***/**** Image C+ Sound B- Extras A
starring Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon
screenplay by Charles Chiodo & Stephen Chiodo
directed by Stephen Chiodo
by Walter Chaw Boy, you know, I really like the Chiodo Brothers' Killer Klowns from Outer Space. I can't help it. I like it more than Night of the Creeps, more than Matinee, more than any other film that would see 1950s creature-features resurrected, be it through homage or farce or satire. I like it because it's unapologetic, and because its high concept is broad enough that there are sufficient gags to peanut-butter across the entire runtime. I like, too, that they don't end a scene without a groaner, meaning they're unerringly true to their stated mission of erecting a shrine to Irvin S. Yeaworth's The Blob (truer, even, than the contemporaneous remake of The Blob) and doing it with a relentlessly light touch. It's never scary (unless you're a true coulrophobe), but it is often uproarious--like when one of the titular alien Bozos squirts angry Officer Mooney (John Vernon, just fantastic) with gag flowers, to which Mooney, out of proportion to the affront, responds, "I oughta shoot you right now." I also appreciated the moment when head girl Debbie (Suzanne Snyder) asks why they're being shot with popcorn and her boyfriend Mike (Grant Cramer) replies, "Popcorn? Because they're clowns!" Well, no shit, Debbie, try to pay attention.