Cream pies that melt the flesh off a person. Balloon animal hunting dogs. Locust popcorn. Cotton candy cocoons. Monster marionettes. A circus tent spaceship. Ludicrous inflatable balloon boobs. Killer Klowns From Outer Space is as creative as it is ridiculous. It's not a parody or a satire and everyone in the film takes the events very seriously, making it that much funnier.
Mike (Grant Cramer) and Debbie (Suzanne Snyder) are visiting a remote make-out spot when they see what appears to be a shooting star passing nearby overhead. They chase after it and find a circus tent oddly erected in the middle of the woods, and decide to venture inside. What they find there sends them fleeing back to town to get the help of police officers Dave Hanson (John Allen Nelson) and Curtis Mooney (John Vernon). Dave decides to check out their story while Mooney sits back and mocks them all, along with anyone else who mentions the Killer Klowns.
If you've ever enjoyed horror-comedy and you somehow haven't seen Killer Klowns, you're doing yourself a disservice. The plot arc and several points along the way were modeled after The Blob, another personal favorite, and explains why it felt comfortably familiar to me. Learned that nugget from the audio commentary featuring the Chiodo brothers -- writers Charles and Stephen, and producer Edward. It's funny hearing how much of their personal lives and anecdotes made it into the movie in one form or another, things you would never notice or realize without them pointing them out along the way.
As the Klowns rampage through the tiny town of Crescent Cove, the antics keep getting sillier, playing off both a long-standing trust in the innocence of clowns but also a deep-seeded creep factor they've gained over the years. As it turns out, Earth might just be a pit stop on their way to someplace else, simply here for some gas and snacks, not meaning to be a bizarre menace.
The costumes in the movie go well beyond what you'd expect for the budget. There were multiple models made of some masks -- one wearable and another with a slew of animatronics in the face and grisly teeth behind those painted lips of theirs. The commentary also revealed some amusing editing and camera tricks they had to use, as well as the occasional gaffe that the casual viewer might not notice.
Beyond the commentary, the list of features is commendable with bloopers/outtakes, deleted scenes, creating the Klowns and their effects, several cast and crew interviews, the making of the theme song, Klown auditions, image galleries, a trailer, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned art, as well as a poster packed in and a booklet examining the history of the film and why it never became a sequeled franchise. Whew. The only slight issue I found was with the HD transfer. While most of the scenes look great and the rescan and clean up really restored things well, there are some scenes where there is staticky noise in the picture that's pretty distracting, but was generally short-lived and disappeared in the next scene.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space is such a great stupid movie, and I mean that in the best, most heartfelt, appreciative way. I've been a fan of it since I was a kid (don't tell mom I stayed up late to watch it), and it's still as cheesy and silly and imaginative now as it was 30 years ago.