Killer clown movies seem to saturate the market nearly as much as zombies and found footage films these days, so it was refreshing to find two indie clown horrors that did something a bit different with the concept. I was most definitely entertained with this double dose.
KILLER CLOWN (2010)
Killer Clown director/writer Julian Cheah also stars in his revenge/slasher mashup about a man who goes vigilante when his wife is murdered by a clown that is terrorizing an apartment complex.
Even though the formula becomes a bit repetitive—killer clown attacks victim then Cheah comes running to the scene and tries to shoot the clown before it gets away—the pace is perfect for the short running time.
The only parts that didn’t particularly do much for me were the flashbacks Cheah has of life with his deceased wife. She’s dead, he’s angry. We get it. Who cares about his feelings?
But seriously, because Cheah comes across as an aspiring action star when the film begins, I was expecting this to turn way too “tough guy hero” for my tastes. So imagine my surprise to find the film is loaded with death scenes that capture a classic slasher feel, complete with tension, jump scares, chase scenes, and brutal murders.
There’s even a fun final confrontation between Cheah and the killer, complete with good old action movie explosions. But despite that, I personally think the strength of Killer Clown lies in its slasher elements.
THE LEGEND OF WASCO (2015)
Little piece of trivia – The Legend of Wasco co-director Shane Beasley appeared as the killer in both the disturbing film Found and its disgusting spin-off Headless! Another piece of trivia – stars Dan Nye and Jason Crowe appeared together in sexy horror flick Harvest Lake!
As for this little indie clown horror flick, while it starts off as a pretty basic slasher—not too gory, not too scary, but entertaining enough—it takes a bit too long to get to its highlight…the campy humor! Crowe and Nye are a fun comic duo, but their shtick doesn’t really kick in until the final act.
The pair decides to start taking photographs with Crowe dressed as a clown from an old true crime story of 3 killer clowns, and then post the photos on the Internet to spook people. Before long, the 3 clowns are actually back again and on a murder spree!
As scary as they look, the vocal noises they make and their laughing take away from the creep factor. If the film had shown its horror comedy intentions from the beginning, their silliness would have made a bit more sense. Instead, the death scenes (of random people not integral to the plot) have a straightforward horror tone that clashes with the clown cackles.
It’s not until some feisty older woman comes to visit our main guys and tells them the backstory of the clowns that the campiness takes over. The clowns come for the guys and they end up in a battle to the death, which is when things suddenly move into buddy horror movie territory. And because Nye and Crowe make a great comic team, I wish the movie had taken full advantage of their playful partnership sooner.