As I’m pretty sure almost everyone and their dog is aware, thanks to a social media carpet bombing over the last few weeks, the remake of IT is out this week. For the two people who don’t have any idea that the IT remake is happening, can I live your life? It sounds blissfully untouched by social media madness. Anyway, social media woes are not why we are here. We’re here to talk clowns and how fucking obsessed with them we’ve been over the last fifty years or so of horror. Come check out this list of movies you can use to raise your coulrophobia to a high boiling point before you diver into Derry, Maine next Friday.
100 Tears (2007)
100 Tears is an indie affair, directed by effects wizard Marcus Koch, telling the story of Gurdy the clown and the massacte that ensues after he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Obviously, the best course of action is to take blooy revenge on your accusors as that ALWAYS shows how innocent you are. Toss in some nosy journalists to boost the body count and you’re all set. At the heart of it, 10 Tears is a revenge movie wrapped in greasepaint and clown shoes and I’m all about it. If you need a movie that delivers on the red stuff, look no further than the bloodbath that is 100 Tears. Maybe wheel Grandma to bed or at least into the corner before you toss this one on.
Not one to heed critics or their complaints, Rob Zombie threw his bone encrusted hat back in the directorial ring a few years ago with 31, a killer clown slasher that stars a decent number of Zombie staples as well as a few new members. 31 is pretty much The Running Man except sub out Arnold for some carnival workers and swap the hockey goalie dude (who the fuck thought that one up?) and friends for a few psychos in grease paint and chainsaws and that’s basically the plot. Like I said in my full review, it isn’t a great movie and there are more original takes on the same idea that have come out recently, but if you’re after a quick clown fix, it’ll do. Plus, Doomhead is a good enough reason to see this one, even if you don’t dig the rest.
Circus of the Dead (2014)
While Rob Zombie may be the newest, largest name in a while to tell a story about murderous clowns, he was beaten to the punch by more than a few years ago by friend of the Graveyard, “Bloody” Billy Pon’s “Circus of the Dead” which coincidentally stars another Graveyard favourite, Bill Oberst Jr. The movie tells the tale of a father who, after encountering a group of homicidal clowns (are there any other kind?) when the circus comes through his town, finds himself forced to participate in a horrific murder spree that spans West Texas. So to recap: clown, murder and Texas. It’s a wild and messed up ride that isn’t for the weak of spirit or those who can’t handle a little black humour, but I highly recommend it if you aren’t one of the above.
Remember that Goosebumps story from when we were kids, The Tale of the Haunted Mask? Swap that green demon face for some clown makeup and you’ve essentially got Clown, released a few years ago kind of under the radar. Dad wants to be the best father he can and decides to don clown attire after the clown hired for their sons birthday party doesn’t show up. The clown gear doesn’t want to come off however, bonding with him after he falls accidentally falls asleep wearing it. Like most of the entries on this list Clown has a lot of black humour, but is far less gory than some other entries, and next to 31 is probably the most accessible to people who haven’t soaked their minds in trash and gore (like i have) for years.
Let’s tie this list up with a little peek at some real world horror with the early aught serial killer bio-pic Gacy, which is about exactly what you think it is. John Wayne Gacy killed over 30 young boys over the course of his serial killer career. Far from accurate, this low-budget flick instead chooses the entertainment route, the moral consequence of that decision i’ll leave you up to decide. It isn’t the worst movie that’s been made in an attempt to tie into the real world horror of serial killers (that “honour” goes to Unnatural & Accidental in my opinion) and it shows us that maybe our coulrophobia is just a little bit justified.