Year of Release: 2003
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?
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.
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.
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