Movies That Messed Me Up: 'Killer Klowns From Outer Space'
I am terribly, unreasonably, completely terrified of clowns. When I saw Zombieland in the theater, I screeched at an insane pitch when the stupid Zombie Clown’s gnarled nightmare-face filled the giant screen. I still whimper and cower during the clown doll attack in Poltergeist, and I avoid circuses. I have had this fear for as long as I remember and, contrary to my mother’s suggestion, I don’t believe it began with Killer Klowns from Outer Space, though it clearly exacerbated the situation.
Again, I was not the brightest child. I watched Killer Klowns every single time it played on HBO, which back in the day was about three or four times per 24 hours.
The Chiodo Brothers, special effects artists that have gone on to create puppets for Team America: World Police and claymation openings for The Simpsons, wrote and directed Killer Klowns. You may also recognize John Vernon (Animal House! I’m sorry, National Lampoon’s Animal House!) as the disbelieving sheriff and, um, no one else. No wonder it played on a loop on HBO.
At any rate, Mike Tobacco lives in a small town and he and his lady friend, Debbie Stone, are necking when they see the Klowns’ big top ship fly overhead. They decide to follow the anomaly and discover alien Klowns that want to capture people in cotton candy and then drink their milkshakes up. I suppose the rest of the plot isn’t terribly pertinent, but there is also a deputy and a pair of dudes that drive an ice cream truck.
I suppose what frightened me was the idea of being invaded by aliens masquerading as something only very, very stupid people would find charming: hideously disfigured and deformed clowns. Couldn’t these townspeople see that the Klowns had sharp teeth, malformed craniums, and faces that looked like someone left Play Doh too close to a heater?? Surely I was also surrounded by morons that would welcome the Killer Klowns with open arms, drawn in by their “friendly” faces and “delightful” tricks. THEY DON’T EVEN SPEAK FUCKING WORDS, YOU GODDAMN FOOLS.
Dig that plaid cop car interior. I thought that if a police officer and another adult wouldn’t be believed then there was no chance I would be believed when Klowns arrived to murder me.
After luring jackasses out in public, the Klowns decide to deliver pizzas to people that open doors to things they didn’t order! Then they stand there gawking at terrifying Satanic abominations that do things that are physically impossible and never run and then Klowns turn them into cotton candy-coated gourds. Stupid bastards.
How was I to protect myself from the Klowns if they were just knocking on doors? I vowed to never answer the door while alone. I remember one day, I was home alone after school and I heard a knock at the door. I froze at the sound and then immediately dropped to my stomach on the ground. I crawled to the window, army-style, and weighed my chances of peeping out without being seen. Another knock drove any and all thoughts of looking out the window from my head and I rolled my ass past the door, into my bedroom, and into hiding. I’m certain I avoided being slurped up by a crazy straw on that day.
Even if I cleverly avoided all of the roaming klowns, how was I to avoid the King Klown? He haunts my nightmares to this day, but I guess I should just keep avoiding big top tents to stay safe.
To this day, I carry with me the knowledge that clowns (or Klowns) can be defeated by destroying their noses. This is why I carry my keys between my fingers like Wolverine claws whenever I suspect Killer Klown activity in the area. This movie also taught me that there is no such thing as free pizza or fun shadow puppets. Sadly, it didn’t ruin cotton candy for me, so thanks for the fat ass, Klowns.