Monday, November 27, 2017

Dead Clowns (2004)

More turkeys for November!

Okay, this review is what is fondly known as a Public Service Announcement - just one of the little extra services I sometimes offer. In other words, I suffer through something so you don't have to.

Dead Clowns. The name alone drums up images of utter horror or countless giggles, depending on which side of the fence you stand on in regards to clowns. Personally, I think that clowns are stupid and the idea of a truck full of dead ones would bring a smile to my face. But I also know people who run for the nearest exit at the mere mention of the word "clown". So you'd think it'd be hard to really screw up a horror film that features dead clowns, right?

I have nothing against movies shot on video. I've seen some debatable masterpieces caught on a camcorder from film students. And I realize that when one is on a video-only budget, one might take advantage of what is known as "stock footage" to show events one can't afford to recreate.

However, I don't think I'm being too picky when I say that one shouldn't use stock footage to add more than ten minutes to the run time. And if you must use stock footage to create a major hurricane, at least make sure the wind is all going in the same direction from cut to cut. (I didn't hear anyone mention the freak storm with four eyes.)

But enough about the bulk padding... I mean, stock footage. Let's talk about some dead clowns who seem to have some amazing abilities and the other characters who don't.

Wait, did I say characters? I meant to say cannon fodder. They seem to appear and disappear with the blink of an eye. I couldn't really tell you much about most of them, since what little they do say seems to have little to do with any sort of plot. Well, except for one woman who seems to know the whole story and doesn't hesitate to spell it all out for you in one sitting. And then there's another girl who we see relatively frequently throughout the film. I don't think she had a single line. The only reason she caught my attention in the first place was because she went down into a cellar - in a coastal town in Florida. (While I know that some folks in the state have cellars, most folks right near the shore can't dig 2 feet without hitting water.)

Okay... on to the clowns. Those blackened, floppy-shoed, Spanish moss-covered clowns. I'm not going to rag on the costumes or make-up. I found them somewhat amusing, but only because I've been on low-budget projects before and understand the concept of mixing oatmeal and Elmer's Glue and counting on a lot of shadows. I won't pick on the lighting either, because I get the less-you-see-the-better idea in these kind of films.

Now at first I thought they were on an extreme shoestring and couldn't afford more than one bottle of Karo syrup, because you really didn't see much gore when the first few pawns were knocked of. But all that changed soon enough, and gave me another complaint - to the sound department. I've never seen someone completely drop the ball on a snare roll before.

So now we're not seeing quite so much weather footage. Instead, we're seeing a lot of crusty dead clowns eating people. Yeah, you can never get bored watching that, right? If you answered yes, kindly disregard this review and go rent the movie.

So after our floppy-footed friends eat their way through the cast with little suspense or fanfare, we get to the big ending... which seems to have been forgotten about whilst writing the script and was sort of made up on the fly. I wish I could tell you about it, but I'm not entirely sure what the solution to the dead clown epidemic was. Either all you had to do was write them an apology on a poster board and they'd call it even, or they were repelled by magic marker ink. I dunno...

At best, this film is a Mystery Science Theater 3000 show waiting to happen. I know that I had plenty of commentary while viewing it.

Film information: Dead Clowns

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