I was not alive in 1988. And yes, while some 80’s style tends to bleed into my own, I am very much a child of the 90’s. But that hasn’t stopped me from discovering my favorite B-Horror movie of all time: Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
“But Jess,” I hear you cry out, “you’ve written about this film before!”. And yes, yes I have, but there’s a good reason for me discussing it today. Today, May 27, marks the movie’s 34th anniversary.
Upon first watch, you’d likely notice the cheesy special effects, the lackluster acting from the local talent pool (just watch the “Knock My Block Off” scene), and the blinding 80’s-ness of it all. I dare you to look closer.
The Killer Klowns from Outer Space opens with a BANGER of a tune by the Dickies. Is this song on my horror playlist? Yes. Am I learning it on the guitar? Also yes. Will I ever stop listening to it? NEVER! The creative music doesn’t end there. The composer of the film, John Massari, did an incredible job of using typical instruments, in a not-so-typical fashion, creating a linear, yet kooky score. I do have to mention that he did a release of the soundtrack to the film, with a more direct approach to compositions, lending a more classic-movie -style score.
(“Klown Hideout” is by far my favorite piece!)
The stand out is, of course, the titular extraterrestrial Klowns. The budget was mostly used to create these alien bozos, and boy does it show! The articulation of each one of the Klowns heads is extraordinary considering the budget, and the time. And the detail? Oh my ghoul they’re so cool! Dirty, gritty - just taking the concept of a circus clown, and exaggerating the features that frighten many a young child (and some adults as well). Their laughs are warped, their teeth all yellow and jagged. At least their downfall comes from destroying their noses.
Considering the film, I feel like a honk should have sounded when their noses popped, but, that’s for another time, I suppose.
If none of this sounds up your alley, that’s absolutely fine! Everyone has their tastes, but to you Killer Klowns fans, happy anniversary! Look how far this film has come! From utter obscurity not too long ago, to finding merch at Halloween stores and clothing companies. (Shout out to Spirit Halloween, Trick or Treat Studios, and Cavity Colors!). The fact that fans of this film run the gambit of older individuals, to mere toddlers, is such a wonderful thing to see. What a community we’ve created here!
Every horror film/franchise has it’s community, but - and I may be biased here - the Killer Klowns from Outer Space community is something truly unique.