Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) is a sci-fi/horror/comedy film directed by Stephen Chiodo and written by Charles Chiodo & Stephen Chiodo. Produced by The Chiodo Brothers [Stephen, Charles & Edward]. Starring Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, Peter Licassi, Michael Siegel, and John Vernon as “Officer Mooney”. Released on DVD by MGM as part of the Midnite Movies collection.
Finally the truth about clowns is out! Beneath their smirky sinister grins and wildly patterned clothes are clever killers from out of this world. The “juxtaposition of their toy-store arsenal and malevolent intent proves to be a tasty combination” (Los Angeles Times) in this killer entertainment that will leave you fearing these big-top creatures for good. A spaceship – looking like a circus tent – lands in a field near a small town, signaling the attack of deviant, red-nosed, balloon-twisting psychos from another world who plan to annihilate mankind – by turning people into cotton candy! Luckily, the town’s teen citizenry decides to fight back and teach the cosmic bozos a lesson. But these klowns are no klutzes, turning popcorn, peanuts and caramel corn into playful – but deadly – weapons of madcap destruction and mayhem!
Rated PG-13. 88 minutes. Watch the trailer here …
My thoughts… Killer Klowns from Outer Space is one of my favorite horror movies of the ’80s! It’s an awesome homage to the teens vs monsters sci-fi B-movies of the ’50s, including The Blob (1958), Invasion of the Saucer-Men (1957) and more! The klown creatures are effectively creepy, but their “weapons of madcap destruction and mayhem” are quite amusing! Killer Klowns from Outer Space is definitely not a B-movie that’s so bad it’s good – it’s just a good B-movie with likable characters, campy dialogue and many outrageously fun scenes! Favorites include the scene where killer klown Slim makes a shadow Tyrannosaurus Rex with his hands on a wall that swallows a group of locals waiting for a bus as Mike (Grant Cramer) and Officer Dave (John Allen Nelson) watch in horror! Or the scene where killer klown Jumbo uses Officer Mooney’s dead body as a ventriloquist dummy! Or when the popcorn monsters attack Debbie (Suzanne Snyder) in her bathroom! Or when Jojo the Klownzilla, a gigantic marionette monster, appears for the final confrontation in the tent spaceship!
Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a fantastic B-movie!
I had such a crush on actress Suzanne Snyder back in the ’80s! She also starred in two more of my favorite ’80s horror movies: Night of the Creeps (1986) and Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988). The latter was the first sequel to The Return of the Living Dead (1985). However, Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993) is actually my favorite of that popular zombie series, but it’s obviously not an ’80s movie – nor does it feature Suzanne Snyder!
Finally, the awesome theme song from Killer Klowns from Outer Space is by punk rockers The Dickies, who were L.A.’s campy answer to New York’s Ramones. The band’s 1979 hit “Banana Splits (Tra La La Song)”, a cover of the theme song for Hanna-Barbera’s The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (1968-70), was later used in the bad-ass comic book adaptation Kick-Ass (2010).
Watch the video for “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” by The Dickies here …