12/1/09

Fear of Clowns (2007): Warning May Cause Acute Cinephobia

A week or two ago I reviewed the film Netherworld. My review of the less than stellar film was too late to save my pal Emily from The Deadly Dollhouse of Horror Nonsense from seeing the film. Sadly, it was already in the mail from Netflix when I reviewed it. I felt so bad that Emily had to sit through that mammoth piece of garbage that I told her I would test myself against another stinker she had just reviewed. The movie in question is 2007’s Fear of Clowns from Director Kevin Kangas.

I’m not going to go into much detail or provide a long synopsis on this one. For that I encourage you to check out Emily’s post, Mr. Clowniverse Conquers the World of Modern Art. I wanted to do something kind of different so I’m just going to throw my thoughts out as the film runs. Before I start with that let me tell you just a little bit about Fear of Clowns. It seems that Lynn (Jacky Reres) is an artist who paints primarily pictures of clowns. One night a strange shirtless clown shows up and breaks in her house. Lynn is soon being stalked by the clown while he racks up a body count that would almost fill a tiny, tiny car. Now let’s get started. This is going to go through the whole film, and there will be spoilers ahead. I really don’t think any of them take away from the, um, experience of watching Fear of Clowns so don’t fret them too much.

0:00:19 The opening title is almost cool with its silhouette of a clown with balloons and an axe fading along with the inscription Fear of Clowns. I fear this might be as good as it gets.

0:03:33 The director Kevin Kangas feels it necessary to give him and his brother a special credit for creating Shivers the Clown. I don’t think this one’s going to hit icon status boys. All the clown paintings are apparently done by Kangas’ brother Paul. Some creepy stuff there, but can Kevin follow it up.

0:04:38 There is nothing more ominous than clown pants. Nothing!

0:08:26 The girl at the art gallery gets all the people to Lynn’s clown art show by advertising on www.ihateclowns.com ‘s message board. So is the site real? Apparently its very real and going strong for 12 years now. I can only imagine how much they hate being mentioned in this clownsploitation film.

0:12:00 If you buy a painting from a female artist, she will go with you unquestioningly even though a whole family of people were just murdered a couple of doors down from her last night.

0:15:41 Lynn is on the phone with the art gallery manager when she first discovers the clown outside her home. She faints only to wake the next morning with cops in her house.

0:18:45 Cop: Was he Black or White? Lynn: He was a clown. I know Emily pointed out this line in her post, but it’s the standout line of the film. If nothing else, this film at least carries with it that one great unintentionally comic moment. Now when filling out questionaires, I will have to hold myself back from checking the box for other and filling in the world clown.

0:23:30 It’s time to spend a little private psycho time with the incredibly buff clown. If he could only stop killing, he could star in the new Extreme Bozo show. I can see it now. Cookie is in a cage with a ball gag in his mouth, and… I think I’ve said too much.

0:27:30 After a brief filler scene about Lynn’s divorce, we’re back with the shirtless clown who seems to be getting orders from someone. Actor Mark Lassise gets his first lines as Shivers the Clown. It’s so clear now why his only bit of IMDB trivia tells us that he lists Anthony Hopkins as one of his favorite actors. I see the same intensity. He’s really getting at the heart of Shivers‘ character. Where is Mark Lassise’s Oscar! Where?!?!?

0:31:20 Lynn: “Single men with cats are bad news.” It’s a good thing I’m married or I’d likely be bad news.

0:34:00- 0:35:00 Nothing builds tension like a montage of someone drawing or surfing the internet. If you need further proof see X-Files: I Want to Believe. When Scully does a Google search for Stem Cell Research you will be riveted.

0:38:27 It’s just not sanitary to have a shirtless killer clown in your kitchen. I guess if he’s trying to kill you it doesn’t matter at that point. Amanda (Lauren Pellegrino) does the clown one better and by getting buck naked, and she becomes the first recipient of the battle axe to the head. I always imagined a killer clown would have a giant hammer or something. I do have to tip my hat to this low budget fare for some good old fashioned low budget nudity.

0:53:50The film hits its first big twist. Shivers is a patient of Lynn’s doctor husband who’s divorcing her. M. Knight eat your heart out!

1:00:23 The clown decapitates a cop with his axe. It looks terrible and a little great all at the same time. I‘m starting to wish it was the end of the film though and there‘s still 40 plus minutes to go.

1:06:40 The asshole Doctor husband gets whacked and we don’t get to see it. I’ll call this scene the moment the budget ran out. They spent everything they had on the fake head and it never gets any better than that.

1:09:30 Lynn a crazy dream. It ends with the traditional wake from a dream in your dream only to really wake from a dream after another scare. Has anyone ever actually had that happen? I mean not in movies.

