Killer Klowns from Outer Space – USA, 1988

killer klowns from outer space titles

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a 1988 American comedy horror feature film written and directed by The Chiodo Brothers. The movie stars Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson and John Vernon. It is the only Chiodo Brothers’ only film – they have worked in many other projects in other roles, such as producing and visual effects.

The movie’s theme song is by The Dickies.

Plot:

In the town of Crescent Cove, California, Farmer Gene Green spies a comet-like object fall to the Earth. Believing it to be Haley’s Comet he goes to find it, coming across a large circus tent-like structure he is at first amused by the sight, but he and his dog Pooh Bear are quickly killed by mysterious clown-like creatures.

Meanwhile, Mike Tobacco (Cramer) and his girlfriend Debbie Stone (Snyder) had also seen the comet and she convinces him to follow it. Coming across the same structure, they discover a massively complex interior that looks nothing like a circus tent, and a room with cotton candy shaped cocoons.

Discovering the old man and a friend’s remains in the cocoons, they are nearly captured by the alien clowns who coat them with a popcorn gun as they escape before giving chase with a balloon-animal dog that comes to life…

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Special Edition Contents:

  • High definition digital transfer
  • Audio Commentary with the Chiodo Brothers
  • The Making of Killer Klowns a 20-minute featurette comprising interviews and behind-the-scenes footage
  • Komposing Klowns interview with composer John Massari
  • Visual Effects with Gene Warren Jr.
  • Kreating Klowns with Charles Chiodo and creature fabricator Dwight Roberts
  • Chiodo Brothers’ Earliest Films – a look back on the first Chiodo Brothers productions
  • 2 Deleted Scenes with Director s Commentary
  • Killer Bloopers
  • Klown Auditions
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork to be revealed!
  • Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film

Reviews:

“Chiodo delivers a tightly paced film with enough hints of style to satisfy visual hounds (like me). But the directing definitely takes a back seat to the sets, the Klowns and the effects. They are the stars of this show.” Arrow in the Head

“Cliché-ridden and hysterical absurd, the film comes with a very dark, twisted sense of humor that’s bizarrely lighthearted and animated.” High-Def Digest

“This surreal chaos is much like the trippy psychedelic horrors spotlighted in the Nightmare on Elm Street series and children are particularly susceptible to it. Here is a place where adult rules do not apply and, in actuality, adherence to them will get you killed. I suspect there are even some older folks out there who may laugh along with the films outrageousness but secretly get a chill in particular scenes.” Kindertrauma

“The clown designs are extremely effective, ranging from a baby dwarf clown to snapping, fanged clown heads attached to snakes; likewise, the ingenious use of typical clown props like cream pies to deadly ends lifts this film well above your average B-movie quickie. Then of course there’s the classic biker scene, a show stopper in its own right, and a playful score highlighted by The Dickies’ insanely catchy theme song…” Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

“The design of the gadgets has a witty garishness and there are some natty trick effects – the scene where bigoted sheriff John Vernon is turned into a ventriloquist’s doll being one particularly ghoulish effect […] The idea fails as parody, because all the film becomes is a formulaic run through of genre clichés with a novelty insert.” Richard Scheib, Moria

“It’s a one-gag movie, but while some of the iterations of that gag are about as hilarious as a squirt in the face from a plastic flower, a few are genuinely rib-tickling: a clown makes a balloon-animal dog… then lets it loose to hunt down a pair of escaping teens; later, a hapless victim is turned into a hissing pile of melted flesh and bone by a barrage of corrosive custard pies.” SFX Magazine

Killer Klowns is to the 80s what The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) was to the 70s. The ‘tacky’ effects and the OTT acting style is purposeful and all a part of the parody. In midst of the fun, however, there is enough to keep those in search of some genuine scares satisfied. The simple fact that the clowns never speak is eerily chilling.” Lauren Harrison, UK Horror Scene

“Considering the low budget for the movie, the art direction and production design are fairly imaginative. If only the acting were a bit more top-notch. Anyway, with veteran character actors like Royal Dano and John Vernon, the other so-so actors were buffered a little.” Zombos’ Closet of Horror

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Killer Klowns from Outer Space blu-ray

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Cast and characters:

  • Grant Cramer … Mike Tobacco
  • Suzanne Snyder … Debbie Stone
  • John Allen Nelson … Dave Hansen
  • John Vernon John Vernon … Curtis Mooney
  • Michael S. Siegel … Rich Terenzi (as Michael Siegel)
  • Peter Licassi … Paul Terenzi
  • Royal Dano … Farmer Gene Green
  • Christopher Titus … Bob McReed (as Chris Titus)
  • Irene Michaels … Stacy
  • Karla Sue Krull … Tracy
  • Aeron Macintyre … Punk #1 (as Brian Degan Scott)
  • Danny Kovacs … Punk #2
  • Adele Proom … Mrs. Franco
  • Howard Malpas … Mr. Myers
  • Karen Raff … Mom #1

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3 Comments on “Killer Klowns from Outer Space – USA, 1988”

  1. The killer clowns look great, for sure but someone forgot to explain to the Chiodo Brothers and their backers that a bunch of special effects without a decent plot and script is going to fail. Alas, Neon Maniacs suffers from the same problem. No depth beyond the visuals.

  2. Ever since I saw Critters when I was a kid I have a strange kind of loyalty to anything with special effects by the chiodo brothers. no matter how dumb this film is them there clown monsters look class. Also it’s one of those movies with a title to conjure with – shame it couldn’t have been more full blown and chocked with splattery Braindead/Dead-Alive level fun and gore.

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