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Torment

Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Horror
IMDB Rating: 3 / 10
Level of Awful: High

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

And my love-hate relationship with coulrophobia continues! After watching this I discovered that it’s the brainchild of the same people that came up with Dead Clowns, which helps to explain a lot about this movie. Like Dead Clowns, this movie feels like absolutely nothing is ever going to happen because it drags SO much in places and for its 90-odd minutes of running time five things might actually take place. The acting is pathetically weak (Suzi Lorraine has the approximate acting capability of a plank of wood on an off day) and the whale-song soundtrack that sneaks in every now and then is just daft. To give it credit, and this is something that Dead Clowns didn’t get right, Dissecto the Clown is genuinely frightening. You have absolutely no clue who he is or why he does what he does, but the mask is genuinely scary. Enough of my ramblings though; let’s get on with the story:

This is what happens when China manufactures everything: hands in lucky packets.

Meet Laura, the whiniest and most ineffective heroine b-grade horror has ever seen! Laura’s fresh out the nut house following a few ‘incidents’ stemming from her inability to come to terms with her brother’s death. Laura’s husband Ray decides that the best thing to do now that she’s been discharged, in order for her to get some good rest and help her recovery along, is to take her to a cabin out in the middle of nowhere where there’s no cellphone signal and where several Mormons have recently gone missing. Now Laura, like anyone else in her situation, is still a little bat shit crazy and tends to fly off the handle at the slightest provocation. This makes things very difficult for her when she tries to get her husband to believe that Dissecto the Clown was staring into their house just after she got out the shower. In a way this storyline is Movie A and carries on more or less like this until the last half-hour of the movie with Dissecto occasionally popping up to provide some suspense. The major question the movie aims to put in your head is whether Dissecto is real or just a figment of Laura’s one-sandwich-short-of-a-picnic mind…

Duct tape: you're not going anywhere now...

Movie B, while being a lot less whiny, has a lot less going on in it. All we’re treated to are shots of Dissecto’s cockroach-infested house (I’m not sure if these are meant to play some part in the story because they’re everywhere) where, before torturing his victims, he treats them to various circus tricks. Maybe if someone had laughed they wouldn’t have ended up dead, but such things are out of my hands. It only really gets exciting towards the end of the movie when, after Roy’s been bludgeoned to death, Laura (nicely drugged) manages to run into Dissecto’s house. It’s here that we either learn how strong Dissecto is or how bad Laura’s aim is because, even with sledge hammer in hand, she can’t get him to let her go. We are then dragged through about 20 minutes of Laura pathetically trying to escape from her loose bonds.

To finish off on a good note I would like to give this movie credit for daring to do what even high budget horror movies would never do: have the heroine go looking for the killer fully clothed 🙂

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • The authority of a map is all-encompassing.
  • Bin bags are so durable that a person couldn’t escape from one.
  • Crazy people get crazy when you discuss crazy.
  • Loony bin regulation underwear has greatly improved in the 21st century.
  • You should have at least 3 outfit changes during the day.
  • People who put bibles in hotel rooms either look like gnomes or elves.
  • Corpses in a freezer will remain frozen even if you leave the lid open.

TORMENT TRAILER

Dead Clowns

Year of Release: 2003
Genre:  Horror
IMDB Rating: 2.8 / 10
Level of Awful: High

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Well, the name says it all really – this movie is about dead clowns. Not very good dead clowns, but dead clowns nonetheless. It says something, however, when I suffer from coulrophobia (fear of clowns) and wasn’t even slightly freaked out. The problem with these clowns is that, apart from the bozo outfits and colourful wigs, they don’t look like clowns because their faces are all rotten and decomposed because they’re actually zombie clowns, and everyone knows that the scariest part of a clown is its face – you’re never quite sure what’s going on underneath all that makeup. That being said, this movie’s main failing is that virtually nothing happens – you have 8 or so characters that behave with all the acting talent of a plank of wood. Usually in a bad movie at least one person can let out a good scream. Not here. “Oh. no. it’s. going. to. kill. me.” Who knew that you could be bored when being eaten by a zombie clown?

"Can't sleep, clowns will eat me". Turns out he was right.

We start our little adventure in Port Emmett (a.k.a. News ArchiveVille) where a serious hurricane is about to hit. I have renamed Port Emmett News ArchiveVille because there isn’t actually a town to speak of but rather different sequences of spliced-together archive footage of actual hurricanes. While the citizens of News ArchiveVille batten down the hatches and wait for the hurricane to make landfall a woman tells her husband (?) about the events of 50 years ago when a hurricane, very similar to the one they are currently in the middle of, hit the town and caused the bridge over the sea to collapse. On the train was a travelling circus and everyone was thrown into the water. The clown car was never recovered and the town buried the story and purged it from their collective memory. Until now. As the hurricane becomes more intense, the clowns rise from the dead and the deep to take revenge on the town that forgot about them.

Bozo's mud facial did him more harm than good.

This is where the movie begins to concoct a mixture of weird, confusing and boring. Instead of focusing on a single character or group of survivors the movie decides to run around different houses and show how the clowns are going on the rampage. To this end we have the following characters: Blonde Woman, Goth Girl and Goth Boy (collectively, Goth Couple), Boy in Wheelchair and Boy in Wheelchair’s Brother (I think, nothing’s made that clear), Druggie Security Guard, Hometown Woman and Hometown Woman’s husband and Girl in Oversized Jersey. None of these characters are at all likeable, mainly due to the fact that the camera never settles on them for more than 10 minutes. Add to this that they are so pathetic in their survival attempts that you wish the zombies would just hurry up and eat them so we can move on.

♫ We're zombies in the rain, just zombies in the rain. What a glorious feeling, we're alive again!♫

The rest of this never-ending story comprises mainly of the zombie clowns slowly staggering around after the members of this little village. Since only two of the characters actually meet it takes an awfully long time before anyone figures out how the zombies can be sent back to their watery grave. I’m also convinced that Steve Sessions, the director, was turned into a zombie during the making of the movie if the speed that anyone goes at is a good indication of anything. On the up side, however, it is incredibly fun to try and analyse the attempt at a subplot with Goth Couple, to try to make out what Goth Couple are saying since the microphone guy couldn’t seem to get up the energy to walk over to them and you can always have a good laugh at the attack scenes since, rather than making contact, it would appear that zombie clowns and humans alike enjoy fanning one another with any weapon they can lay their hands on.

THINGS I’VE LEARNED:

  • Snorting sugar crystals allows you to see into the future.
  • Small towns purge themselves of any memories to do with a clown-related tragedy.
  • Revenge for a clown is really just a matter of pride.
  • Insulting a clown’s pride by forgetting about them leads to them eating you.
  • Despite being submerged for over 50 years a clown’s costume is always crisp and clean.
  • Hurricanes bring clowns back from the dead.
  • An unlocked door is not a good defense against an undead clown.
  • Your body can be crushed by a piece of drywall.
  • Unlike regular zombies that prefer brains, clown zombies go right for the intestines.
  • Having a priest’s brain in your hair is a major turn-on for some people.

Dead Clowns Trailer

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