Friday, October 21, 2011

Fear of Clowns

(2003) **



This 2 hour opus could easily have been trimmed down to a lean, mean 45 minutes. Struggling evil clown painter Lynn Blodgett is going through a difficult divorce with her abusive husband. She gets an unexpected feather in her cap when offered $20,000 by a demanding connoisseur to paint a portrait of his harlequin father. Before long she finds herself stalked by a shirtless dolt in makeup. Whether its the commissioner of the painting, her husband, boyfriend or a crazed fan, somebody clearly wants her dead. Do the police disbelieve her story? Does a clown shit in the woods?

This time it's "Shivers the Clown" doing the murdering. Each time he appears, the camera focuses squarely on his face to give us time to marvel at his exquisite makeup. I believe the painted teeth make the design so compelling. But then the moment is milked for an additional 10-15 seconds too long as he tilts his head slowly to the left. We get it - you're a scary guy. Now freakin' do something already! His refusal to wear a shirt, showcasing his muscular physique also distracts from - rather than enhances his overall intimidation factor. Octopunk pointed out this curiosity in his 5(!) year old review

After watching over a dozen of these movies I've developed a pet peeve for clowns who don't act like clowns. Sure Shivers has cool makeup but he's not creepy. Where are the exaggerated mannerisms, the silly walks and the squeaky horns? Where is the laughter? With way too much screen time given, he moves around and kills like a bored Jason Voorhees. Still, as with many other reviews this month I must end with the disclaimer "despite the above criticisms, this movie is totally sweet". 

5 comments:

JPX said...

You gotta admit, that make-up is pretty damn sweet! Yet another bad clown movie, huh? I hope you stumble across some gold pretty soon otherwise you're going to leave October jaded.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Nah, this is the best October ever and I have a juggernaut lined up that I'm saving for the end of the month!

Catfreeek said...

"Where are the exaggerated mannerisms, the silly walks and the squeaky horns?" ~ Honestly, what the hell is wrong with them? It's just not a clown unless it acts like a clown.

Octopunk said...

Holy crap! I never noticed the lack of clownishness when I watched this. Yeah, he just sneaky-Petes around and shows off his big torso.

Abduscias said...

Sounds more like a mime, than a clown! teehee