CLOWN KILL

2.5 out of 10

Release date: 15th May 2017 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Mark J Howard

Cast: Roy Basnett, Jessica Cunningham, Stephen Greenhalgh, James Thompson, Tim Paley, Holly Chadwick, Rachel Dargie, Jeff Downs and Simon Entwistle

Writer: Mark J Howard & Stephen Greenhalgh

Trailer: CLOWN KILL

clown-kill-left-films-dvd

This narky, no-budget stalker flick at least attempts to be memorable. In a lot of ways, it’s only the budget and the limits of some of its performers that holds this killer clown flick back from achieving a comic notoriety on the same level as some of the well-worn Hollywood horror franchises. However, Stitches it is not – it’s not even Jason X. The main star is the reality TV personality Jessica Cunningham from The Apprentice and more recently Celebrity Big Brother. She plays a woman who works in a shabby ‘ad’ agency, who had, six months earlier, gotten drugged and raped by a clown in a pub toilet. Left to complete a rebranding for a local circus, she finds herself locked in the office with a murderous clown, who may or may not be one of her colleagues in disguise. Could it be her boss, the unhinged Charlie Boy (ROY BASNETT) or Quasimodo (STEPHEN GREENHALGH), the sinister janitor? Could be!? Who cares?

Clown Kill serves up limited laughs, and as weak as they are the ‘have a go’ bunch look like the cast had a good cackle at themselves in the process. Particularly, the two night security guards – still disposable – but at least they have a good line of piss-taking and practical joke playing before the clown gruesomely dispatches them. Did I say this was a horror? Well, it’s about as scary as an episode of Crossroads. There’s zero tension, so the decision to throw in a bunch of jokes was very wise.

The last horror we watched here was the pompous and utterly boring Ripper, which attempted to restore Jack The Ripper, as the ultimate film bogeyman. Clown Kill tries the same, but instead mixes humour with the murderous villainy. It’s the kind of role that welcomes plenty of egg and ham, and I think the actor  who plays the killer clown nails it. It’s just that the film and the location are cheap and the story takes way to long to get going. Yet, if you’re in a very, very forgiving mood, this weird horror-comedy from Widnes or Runcorn could be exactly what you need. If you’re not in the moon it’s just another cheapo quicky to quickly forget about.

2.5 out of 10 – Very lumpy, cut-price slasher flick with amusing script and game performances from it’s amateur cast. Cheapo the Clown, if you like.

Second review below by Matt ‘Chuckles’ Usher

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Jessica Cunningham: Celebrity Big Brother (TV), The Apprentice (TV)
  • Tim Paley: Tash Force, Diary of a Bad Lad
Advertisements

One thought on “CLOWN KILL

  1. Stairs. Lots of stairs. Endless stairs. And stairwells. With aspirational quotes from famous business folk on each landing. The big mystery being why there are quite so many stairs in a building with (at most) three floors.

    Actually no, the big mystery is meant to be about the lurking killer clown on the loose bumping everyone off. But my mind kept going back to the mystery of the excessive number of stairs. There are other mysteries. Like why this film was made, and whether anyone involved had ever worked in PR, security or circuses (these being the alleged areas of expertise of the characters (making tea is the only thing any of them seem to have any aptitude for)).

    OK, this is an amateur made-for-fun sort of film, but they’ve put it on DVD and are asking real money for it. So, is it worth £5.99?

    No.

    I’m being harsh. CLOWN KILL has a certain home-made charm about it. And lots of stairs. And it’s made with tongue firmly cheek-lodged. Which may be a good or bad thing. And it does have the worst actor I have ever encountered, and I don’t say that lightly. Honestly, connoisseurs of bad acting should watch this film and look out for the bloke with a beard and a clipboard (he plays a manager). It’s an incredible display of someone utterly ill-equipped for the task in hand, yet having the bravado to go for it anyway and hang the consequences. He’s an example to us all and I salute his endeavour even as I excoriate the horrendous result.

    In the opening sequence, a woman is drugged and raped by a clown in a pub. A few months later, to help her deal with the ordeal, she’s been given a 50K job as an advertising executive in an office which doesn’t look like an advertising executive has ever set foot in it. Her evil, heartless, money-grubbing boss gives her fourteen hours to prepare a press pack/conference/launch thing for a circus. A circus with clowns. However this is the sort of film where it’s the deadline which seems to cause more trouble than the whole ‘I was recently raped by a clown’ thing. Anyway, our doughty heroine declares she (a) can’t do it in fourteen hours, and also (b) she can do it. She then whittles away the exciting timeframe by smoking endless cigarettes, making visits to toilets, kitchens, and lots of other places nowhere near the office where she’s meant to be working. And then she gets groped by a one-eyed sex pest / cleaner, which further inconveniences her.

    But she’s a tough and no doubt feisty character so carries on with her job. That’s a lie, she has some more cups of coffee. Unsurprisingly she decides to work through the night. But instead of working she goes to the office’s gym. And shower. For some reason the film-makers show her gym/shower activity, but rarely do they show her doing any of her supposedly important paperwork. Odd priorities.

    Meanwhile the sex pest caretaker gets sacked by the facilities manager, played by the aforementioned very worst actor I’ve ever seen in my entire life ever. And I mean ever. He’s so atrocious I’d blocked him from my mind the moment the film ended, but now this over-gesticulatory bearded numbskull floods back into my consciousness. I mean, he’s certainly fun to watch, but there are shots where he’s merely, for example, meant to be filling in forms, and he manages to look incredibly self-conscious. The script doesn’t help him (‘I’ve got to ask you: are you a pervert?’), but he certainly can’t help the script.

    Meanwhile, the boss’s deputy moans about his unpleasant methods, and the office junior goes to get pizza. The boss may be an obnoxious pig, but he believes in security as there seem to be a surprisingly large number of (incompetent) security guards. Unfortunately, they’re also the comic relief, and we’re subjected to endless banter about pubic hair and prostate cancer while the killer clown starts stalking the corridors and stairs. Especially the stairs. So many stairs. The killer clown is clearly and very obviously someone we’ve already seen (and it’s obvious who), though the actor manages the transition surprisingly well. Once the slaughter and running about up and down stairs get properly underway the film does become entertaining in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 sort of way, but it’s a long slog to get to that point.

    As a comedy horror CLOWN KILL works better than EAT LOCAL (to be reviewed soon) because the film-makers have at least remembered that such a film needs to be violent, gory and funny (I’m not saying they necessarily achieve those aims, but they have a go). The big downside is the endless set-up sequence, with its limp satire, bad actor, and failure to adopt any atmosphere at all.

    The performers all seem to have fun, and even when they’re bad (most of them are bad, especially that really bad one I keep mentioning), they at least seem sincere. Even (and it pains me to admit this of a reality TV person utterly devoid of any apparent previous theatrical or screen-based experience or training) Jessica Cunningham, who convinces as someone having quite a bad day at the office. Unfortunately, she doesn’t convince as someone who’s having a cataclysmically catastrophic and potentially lethal day (and night) at the office. So, she’s perhaps not so great in the ‘undergoing trauma’ stakes, but I’ve seen worse. Like the bloke with a beard.

    This is cheap, moderately cheerful rubbish which doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a bunch of pals messing about. If you really must watch a clown-based horror, try something else (like STITCHES). But if you can’t avoid this (maybe because one of the cast/crew has locked you in a cellar and you have no choice) then there are some (very minor) compensations. Like the bad actor. And the aspirational quotes. And the stairs. So many stairs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s