WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with that feeling that something is terribly wrong? I had that the other night. I was sleeping soundly, fantasising about buying bed linen made from Egyptian cotton, when I was suddenly jerked awake with this feeling of absolute dread. Not two minutes later my phone rang, and there was My Friend The Killer Clown Movie, sobbing on the other end. We’ve been friends for so long, but as usual we haven’t seen one another in ages (in fact, not since all those frat boys were murdered over on Hell Island). I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but I told him to dry his clownish tears and get on over to my place ASAP.
By the time he arrived I’d just managed to throw on some seductively manly pyjamas and make hot chocolate with marshmallows. After a lot of hugs and comforting words, My Friend The Killer Clown Movie was finally calm enough to tell me what was wrong. Turns out this recession has hit everyone pretty hard, and even great movie concepts like my dear friend has had to resort to whatever it takes just to pay the bills. That’s how he landed up starring in Sloppy the Psychotic, a decidedly z-grade movie about a once-lovely clown that goes a tad bit off the rails. He explained to me that, while it looked good when he read the script, when he got there there was neither the acting talent to make it somewhat credible, nor the humour to make the constant barrage of shock tactics even remotely entertaining. Poor guy, I don’t know how much more his dented ego can take.
So there me and My Friend The Killer Clown Movie sat, under a blanket with me braiding his neon green hair, and I asked him to give me a run down of this movie that pushed him to the brink; a good friend needs to understand what’s he dealing with before he can provide any kind of help. It’s a simple enough story: Mike was a nice guy with a dream – all he ever wanted to do was be a clown and entertain all the children of the world. Now, times are tough, and the world of clowning is cut-throat. Turn you’re back for one moment and a mime will be trying to take away all your business. But if you love what you do, as Mike does, then none of that really matters. Nothing, until you’re victimised by a group of pool partying white trash that make fun of your life long dream. Oh no, dear reader, that’s when you push a clown one step too far.
Just telling me this much got My Friend The Killer Clown Movie all weepy again, so I ran him a candle-lit bubble bath and put some Enya on in the background so that he could really relax while he told me the rest of this movie. At this point I was still on board, but I could see that things were going to take a very sharp downward turn. Oh boy, did they ever. Apparently one bottle of vodka is all that it takes to turn a mild-mannered clown into one that’s shoving a dead hooker in a trunk. And then there’s all those repressed emotions: anger, fear, rejection, sexual drought, and somehow all that’s gotta come out. As is often the case, these feelings manifest with Mike becoming a cannibal, poisoning some small children, barbecuing other small children, running over mentally handicapped individuals, amputating penises, using fish hooks on prostitutes, running a lawn mower over teenagers, decapitating housewives, and doing unspeakable things to men with a very large candy cane. Yeah, that’s what being under appreciated at work will do to a person.
I think that between the hot chocolate, hair braiding, and the bubble bath, My Friend The Killer Clown Movie has just about regained the will to carry on doing what he does best. The important thing is to focus on the good – I reminded him that this movie has a rather epic version of Pop Goes the Weasel playing in the background quite often, and that’s something at least. After he’d toweled himself off we lay in bed for a while reminiscing about all the good times we’d had together, and as the sun slowly dawned on the horizon he decided that he’d best be heading home before the wife knew he was out. She never has approved of our friendship – neither of us can figure out why. This time, however, we promised not to let so much time go by before we got together again.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Coulrophobia in small towns forces many clowns to live out their lives in secrecy and shame.
- It’s a risky career move to hedge all your bets on being a clown.
- Any clown company worth its salt has a fleet of vehicles ready to transport loads of emergency rubber chickens at a moment’s notice.
- Recently retrenched clowns and vodka are a deadly, deadly combination.
- Secretly, every woman wants to have sex with a man in full clown costume at least once in her life.
- Hobos have only two natural enemies: hungover clowns and puddles of their own urine.
- Death by anal candy cane isn’t a way that anyone wants to go.
- There’s no length a hooker won’t go to if there’s $500 on the line.
- It’s rude to discuss your sex life in front of a hired clown.
SLOPPY THE PSYCHOTIC TRAILER
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Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 6.2 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise! – Low
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I’ve known it for a long time and two other movies have proven it: children are evil little f*ckers and should be avoided at all costs. The Children, perhaps not so surprisingly, has done nothing to rid me of this view and, on the whole, the movie was a good 80 minute distraction. Playing nicely on the evil child theme, it examines exactly what happens when adults have to choose between protecting themselves (and their other children) and following their parental instincts. What I did find, however, is that none of the parents in the movie are at all likeable and there is a definite smell of sleaze in the air with most of them. I think this is what put me off a little: the children are genuinely creepy but their parents grated against my nerves so much at times that I couldn’t decide who I was backing.
It’s a story as old as time itself: yuppie big-city parents Elaine and Jonah come to visit rural buddhist relatives Robbie and Chloe for Christmas and New Year’s to catch up on what’s happened throughout the year and so that the children can learn to bond as cousins should. And then there’s Casey, the rebellious teenager who Elaine had her when she herself was a teenager, who has no desire to bond with her young cousins and sibling at all. The assembled company gathers together for drinks and snacks and conversations that should never be held in front of young children, but something other than the conversation is a little off. Little Nicky, Elaine’s young son, arrived at the house feeling rather ill and threw up just after he got out of the car. Something about this illness is making him rather testy with a tendency to smack any adults that come near him.
Now, while the children get progressively more ill and irritable, the parents become more and more unlikable. Jonah’s only reason for being at this little gathering is to try to get Robbie to help him smuggle traditional Chinese medicine over the border (you’d think there are better things you could smuggle across the border, but anyway…). Robbie is quite content to smoke weed out in the dilapidated greenhouse while looking up Casey’s skirt. Chloe is an odd combination of free-spirited hippy and judgmental Victorian mother. The only somewhat likeable people are Casey and Elaine, mainly because they behave in a way that is fitting for their characters. While all of this is panning out and the family cat has mysteriously disappeared, the children have some nasty surprises waiting up their tiny little sleeves.
Parents, bless them, never believe that their children have the capability and innocent appearance to do the devil’s work. This inability to believe in the innate evil of children is what leads to the first ‘accident’ in our little tale: Robbie going down a hill on a snow sledge face first into a rake. The police can’t get there fast enough because of the snow blocking the roads and now the kids are off running around in the forest surrounding the house. But even as the kids become more assertive in their attacks and more violent in their attempts to be rid of their parents the adults are still unwilling to accept what is happening, with Chloe and Jonah being exceptionally irritating on the matter. Only Casey seems to understand entirely what is happening and it is her mission to protect her mother from her baby brother and his cousins. This will be no simple task since children are quick and tiny and difficult to catch while adults are big and strong and capable of throwing you across the room.
Can Casey save the day and make it to the party she wants to attend? Can traditional family values win in a situation where children are trying to kill you? All these answers and more when you watch The Children!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Blonde girls are vindictively manipulative from a very early age.
- If your child is vomiting up what looks like frog’s eggs, run – it’s a sure sign that they will try to kill you.
- Morals are subjective – just because you want to bang your niece doesn’t mean that you find smuggling Chinese drugs appropriate.
- As a parent killing your one child because it was trying to kill your other child is a real catch 22 situation and you will be judged no matter what you do.
- Never wear boots when climbing a jungle gym. You will get hurt.
- Dolls are a great weapon if you can imbed them in someone’s abdomen.
THE CHILDREN TRAILER