Clowntown-2016 Spoiler Free Movie Review

ClownTown [2016] features an assortment of killer clowns chasing an assortment of young(ish) adults around an abandoned small town in Ohio, with bloody results. Although the plot is utterly ridiculous and the script could best be described as guileless, I actually had some fun watching this movie and found most of it strangely likable.

Campy, silly fun. The actors are often amusingly awkward with their lines, but occasionally deliver a moment of sheer, campy brilliance. Greg Violand as Frank gives an especially flamboyant performance, constantly waving his arms and wiggling his fingers in alarm. The plot doesn’t hold together very well, and the script somehow seems entirely superfluous to the movie itself. There are a few decent scares throughout and another handful that doesn't quite get the timing right, but it’s okay, because everyone is having a really good time, and it’s infectious. The movie is well-lit and visually interesting in both the daylight and night scenes, and although at the outset the film seems to belong to the “show every entrance and exit” school of film cutting, as the death toll mounts, the editing gets tighter and helps to build some suspense. The clown makeup is interesting and varied, with the Baseball Clown appearing genuinely frightening - a horrifying set of (hopefully false) teeth, facial contortion and perpetually surprised painted-on eyebrows combining to give him a vicious look.

More blood, please! The film’s tight budget sadly shows in the gore, which is very limited. Most character deaths are quick and not especially horrific, just featuring a quick stab or two and a little blood. There is one central scene where a character has his face ripped open, but the scene is very dark and we don’t get a good look at the wound. This gives the impression that the special effect didn’t turn out as planned and the scene was darkened to hide the issues with it.

Keeping it in the family. One look at the credits to this film and you know this was a labor of love, made on a tiny budget by some very committed people. Director Tom Nagel also acted, shot, edited, produced and did special effects for the film. Nagel’s entire family co-stars, his brother in a main role while mom, dad, sister and Tom himself are featured at various degrees of prominence (mom is especially fun as a mildly deranged older lady). The entire makeup department is actually made up of two of the clown performers. Andrew Staton, who plays Mike, served as stunt coordinator and grip on the production.


More innocent than creepy, Clowntown nonetheless has a campy
kind of charm and a can-do spirit that earns it a few points.