Review: Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

By Sean Gardner

One fateful fall night of my freshman year of college, my friends and I decided to have a movie night. We set up a projector in a study room, moved in some couches, and settled in for what we did not realize at the time, would be a night of hilarity. 

First, we watched Iron Man 3 (gross) and then Empire of the Ants (campy and kind of fun but ultimately also gross). By then it was 2am and we were beyond slap-happy. But we came across this peculiarly titled movie, Killer Klowns from Outer Space. We thought, “It’s late. We’re all tired, but this sounds awesome so we have to at least check it out.” I can tell you with certainty that that was one of the best decisions I ever made. 

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is one of those special movies that falls in the category of “it’s so bad, it’s good.” Is the acting terrible? Yes. Is it poorly written? Yes. Does the plot make sense? Of course not. Do I care? No, I don’t. I don’t care because it is a fun movie. It is in the same horror-comedy realm as The Evil Dead trilogy and Reamimator. If you stop to think about it for a second, it should be weird and creepy, and I definitely shouldn’t be laughing at it. But, because the main villains are clowns that cover people in cotton candy, have seemingly harmless popcorn guns, and do puppet shows, they are oddly funny and entertaining. Especially at 3 in the morning. 

My friends and I laughed out heads off all night at this movie. Even the next morning we could not stop thinking “What the heck was that?” and then laughing about it. It is stupid and poorly made but it has become a Halloween tradition ever since. I look forward to reliving the memory of sitting in that cramped study room with my friends every year. 

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