Horror Movies Featuring Evil Clowns
Throughout the decades, many monsters and psychopaths have roamed the pages of novels and drifted across the big screen. Very few of those creatures and crazies have ever quite made the impression that clowns do. I don't know exactly why it is, but clowns can put a fear into the heart of any child with even the kindest of gestures.
When I was young I was once told, a child who doesn't feel the presence of evil at the sight of a clown, is already living in evil's presence. Now, I'm not claiming whether the saying is true or not, because I have no idea, what I do know is that I've never forgotten those words spoken to me over 30 years ago, nor have I ever trusted a clown.
What I'd like to do here is talk about some horror movies that use the clown as their symbol of terror. During this overview, I will occasionally weave in some true life clown facts, just to keep it interesting.
The origin of the word clown is uncertain, but it's thought to have started from a Scandinavian or Teutonic word for clod, which means a boorish fellow.
The first movie I'd like to mention was released in 1990 and was based on the book by Stephen King simply titled "It". In 1960, 4 children were being bullied by some of the other kids, lead by one in particular by the name of Henry Bowers, because of this, they decided to team up and form their own little group.
During the children's time together they each brought to the attention of the others, that they have had some sort of contact or been tormented by a shape-shifting demon named Pennywise. The demon was known throughout history to shape-shift into a clown and feed off the fears of children.
Eventually the children are able to defeat Pennywise, only for it to resurface 30 years later, at that point they are forced to finally finish him off, as adults. Very good movie, definitely worth your time. 5/5
Examples of clown-like comedic performers throughout history have been the pantomimus in ancient Greece, the Lazzi of Commedia dell'Arte, bouffons, and court jesters.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space
The next movie I would like to talk about is the 1988 American horror/comedy, Killer Klowns From Outer Space. The film is about a race of aliens who are attempting to invade Earth, and just so happen to resemble evil clowns.
The basis of the movie is very similar to the 1950s sci-fi B movie plots of aliens invading the Earth, to use humans as their source of food. As with most cheesy horror movies the police don't believe the witnesses tales of these killer klowns and a small group of teens are forced to do battle with the aliens on their own.
The final battle of the movie takes place at the aliens base camp that has grown into a full blown circus complete with sideshows and other attractions. It's certainly a very cheesy B movie but it does have some good qualities especially in the evil clown department. It's not a total waste of time to watch. 3/5
The most ancient clowns have been found in the Fifth dynasty of Egypt, around 2400 BC.
By the year 2000 most new horror movies had already began advancing the quality of their films special effects, in many ways. Killjoy is certainly not one of those movies, by any means. Killjoy is the name and low budget was definitely the game. Even with that in mind, Killjoy the clown still manages to creep you out.
Conjured out of pure anger by a young boy in love, right before his untimely murder at the hands of his loves significant other, killjoy arrives and begins exacting the boys revenge. By tricking his victims into his world, usually through the back of his ice cream truck, he finishes them off in some very strange and unique ways. In the final scene of the film, the remaining trio of survivors decide to go out and celebrate their victory over the evil clown, only to find Killjoy is there to celebrate as well.
This movie was bad, very bad. Killjoy is indeed extremely creepy, but the low quality of the movie makes it a total waste of time. 1/5 is being generous. On a side-note Killjoy 3 is much better, still cheesy but not a bad film, and it contains a few more evil clowns than the others.
The next movie isn't based on any actual killer clowns but rather a supernatural force, that just so happens to take possession of a clown doll in a couple of scenes. That's right, I'm referring to Poltergeist.
The movie begins with a young girl (Carol Anne) being abducted from her family by obsessive spirits or poltergeists led by a demon, after she watches way to much television apparently. The movie doesn't really start to get creepy for me until the scene where the clown doll comes to life and attempts to kill Carol Anne's older brother, with it's ever lengthening arms. In the end the family retrieves Carol Anne and they manage to escape from the house before it is sucked into another dimension.
All in all, not to bad of a movie, it was pretty great back in it's time of release in the 1980s but it doesn't really match up to the quality of other paranormal thrillers. 3/5
The concept of the evil clown is related to the irrational fear of clowns, known as coulrophobia.
John Wayne Gacy was an American serial killer and rapist, who was also known by the nickname "Killer Clown".
Well, seeing as how our latest true fact is based on this insane individual, it's only fitting that we mention the movie named after him. The movie Gacy is a 2003 release based on the crimes of John Wayne Gacy also known by his alter ego Pogo the clown or just simply Killer Clown.
When convicted, Gacy had brutally murdered at least 30 young men and boys. He was known, more often then not, to sexually abuse his victims before killing them and often burying them in the crawl space of his home. The nickname was derived from the fact, that he often dressed like a clown for children at large public functions or charity events, during his public life.
He was eventually tried and executed in Illinois at Stateville penitentiary in 1996. After incarceration Gacy was known to paint pictures of clowns and autograph photos of himself dressed as Pogo for the amusement of some very morbid collectors. The movie isn't to bad, not as good as some of the books on the subject but still worth watching. 4/5
A study by the University of Sheffield concluded that clowns are universally disliked by children.
House of 1000 Corpses
Last but not least, I would like to mention my favorite horror movie, involving a clown. House Of 1000 Corpses, it is a film released in 2003, written and directed by Rob Zombie, surrounding the lives of a family of miscreants led by a clown by the name of Captain Spaulding.
The setting takes place in 1977, two couples are traveling across the country on a journey to see all the offbeat attractions they can find, for a book they're currently writing. Along the way they happen across Captain Spaulding while visiting his very odd gas station/freakshow.
While they are there Spaulding shares the story of Dr. Satan, a local psychiatric doctor turned crazy, and the group is immediately intent on finding out more about this legend. After leaving Spaulding the group pick up a female hitch hiker who leads them back to her home, where they finally learn the facts about Dr. Satan that they were so eagerly searching for.
This is an excellent movie. Rob Zombie has taken it upon himself to extract the fears from several different sources and blend them together into his movie. 5/5 The Devil's Rejects is the sequel to this movie and definitely a must watch as well. 5/5
I don't know if I will ever be truly convinced that clowns aren't evil. I have never known a clown personally, I've never heard of someone applying for a clown job and I've certainly never met a woman who has dated a clown. No, they just show up out of nowhere, piling out of their insanely small clown cars and wreaking havoc upon the world with their squirting flowers and pie throwing, hiding their evil grins behind a layer of makeup. They rarely speak, they do unnatural things to balloons and purposely hurt weaker clowns solely for amusement. That all just seems a little to evil to me, personally, I'll never trust a clown.