Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Terror of the Killer Klowns

The other night I watched Killer Klowns from Outer Space; a movie that has always been with since I could remember and it’s one of the wackiest, funniest, cheesiest films I had ever seen. However, after watching it again I noticed one scene in particular that was really frightening and I remember thinking to myself that this scene reminds me of John Wayne Gacy. First let me describe the scene to you:

The scene takes place outside of Big Top Burger where a large overweight Klown appears. Inside, there is a family having dinner and youngest sister is bored. The young girl looks outside and sees the Klown on a spring rider waving ‘hi’ to her. She smiles waves back to him. The Klown then begins to play ‘peek-a-boo’ and she plays along with him. The Klown then gets off the spring rider and begins to gesture with his finger to come to him. The next shot is of the family eating dinner while the camera pans to reveal that the little girl is missing. As the clown is gesturing the girl to come over to him, he is hiding a large heavy mallet behind his back. As the girl slowly approaches him, her mom steps in and grabs her and says, “Back here young lady, you’re not going anywhere till you finish your food.” The Klown then growls in anger.

What makes this scene so frightening is seeing a monstrous clown luring a little girl outside so that he can hit her on the head and eat her. The little girl is unaware of his motives and to her; the clown is there just to make her laugh. From her perspective, since she is too young, the clown looks normal with a big red smile, bright clothes and big red nose. What adds to the tension is the score by John Massari. It mostly a slow increasing choir (or synth choir) as the young girl makes her journey towards the Klown. The score is surreal and almost frightening, it forebodes danger and evokes an uncomfortable emotion.

As I said before, and I am not sure whether this is their intention or not but, this scene parallels a real life incident where a ‘clown’ lured unsuspecting victims to their deaths: John Wayne Gacy. It’s uncanny how the scene can be interpreted as being inspired by John Gacy.

This is probably the only scary scene in the whole movie, while the rest is pure sci-fi fun. With that, I will leave you with this image… the image of defeat, the image of anger and the image of WTF?


Andre said...

I dont know the scene where Sheriff Mooney is a human ventriloquist doll is another one of those oddly terrifying scenes. Those scenes in particular are accompanied by this eerie kind of silence. Almost as if a scene in a comedic TV show had no laugh track. You just know the Chiodo brothers had true terror hiding somewhere up those sleeves. I love it.

Mr. Johnny Sandman said...

I would also credit the score. The creepy sounding choir in the back really made the scene too.

forestofthedead said...

I'm with the ventriloquist doll scene for sure, and your post has inspired me to rethink this scene. Much more whacked up than I thought.

Emily said...

I think the filmmakers even describe the darkness of that scene in the commentary, although I haven't listened to it in years (this was the first DVD I ever bought and I tore through those special features like a newbie madwoman). I heart KKFOS so very much and get irked when people describe it as one of the infamously 'bad' movies. It goes all out with creativity and, as you point out, occasional creepiness.

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