Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vamp or Not? Killer Klowns from Outer Space


Sometimes a film does exactly what it says on the tin and this Stephen Chiodo flick from 1988 does just that. It is a film about Killer Klowns who have come to earth from outer space in a big top shaped spacecraft.

Now you would be forgiven for wondering why on earth I would look at this under ‘Vamp or Not?’ and it is because as well as occasionally managing to get onto a vampire filmography you also find that the title comes up if you do a DVD search, key word vampire, on Amazon (UK at least).

Mike and DebbieSo I decided to look at a film where a couple Debbie (Suzanne Snyder) and Mike (Grant Cramer) are up at a make out spot when a shooting star blazes overhead. Why Mike’s character had the surname Tobacco was a mystery but I don’t think it had any significance. Anyway, they decide to follow the shooting star and find a big top in the woods. They enter it and discover that it is a space craft and humans are cocooned in cotton candy by creatures that look like clowns.

a klown with MooneyThey manage to escape and try to raise the alarm but, of course, no one believes them – at first. One cop – Mooney (John Vernon) – really disbelieves them and seems to hates them as he seems to hate all young people, but they persuade younger cop Dave (John Allen Nelson) to check it out mainly because Debbie used to date him and he clearly still holds a torch for her. Soon Mike and Dave are desperately trying to save the town from the klowns.

using a strawI said that they were cocooning humans and it becomes clear that it was for foodstuff. We see one klown approach the cotton candy cocoon and get out a crazy straw. It sticks it into the cocoon and drinks – presumably the blood or general fluids. Using a straw is not unheard of in the genre and two examples – post this – that I can think of appear in the film the Witches Hammer and also in the modern Doctor Who episode Smith and Jones. That is all well and good but it doesn’t necessarily make it a vampire, especially as the thing is a set up for the crazy straw gag rather than a definitive lore aspect.

exploded by nose shotThe klowns do not die by stake through heart (or any other established vampire killing technique) but by being shot in the big red nose. This causes said nose to explode and then the klown blows up in a flash of green light. So, why does it get listed on the vampire filmographies from time to time? Probably down to the straw scene but I do not believe that is enough to class this as a vampire film. Not Vamp.

The imdb page is here.


Johnny said...

Certaintly not a vampire film but it is one of my favorite horror movies!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Cheers Johnny... as I said, mainly run as a 'Vamp or Not?' because it comes up on an Amazon search for vampire... but totally agree Not Vamp

Nathan Forester said...

Since you talked about the Hellraiser series on this blog..could you talk about Nightbreed? The Nightbreed are technically vampiric in some aspects despite not being vampires and they have vampire type weaknesses.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi Nathan, thanks for stopping by. I'll happily look at it at some point :)