Sorry Pennywise, You’ll Never Be Creepier than the “Killer Klowns from Outer Space”

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Cirque du Soleil is starting to get a little weird. 

Kevin: “Everybody loves a clown/So why don’t you?,” sang Gary Lewis and the Playboys in a 1965 song that seems especially dated considering nowadays everyone seems to hate clowns, or at least is scared shitless of them. At some point in our popular culture clowns went from beloved children’s entertainers to either evil serial killers or at least guys with questionable Internet search histories, with the new Stephen King adaptation “It” being the latest to exploit those fears. But while the film is expected to scare up some big bucks at the box office this weekend due to massive hype and good reviews, I doubt I’ll find it nearly as disturbing as the 1988 dark comedy “Killer Klowns from Outer Space”:

If you are a certain age you probably remember this film – about, yes, killer clowns from outer space who invade a small town and start killing everyone they come across – from its numerous airings on HBO back in the day, especially during the daytime due to its PG-13 rating. It’s one of those movies I’ve probably seen all of but in bits and pieces rather than in one sitting; I would usually flip to it to see the killer klowns inflect another creative and grotesque kill on some unsuspecting person, like this unfortunate security guard:

They cover the dude in acid cream pies that turn him into a gooey mess, before putting a giant cherry on his melted corpse! How messed up is that? Stephen King would be hard-pressed to come up with something that disturbing. Later another Klown tries to lure a little girl to her doom in a sequence that is probably way creepier than Georgie getting pulled into the sewer by Pennywise in “It”:

You may wonder what his intentions for her are. Well apparently the Klowns are using ray guns to cover people in cotton candy cocoons …

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… which turns them into mushy bloody corpses that the aliens use for sustenance. At one point one of them sticks a bendy straw into one of the cocoons and starts sucking out blood like he was drinking out of a coconut. Yeah that’s not fucked up or anything. Later another Stephen King-worthy sequence occurs when one of the heroes is confronted by the corpse of the chief of police – played by “Animal House’s” John Vernon – being used as a ventriloquist dummy by one of the Klowns:

As you can see this does lead to him figuring out how to kill the aliens (shoot them in their clown noses, duh), but not before the Klowns have racked up a body count worthy of Gengis Khan:

So while “It” apparently does way more justice to King’s original than the recent “Dark Tower,” I may have to hold off on seeing it for a while since it’s been nearly 30 years and I’m still having nightmares about these guys:

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