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Send in the Clowns

We all know about the great Pennywise but let’s dive into some other killer clowns with some recommendations…


2007’s Drive-Thru features the mascot of Hella-Burger, the demonic Horny the Clown, on a murderous rampage. Look, this film is bad, but it’s so bad it’s good. You know what it is when it starts and it’s an awful good time. No, it’s not scary per se but I dare you to watch it and not be entertained. I first watched it on a whim and, from the beginning, I knew what I was getting myself into. I stuck with it and enjoyed the hell out of it.


2012’s Stitches is much like Drive-Thru: evil clown wreaks havoc with dark comic stylings. And like Drive-Thru, Stitches is a lot of fun with its title character a hoot like Horny the Clown. Not scary, but entertaining nonetheless. The two films would make a great double feature. I watched this film with my wife and daughter – both hated it – and I really enjoyed it. It’s silly while staying true to its genre.


1989’s Clownhouse centered on a trio of escaped mental patients who take up clown disguises at the circus before following kids back to an empty home. I wasn’t aware until later in life of the awful tragedy that took place behind the scenes but I remember this movie creeping me out as a child. Imagine crazy clowns following you home and being trapped in that house with them.


Everybody knows the Firefly family and the murderous clown Captain Spaulding from House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects (as well as the upcoming 3 From Hell), however Rob Zombie’s 2016 crowdfunded feature 31 features carnies who are kidnapped and force to go head to head with a gang of various crazy clowns for survival in ‘the game of 31’. A lesser known film in Zombie’s canon of work, 31 is an entertaining horror film even if it feels a bit unfinished. I’m a fan of Zombie’s filmography and when I watched this I was a little stumped. As I said, it feels incomplete so upon first viewing it isn’t as striking as his previous work; however, I’ve thought back on it a lot and it’s stayed with me, prompting me to want to watch it again.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

1988’s Killer Klowns from Outer Space is one of my favorite films in any genre. When you hear of a film being described as fun or inventive they rarely live up to its description but Killer Klowns delivers. From its creativity to its effects, from its visuals to its music, Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a wild ride. One of its taglines is actually “IT’S CRAAZZY!” And that it is. Alien clowns come to Earth to take people in cotton candy pods. It’s a fantastic film that knows exactly what it is and I recommend it for anyone who’s a fan of clown horror, horror-comedy, and 50s science fiction. A sequel has been talked about for years but hasn’t come together – here’s to hoping.

So that wraps up just a small selection of clown horror that you should watch. Feel free to send in your own picks!

Christopher Michael Carter is the author of Gun Control for Polar Bears and the blog Beavertown Productions. He lives in Bevier, Mo.

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