Killer Klowns from Outer Space: A Look Back at a Kandy-Kovered Kult Klassic

In space, no one can eat ice cream.

Of all the ads, of all the franchises, of all the adaptations, I wouldn’t have put a single penny on this one. And yet, here we are, less than 24 hours away from the Gamescom Opening Night live performance and the news that someone, somewhere, has decided to put pen to paper and sign a contract to produce a new video game, in 2023. , based on Killer clowns from outer space.

Asymmetric horror games are all the rage right now, despite being a mix and a niche market. Big franchises like Friday the 13th Y the bad death both have had a shake up of the multiplayer scythe, while Behavior Interactive dead by daylight is a literal who’s who of horror’s grimmest superstars, having played host to Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Hell Priest, Leatherface, and Ghostface, among others.

But Killer clowns from outer space? now there is a real isolated part.

Independently produced in 1988, Killer clowns from outer space was written and directed by New York-based brothers Charles, Stephen, and Edward Chiodo, who, from a young age, developed a love of claymation, prosthetics, animatronics, and all sorts of practical special effects. Having cut his teeth in the movie business designing the homicidal balls of fluff from creatures (1986), the brothers decided to try producing their own special effects-laden version of the horror-comedy genre, which had exploded in a big way in the wake of Ivan Reitman’s seminal classic, Ghostbusters (1984).

Shot in and around Watsonville County in Santa Cruz, KKfOS it was created on a relatively modest budget, with much of its $1.8 million being used to fund filming permits, vehicle rentals, and materials for a very ambitious range of practical purposes. Set against the backdrop of the fictional Crescent Cove, the narrative tells a simplistic tale of a group of invading aliens, portrayed as hideous and grotesque circus clowns, with a “Big Top” flying saucer. Upon their unwelcome arrival, the “Clowns” embark on a campaign of mayhem throughout the sleepy suburb, capturing humans inside cotton candy-style cocoons to use for sustenance on their home planet.

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Going all out with their circus theme, the Clowns’ methods of murder and mayhem mirror those of circus mischief. There are intelligent balloon animals, tiny cars, human-eating shadow puppets, giant balloons, sour cream cakes, and, the aliens’ pièce de résistance, the deadly popcorn gun. As the residents of Crescent Cove fall victim to these dangerous Pierrots, it’s up to the obligated pair of teenage lovebirds, Mike Tobacco and Debbie Stone, to find a way to rid the town of this terror so they don’t become the end of the world. Big show. No on earth.

Released in the summer of 1988, KKfOS won the hearts, but not the heads, of critics of the day, who weren’t particularly amused by the film’s bland storytelling and parody style, but were no doubt impressed, even charmed, by its colorful visuals, clever design ideas, silly concept and overall sick stupid feeling. Today, even though the film has garnered a much larger and more devoted audience as a cult film, these initial reviews are fair comment.

Killer clowns from outer space it falls a bit into both the horror/comedy “Horror” and “Comedy” – it’s not particularly scary and it’s not particularly funny. It is, however, delightfully creative and a wonderful reminder of a time when practical effects were not only a real and underappreciated art form, but were definitely taken for granted, especially when compared to contemporary times where every movie is filmed against a green screen in an Atlanta parking lot.

Time, in its weird way, has been strangely kind to the film as a whole, mainly thanks to Klown’s impressive costumes and some nice uses of animatronics, claymation, and standard animation, all mixed relatively seamlessly into the live action. . Also of note is the theme song, by punk band The Dickies, which remains a deftly written and frustratingly catchy “banger.”

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There have been various efforts to revitalize the killer clowns brand in recent years. Notably, a 3D sequel was announced in 2012, at the height of that weird “idiots dressed as clowns in the night” phase. Apparently, this project has fallen into disarray, with numerous pushbacks and mixed messages as to its completion date. In 2018, the killer clowns the rights were licensed by SyFy, with a view to making a television series. Again, nothing has come of this project yet.

And so, the charming film that hardly anyone has seen, that today’s youth may not even know about, and that has repeatedly failed to find its way back to the big (or small) screen, has been, of somehow, selected to receive a video game adaptation. treatment 35 years later. It is, without a doubt, a strange and twisted story, the kind one could only expect from such a strange franchise. So keep watching the skies, watch out for small cars, and double check the pizza delivery. If you ever wonder why the population is declining, blame it on the Killer Klowns foraging.

Killer Clowns from Outer Space: The Game is currently in development for PlayStation, PC, and Xbox.

Chris Moyse

Senior Editor: Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Master of Saturday Night Slam. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse

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