Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Review
By Logan Volkert
In space no one can eat ice cream.
Buckle up folks, we’re taking a trip to the cosmic carnival, and things are going to get weird. I’m talking killer clowns, outer space, and aliens. I’m talking, Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Directed by the Chiodo Brothers and released in 1988, this is a horror comedy unlike anything we have today. Set in the town of Crescent Cove, this film features every classic trope now associated with alien visitations, and if you’ve ever played the classic video game, Destroy All Humans!, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. But what makes this film great is how it creatively takes off and runs with those cliches. It’s simply insane, but it works. For the synopsis, I’ll give you a taste but not the full treat, as you’ll have to watch the movie if you want to enjoy it down to the last bite.
Romantics Mike (Grant Cramer) and Debbie (Suzanne Snyder) are getting intimate at Lover’s Lane when they see a glowing orb fall from the sky. Naturally, their first thought is that Halley’s Comet had finally given up on its endeavors, so they go out into the woods—because why wouldn’t the danger originate from the woods—to look for it. What they find, however, is not anything like they were expecting. Instead of finding a comet or an alien spacecraft, they find a circus tent. But wait, it’s not a circus tent, no, it’s an alien spacecraft. While this is certainly quite odd, the film gets competitive with itself and tries to top whatever weird event last happened.
After the circus tent fiasco, Mike and Debbie learn that the klowns are encasing the people of Crescent Cove in cotton candy cocoons shot from ray guns, and they turn to the local authorities for help. Understandably so, the cops don’t believe them, so they seek the help of the one cop who does, Officer Hanson (John Allen Nelson), otherwise known as Debbie’s ex-boyfriend (because why not throw in a love triangle too). From here, the trio seeks to put a stop to the killer klowns’ evil doings. But fear not, if this wasn’t already weird enough for you, it gets weirder, somehow.
With the right mix of creativity, humor, and horror, Killer Klowns from Outer Space stands on its own as an utterly illogical film capable of satisfying fans of horror and comedy alike. While this magnificent bridge between horror and comedy can be found in other films like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010), Killer Klowns is a cult classic with elements you won’t find anywhere else. I won’t spoil anything specific, but when I say things get weirder, just be prepared for ice cream trucks, shadow puppets, popcorn rocket launchers, tricycles, and even boxing matches with bikers. If there’s one thing this film does right, it’s put on a show.
So, if you’re looking for a film that is fun, weird, and unique, then look no further. But if you’re looking for something that provides a deep, philosophical analysis on the existence of aliens, you should probably look elsewhere. That’s not to say you couldn’t pull some substance from this movie, it’s just, well, it’s about killer clowns that come from outer space. In all seriousness, though, this is a great cult classic that’s full of scares, laughs, and eyerolls, and I’d recommend you check it out if you’re craving something new and cheesy… or dare I say, buttery.