer and Suzanne Snyder. It is the only Chiodo Brothers' directed and written film—they have worked in many other projects in other roles, such as producing and visual effects. The filming took place in the city of Watsonville and at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The film is about a race of aliens who resemble evil clowns that arrive on Earth to capture and harvest people to use as sustenance. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 71% approval rating, and it has since become a cult film. Several officially licensed toys have been released. A sequel entitled Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space in 3D is planned.
In the town of Crescent Cove, California, Farmer Gene Green spies an object falling to Earth. Believing it to be Halley's Comet, he goes to find it, coming across a large circus tent-like structure. He is at first amused by the sight, but he and his dog are quickly captured by mysterious clown-like aliens. Meanwhile, Mike Tobacco and his girlfriend Debbie Stone also investigate. Coming across the same structure, they discover a complex interior that looks nothing like a circus tent. They discover the old man in a cotton candy-shaped cocoon and are nearly captured by the alien clowns, who coat them with popcorn from a gun as they escape. A balloon animal dog that comes to life gives chase.
Narrowly escaping, Mike and Debbie travel to the police station to confide in her ex-boyfriend Dave Hanson and his skeptical, curmudgeonly partner Curtis Mooney about the killer clowns from outer space. Mooney believes it to be a hoax. After they drop off Debbie, Mike and Dave investigate, only to find the ship missing. Dave dismisses it as a hoax until they find Mike and Debbie's make-out spot destroyed and covered in a cotton candy-like substance. In town, the clowns capture townspeople in cocoons by using ray guns that resemble toys. The clowns perform a series of pranks and performances, including a puppet show, that end with many deaths. One clown fails to lure a young girl to her death, while another one kills a biker who destroyed his tricycle.
Mike and Dave encounter one of the clowns using a shadow puppet to shrink a crowd of unsuspecting people into the palm of his hand before feeding it to a bag full of its offspring, but it escapes before Mike can run it down. Mooney, convinced that the calls to the police station are the result of a hoax, encounters one of the clowns. A series of pranks makes Mooney lock the clown up, not realizing until too late that the threat is real. Dave returns to the station to find two prisoners dead, the station decorated with shoe prints, and Mooney being used as a puppet with the clown's hand inserted in his back. Dave shoots the clown several times before destroying its nose, which causes it to spin wildly and explode.
In town, Mike and his friends, the Terenzi brothers, who own an ice cream truck they were using to warn people, notice the town is overrun by the clowns and flee. Popcorn monsters attack Debbie at her home, and the clowns trap her in a giant balloon. Mike, Dave, and the brothers give chase to the amusement park. Journeying through a funhouse leading to the ship, the Terenzi brothers become separated, meeting two female clowns who seduce them off-screen. After Dave and Mike witness a clown using a crazy straw to drink the liquefied townspeople, they rescue Debbie and flee into a maze full of tricks and traps.
When they emerge, they are surrounded by clowns. Rich and Paul Terenzi arrive, having escaped the female clowns, and use the clown figure on their ice cream truck to distract the clowns. However, a gigantic clown marionette, Jojo the Klownzilla, arrives, breaks free from its strings, and attacks; the other Klowns flee. As Jojo destroys the ice cream truck, Dave distracts it by shooting at it. Jojo grabs Dave, who uses his badge to destroy its nose. The clown explodes and the ship is destroyed as Debbie and Mike escape. Debbie and Mike briefly mourn their friends' loss until a clown car drops out of the sky; Dave and the Terenzi brothers then emerge. As they wonder whether the ordeal is over, pies fly down and hit them in the face to the clowns' laughter.
The Killer Klowns were portrayed by Steve Rockhold, Michael Harrington Burris, Geno Ponza, Scott Beatty, Paul Haley, Dennis C. Walsh, Genie Houdini, Charles Chiodo, Karl Shaeffer, Paul Parsons, Jimmy Locust, Mitch Bryan, and Greg Sykes.
|Killer Klowns from Outer Space|
|Film score by John Massari|
The score to Killer Klowns from Outer Space was composed by John Massari. The title song "Killer Klowns" was written and performed by The Dickies and was released on their album Killer Klowns from Outer Space in 1988, though only the one song is from the film. A limited edition complete soundtrack was released in 2006 through Percepto Records and features twenty-six tracks of score, the title song "Killer Klowns", and four bonus tracks at a running time just over sixty-nine minutes.
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The film has become a cult favorite. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 71% of 17 surveyed critics gave it a positive review; the average rating is 6/10. The site's consensus reads: "Killer Klowns from Outer Space's title promises darkly goofy fun – and more often than not, the movie delivers."
In 2005, SOTA Toys announced they would produce Killer Klown figurines as part of their Now Playing film action figures line. One figure was produced in 2006. After SOTA stopped producing the toys, Amok Time took over.
The Chiodo Brothers plan on creating a sequel to the film. The star of the original film, Grant Cramer, revealed that his character would make a return, as a town drunk who nobody believes. His character would serve as a mentor to young street performers who must fight the Killer Klowns when they return. He described his character as "somewhere between the energy of Kris Kristofferson's character in Blade and Christopher Lloyd's character in Back to the Future".
Like the original film, Stephen Chiodo is set to be the director and Charles Chiodo is set to produce, although they are still currently awaiting word on a distribution deal from a company so the production of the film can begin.
The current title of the film is Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space in 3D.
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