I’m not really a horror fan. I don’t dislike the genre, but it’s generally not my thing. It doesn’t help that a staple of horror movies for the last several decades has been non-stop gore, as though that’s all it takes to scare people.
Killer Klowns isn’t a typical horror movie. It’s more of a horror comedy, and seems like it may have been inspired by Gremlins, like many horror movies of the ’80s. But instead of being more literal with any attempts at mimicking Gremlins’ success, by just having tiny little monsters (Critters, Ghoulies, etc.), Killer Klowns has a combination of the humor and originality which made Gremlins such a classic.
The idea behind the monsters is that they’re aliens stopping on Earth for food, and were probably the inspiration for clowns. We know all this because these are the uneducated guesses made by the characters. Okay, I won’t question that.
There’s a plot here besides just killer aliens that have to be stopped, with a love triangle and stuff. But it’s basically just screen filler between the parts with the clowns (Or is it klowns? Do they actually call them that in the movie?). Fortunately, clowns make up like 90% of the movie.
There’s not much gore in the movie. The only example I can recall is a quick shot of a guy getting his head punched off. And he has it coming, managing to make one of the mass-murdering, man-eating clowns look sympathetic. For a moment.
What I find charming about this movie is how original it is. Not the premise of killer clowns, but the ideas used throughout the film. From balloon animals that track scents, to shadow puppets that eat people, to deadly cream pies, the clowns put a lot of effort into killing people. They’re far more entertaining to watch than someone like Jason Voorhees.
And that’s what makes this an enjoyable film like Gremlins. It’s not about scares. It’s not about gore. It’s about having fun. And killing people.