PRIME TIME: the men behind the makeup

It’s a foursome of slashers I checked out on Prime, and it features crazed killers masked with makeup. Let’s get into them.

CLOWN MOTEL VACANCIES (2020)

I’m a fan of indie director Jason Mills. I own a couple his movies on DVD. Sadly, Clown Motel Vacancies is not going to be one of them.

Running a mere 71 minutes long, this one is as generic as a crazy clown movie gets, and it is heavy on the drama and light on the horror.

A pregnant woman tags along when her boyfriend goes on what is supposedly a business trip. They check into a place called Clown Motel that has a clown clerk, she isn’t comfortable about staying there, and yet her man decides to just leave her there while he goes to take care of business.

His “business” is a woman he’s been cheating with.

Other than that, the clown clerk and his crazy family of clowns start to terrorize the couple…at about 43 minutes into the movie. It’s all just so been there, done that—when there and that were done much better. I really was not feeling this soulless crazy clown flick at all.

DADDY: CLOWN MOTEL VACANCIES 2 (2021)

This sequel runs only 57 minutes long and picks up three years after the first one. I’ll say right up front that director Jason Mills should have edited both films down and combined them into one full-length feature that has one of those reset moments in the middle, taking the story in a whole new direction for the second half.

The pregnant woman from the first film is now living with her child and suffering from paranoia because an evil clown is on the loose and killing more people.

Naturally it’s the main clown from the first film, and he’s looking for her.

With a sleazy city setting replacing the backwoods location of the first film and just one clown instead of a family of them, this sequel has a different (and I’d say better) vibe than the first film.

The stalking clown plot is more focused, and the main girl gets a chance to really become an archetypal “final girl”. The only notable disappointment is the lack of a body count.

CHICKEN’S BLOOD (2019)

This is a redneck low budget horror flick trying to pass as a grindhouse film. It has some crass and nasty moments, gore, and a thin plot.

A wrestler and his friends are heading to an event when their vehicle breaks down… right after the old “missing reel” gimmick. Eye roll at this point.

A white trash gang abducts the group, but complicating matters for everyone, a killer in a hoodie and clown makeup is running around mutilating anyone who gets near him.

We get a corrupt sheriff that just wants to jerk off, a meth lab dude with a confederate flag, and between the two of them, a whole bunch of anti-gay rhetoric. There’s also a roadside sign spotted at one point with the ‘n’ word on it, but at least our redneck main gang of friends isn’t happy at the sight of it.

There’s also a really gross sodomy rape scene of a man by a woman with a razor-laced dildo, and since rednecks love sodomy so much, the clown killer also fucks a guy up the ass with a chainsaw. Sigh.

Other than that, the clown really goes to town on all the irrelevant characters running around the woods, so gore hounds should be totally satisfied.

THE RINGMASTER (2018)

This film manages to go from slow burn suspense thriller to torture fest before all is said and done. It revolves around two women working at a gas station on a slow night due to a major sporting event in Denmark.

They begin to notice weird occurrences, and a couple of creepy male customers come into the store…and then keep coming back.

It’s a super tense situation, and only one thing spoils it. Perhaps for fear of the slow burn boring the audience, the filmmakers have interspersed clips from the final half hour of the movie into the first hour to give us some “action”…which totally spoils what becomes of the main characters later in the film! Argh!

It robs the first part of the film of the sense of impending doom that it is being established so brilliantly.

As for that final half hour, this shit gets brutal—violence, gore, and torture abound as the girls are held captive by “the ringmaster”.

There is also a message here about how cameras are everywhere, watching our every move, and making everything that happens to us a possible slice of entertainment for the masses.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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