Clown horror has been around as long as there have been clowns. As of late it seems this odd horror sub-genre is making another honk-honk bid for your circus coupons with the imminent release of Clowntown (2016) and the re-boot of Stephen King’s long-winded mini-series, It (2017) and its painted protagonist, Pennywise, a seriously f’d up downtown clown. And if you haven’t seen it, check out Eli Roth’s Clown (2016). That one is double f’d up – in a good way.
Clowntown, arriving September 2016 on all formats (except eight-track), goes to the hoop with this: “This is story of a group of friends who get stranded in a seemingly abandoned town and find themselves stalked by a gang of violent psychopaths dressed as clowns. It is loosely inspired by the clowns who terrorized Bakersfield, California, in 2014.”
I heard about that Bakersfield thing and thought it was a publicity stunt for a traveling circus. Unfortunately, it was for real – the clowns were running around scaring people. Those juvenile jesters should get the death penalty, or worse – a frowning of a lifetime.
My first exposure to prime time clowns came in the form of Bozo The Clown, a Saturday morning kid’s show icon. Never bought into his business model as I couldn’t understand why a grown man would put on a day-glo fright wig, paint his face white, and have a rubber ball for a nose. Then I discovered beer and answered my own question.
I’ve seen a lot of horror clown movies and they’re all pretty much the same and can be put in the slasher category. Some of them are memorable (the Killjoy series), The rest hit and miss. Mostly miss.
But for my carnival cash there are only two clowns that rock my world. First up is the super scary Twisty, from the fourth season American Horror Story: Freak Show. He’s so f’d up, he’ll make you crap someone else’s pants.
But for pure hilariousness, I’m going with Down-O: The World’s Most Depressed Clown. The kicker: He can only get it up when a chick hits him in the face with a pie. To call that less than brilliant would be a huge injustice. (FYI: No photo provided as Down-O doesn’t like getting his picture taken. But trust me, it’s funnier than a rubber nose.)