1:15:00 Tuck Reed (Rick Ganz), Lynn’s boyfriend takes her to his private theater. Of course it’s not so exclusive that Shivers the Clown can’t get in. Didn’t he see the “No Shirt. No Shoes.” sign. I mean you don’t want shirtless clowns near the popcorn butter. You just don’t.

1:16:50 The second axe to the head for the clown. Not as good as the decapitation, but clowns killing people with plastic battle axes are beginning to appeal to me.

1:20:00 The clown’s next kill ends up with him posing like he’s the Right Said Fred of the clowning world. This is the kind of thing that made Emmett Kelly so sad in the first place.

1:22:49 If confronted with a battle axe wielding psycho clown, have a staring contest before running away from him. Why? Because that’s how it’s done.

1:41:38 We’ve been running away from the clown for quite some time now. Almost 15 minutes without any battle axe to the head to be seen. The end is basically upon us though.

1:42:00 The end. Or is it? Nope we still have stuff to go to in the credits. That’s right the end is already cheap, and then they went and made it worse. It’s actually pretty impressive.

Whew. I made it. It was bad. Oh, mercy. It was really, really bad. Still it was not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Was it as bad as Netherworld? At least if not a little more. So, Emily, I think we’re even. I want to encourage everyone not to watch Fear of Clowns, but somehow I just can’t. It’s terrible, but it’s the kind of terrible that I would love to hear dozens of people talk about. There’s a sequel too the cleverly titled Fear of Clowns 2. Who will be the first brave person to give that one a whirl? I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to tackle that one right now, but who knows what the future holds. It may hold more shirtless clowns. You never can tell.

Bugg Rating


14 comments:

  1. Yea, this movie sucks. Not even in that fun way that something like Thankskilling was fun.

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  2. I've heard about this one for a while. Night of the Living Podcast had a run-in with the director and it was spectacular to hear.

    Word is that the sequel is actually leagues better. What is questionable though is whether it mirrors the progression Uwe Bolle makes between films or a director learning his craft?

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  3. My dear Bugg, let us never put each other through such cinematic sludge again. That's what Mill Creek 50 packs were made for.

    I totally forgot that the ex husband isn't killed onscreen. Maybe the budget went to copyrighting the design of Shivers the Clown.

    You captured exactly what it is about Fear of Clowns that makes it so strange: the plot is so incredibly complicated when you know what? It's a movie about a killer topless clown! Why oh why do we need unexplained subplot on top of unexplained subplot? What's Lynne's connection to clowns? Why is Shivers crazy? Where did his shirt go? What's wrong with cats? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?

    Oh, and I totally remember discovering ihateclowns.com when I was 14 and thinking it amazing. Then I turned 14 and a half and it was less so.

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  4. Just goes to show that Blockbuster will put anything on the shelf as long as it is cheap. Hated every second of this travesty, will never support the sequel no matter how good they may claim it is.

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  5. Oh come on, give it a chance, look how good Hostel 2 turned out! :)

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  6. The sequel is better but still uber-low budget! But you know what I love? That people are STILL reviewing the first one and making me laugh!

    Good review. I won't argue. You're right more often than you're wrong. :)

    Check out the link on your bud's site where I posted the funny trailer for FOC2.

    Keep up the excellent work! If you do get around to check out FOC2(we're working on getting it to Netflix now, but no timetable), let me know!
    _kangas

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  7. I must admit, Mr. Kangas, that even though I was not the biggest fan of FOC1, I'm still very interested in seeing 2 and your other film Hunting Humans. So they will end up on here someday. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment andbeing a good sport about it.

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  8. Hey, no prob! I enjoy funny reviews, and I'm my own worst critic so you're not saying anything I haven't already thought(while whipping myself with a cat-o-nine tails).

    And I believe I can now take you totally out of context for the box cover: "Fear of Clowns...is...brave...pretty impressive...I want to encourage everyone...to watch Fear of Clowns".
    --Lightning Bug's Lair

    Sweet! :)

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  9. Mr. Kangas,
    That made me laugh so hard. Thanks! but turnabout is fair play I can quote you as saying "I love funny reviews..on...Lightning Bug's Lair"

    Thanks for the plug!

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  10. Absolutely take me out of context. I try to make it as hard as possible to do since I LOVE TO do it myself and my films TOUCH many YOUNG BOYS.

    But you just go ahead and try.

    Or just use: "Lightning Bug raped me and my film...and I liked it." --Kangas

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  11. And not to complain, but am I the only one who can't read any of the text on the replies? It's in black font on purple, so it's pretty invisible...just FYI.

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  12. Yeah I know it's hard to read the text. I've been working on a solution, but so far I haven't found anything that works to change the color of the comment font. It pisses me off too.

    I am so using that quote. It's going in my sidebar right now.

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  13. Comment color fixed should be more than readable now.

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  14. Yep, fixed. And nice quote! (and there may come a day in the future when you watch one of my movies and that quote looks familiar...)

    Now go rape someone else's movie so I can watch!

    ReplyDelete

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