Year of Release: 2009
IMDB Rating: 2.7 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Oh sweet baby Jesus, what just happened? A bit of time has passed since my last z-grade clown movie, so I thought it was time to revisit my coulrophobia. Unfortunately Geraldine Winters, the fool behind Clownstrophobia, didn’t take 5 minutes to do a Google search to find out what the actual term for a fear of clowns was. It was all downhill from there really: the clown is quite frightening to look at but the actors are wooden, the storyline is so convoluted that Tolkien would have been confused and for the most part I’m hoping that Winters was on crack so that there is at least some excuse for this awful mess. I’m not entirely sure what was happening or what the whole point was meant to be, but if it made sense then it wouldn’t have earned its place here on the B-Horror Blog 🙂
We begin our odd and confusing little tale in a mental hospital where one of the new nurses is being given instructions on how to care for Patient X, a female patient admitted to the hospital after she was found outside a carnival. Dubbed ‘Patient X’ because no one knows her name, this woman has repeatedly tried to commit suicide, believes she was a member of the circus and that the hospital staff have stolen a child that no one has seen. The new nurse’s job is to make notes on Patient X while making sure that she doesn’t further harm herself. In another ward in the hospital is Snuffles the Clown, another psychotic inmate who brutally murdered his parents when he was just a teenager. As a side thought, for a genuinely creepy clown, ‘Snuffles’ strikes me as a rather daft choice for a name, but if it was actually frightening the movie might have made a little more sense and the director seems to have tried her hardest to avoid that. Anyway, Snuffles’ irritating and whiny psychiatrist has decided that it’s time to give the clown a little more room to wander, the thought being that this will help him in his recovery. Nothing can go wrong with this plan…
The only surviving member of Snuffles’ murderous rampage was his sister, who has now gone on to become a psychiatrist. Ironically her own psychiatrist is the same one as her brother’s, something that no one appears to think might be a conflict of interests. Since drugging herself with 5 horse tranquilisers a night doesn’t seem to be curing her of her past she decides on a more alternative form of treatment. In an attempt to fix herself she invites a group of juvenile criminals to her country estate who all share her clownstrophobia. The treatment plan? Lock everyone in the house, have a dinner of doughnuts and exchange creepy clown stories with one another. Since it isn’t the most orthodox plan in the world there doesn’t seem to be any intended outcome, but this doesn’t seem to be the point of doing it in the first place. Somewhere along the way between the good doctor tranquilising herself and the kids smoking pot Snuffles has managed to break into the house (how he did it or why no one noticed he escaped from the asylum are left unanswered) and is getting ready to play.
So now we arrive at a point where there’s so much going on that it’s virtually impossible to keep track of it all. Back at the asylum Patient X is progressively becoming more agitated after once again slitting her wrists and seeing fat, hairy clowns where there aren’t any. Worried for her career the nurse doesn’t want to tell anyone that it happened on her watch and is desperately trying to calm the woman down. Back at the estate Snuffles is very quickly making his way through the kids and harvesting them for their organs which he stores in a jar. Dr Weathers has come out of her near-comatose sleep to don clown lipstick and stand in a doorway telling the kids not to leave until they are cured of their phobia. Oh yeah, and Patient X is begging stockings off of her nurse.
In the last 2 minutes of the movie a desperate attempt is made to bring all of this together in some semblance of order, but the possible interpretations of events are too numerous to list. Watch for yourself, if you dare, and let me know if it made any more sense to you than it did to me 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- You should always wear sunglasses when electrocuting someone.
- Half of all patients in a mental institution will have worked in a carnival at some point.
- Juvenile delinquents should always be escorted by juvenile policemen.
- You can land up in juvenile court for switching a girl’s shampoo with hair remover.
- Mental patients are often pitted against one another in cage battles for sport.
- A victim wrapped in the right wrapping paper will never escape.
- Nurses in mental hospitals aren’t trained to understand that their patients REALLY don’t know what reality is.
- Giving someone your heart metaphorically is romantic. Giving someone a heart literally is f*cking weird.
Year of Release: 2008
IMDB Rating: 3.1 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
After my two recent reviews featuring the kind of good but not quite great Vanishing on 7th Street and Plague Town I felt that I needed to go all-out with this one and watch something really bad to bring this blog back to its main purpose: to review and critique the worst horror movies out there. Obviously intended to capitalise on the fear and uncertainty during the recent swine flu outbreak, this fails on virtually every level. The acting is horrible (!!!) and so wooden you could build a log cabin out of it. The characters are nothing original and at most points actually grate against your nerves like nails running down a chalk board. But I’m not just going to moan about this movie, not at all. I’m going to tell you what went on in it, some of the brave among you may even decide to watch it, and you can decide for yourself after that 🙂
Deep, deep in the woods where the SyFy Channel makes all of its movies a group of juvenile delinquents is on a little court-ordered retreat to try and get them to do stupid group exercises in an attempt to get them to function like normal members of society. How blindfolding someone and making them walk through a forest will achieve this is anyone’s guess, but that seems to be the plan. In this group we have your usual stock characters: hooker, girl who did what she had to do to survive her abusive father, blonde guy, fat guy, douche bag and wigger. Surprisingly the rest of the group isn’t taking the fat guy’s walk in the forest very seriously so, eventually giving up, the camp councilor goes after him to bring him back to camp while the others are told to make food and set up tents. Before you can even try to get over all the cringing you’ve been doing at the dialogue and the initial setting the group is attacked by enormous, carnivorous, fugly birds that more closely resemble a pterodactyl than anything you usually see in the sky. What do you do in this kind of situation? Run into the woods of course!
Now, in addition to being irritating, our little group of miniature criminals is rather useless when it comes to survival tactics. Not only do they constantly bicker with one another but, in making their escape, they manage to run into an old abandoned fort that was built on a gas deposit. While inside they manage to break the seal that would have kept most of the gas stored and then successfully set fire to blonde guy. To their credit they do manage to formulate a rudimentary democracy whereby they vote on everything they do. Unfortunately this system is flawed in that those that are about to be used as bird bait (fat guy – bitten during the initial attack and now looking rather ill from whatever it is that mutated the birds) are not allowed to vote for fear that it might sway the group’s decision. Can’t imagine why.
While the kids are trying to survive things aren’t going very well at the forest’s local hospital either. A hunter that was attacked by one of the birds is getting very, VERY sick, leading to his ward being quarantined. When it turns out that the virus is a mutated form of the H1N1 Avian Flu virus the government is called in to completely quarantine the hospital to stop the infection from spreading. A separate wing is brought in to help take out the birds before they migrate to the nearest town in search of a new food source. When girl who did what she had to do to survive her abusive father manages to get her hands on a child’s walkie talkie it falls to our heroic park ranger and his doctor ex-wife to find the remaining juvenile delinquents before the birds manage to turn them into their next meal.
My honest opinion? I think the kids are actual juvenile delinquents and ‘starring’ in this movie was their punishment.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- If you can hack into a school’s computer you’re only a step away from being able to hack into the Pentagon.
- People don’t scream when they’re on fire.
- Bird flu spreads because chicken farmers in Laos insist on having sex with their poultry.
- A ‘nobody enters, nobody leaves’ policy is really awkward for people stuck standing in the parking lot.
- Kissing should involve swallowing half of the other person’s face.
- A child’s walkie talkie is very useful for when you want to get in touch with your local park ranger.
FLU BIRDS TRAILER