ClownTown - 2016
ClownTown is directed by Tom Nagel and written by Jeff Miller, the very same duo that brought us ClownTown. This movie claims to be inspired by true events. I have a strong suspension that the “true events” they are referring to is the writer siting down to write the movie. The “story” centers around a group of friends stranded in a small town, stalked by a gang of violent clowns.
This movie opens with a babysitter telling a story to a couple of kids (a boy and a girl). Something clearly is wrong with the boy. For one, his room is decorated with clowns and he keeps spinning an apple in his hand while she is talking. Either you eat it or you don’t kid, sh*t or get off the toilet. Another metaphor for completing an action by making a decision. Turns out I was right cause the kid puts on a clown costume and kills the babysitter. How does he kill her? He stabs her… with a meat cleaver. He doesn’t hack at her limbs or head, he stabs her. Maybe her could’ve used a normal knife, but that’s too mainstream.
Quick note: I will give them props when props are due. The opening credit montage was interesting.
We jump 15-years later and we meet the group of “friends”. The chemistry is palpable. Clearly, they have known each other for years. Even though one of the dudes looks like he is 50-years-old and the other is 30, but who am I to judge… I don’t have friends. Our heroes are crossing into Ohio and like everyone knows, in Ohio you don’t have GPS signals, so they are stuck using a dumb old map. OHIO, YOU SUCK! (I live in Cincinnati, this is a sarcastic statement. Don’t send me hate letters. I know it won’t be hate emails because Ohio doesn’t have internet yet.)
They arrive at the small village of Clinton, Ohio. They go there because one of the girls lost her phone and the person who found it was going to meet them there to give it back. They portray Clinton as a ghost town even though it’s a lovely place in real life. Their Ohio Veteran’s Memorial Park is beautiful and they have wonderful Historical Society. Also, they are just 45 minutes outside of Cleveland if you wanted to have the “big city” experience. So, yeah take that Jeff Miller and your “true events”.
Quick note: more than a few times they show a “man” dressed up as a clown. But they vanish into thin air. Apparently putting on clown make-up from Party City (still not a sponsor) gives you superpowers.
Let’s jump ahead to when things get, well, not good, just… not as bad. The friends are joined by two fellow road travelers and the clowns finally come out to play. They instantly kill one of the travelers and the group runs away. There are three clowns and all have their own special traits. We have bald-sad-face clown that has on overalls. His weapon of choice is a hatchet. We have blue-hair-diamond-eyes clown that has suspenders on. His weapon of choice is a tire-iron. Last but certainly not least we have long-hair-big-red-lips clown that has a leather vest on. His weapon of choice is a bat. What do they all have in common, outside of their clown fetish? They are extremely stupid and slow. I mean, creEEeeEpy…
The gang runs into a survivor and he gives us the lovely backstory of how the clowns own this town now. I mean, I feel like we understood that from what we had seen so far, but glad we got confirmation about the clown problem. They did drop a hint that there is a rumor that it all started with a “weird family.” could that be the “true events”? He based it on his weird family? If you like clowns you like clowns, I’m not one to judge.
Quick recap of the movie and where we stand. Our group has one girl kidnaped and being tortured into becoming a clown, I guess. Both travelers that joined them are dead and we miss them every second. Lastly, they managed to kill a clown and trace him back to the diner where they had stopped to get directions. I know, what a twist.
Coming back to the action, our group is divided and the main guy finds a crazy old lady in a house. My sodium levels went through the roof thanks to her hamming up every single line. Turns out she is the mother of the kids we saw in the opening scene. It all comes full circle… Writing 101, we have a pro in our hands. She is proud of her son’s killing ways because she is the one who killed the babysitter. Plot twist… you could say that. Truly a pro. What they left unexplained is why the actress chosen to play the mom is the same age as the clown leader that plays her son. I guess you age faster in clown make-up.
In the final fifteen minutes of the movie, the killing count really ramps up. The clowns kill three people: the girl they have been torturing, the sheriff that was covering for them and the 50-year-old that was the “best-friend”. But, the group also kills three people: the lady clown that was doing the torturing, a fat clown that came in midway through the movie and the bald-sad-face clown. So, life is good because we have a balance in death. The end shot is of the leader clown still alive, as if to say a sequel is coming. But wouldn’t that place be raided by hundreds of police officers once the survivors tell them what they saw? That a group of five clowns took over an entire village. I know, maybe they won’t believe them because it’s so farfetched, how can they even maintain that control under the radar? Did nobody come through that village? Did every single-family member, friend and co-workers of their victims fail to file a missing person’s report? I just hope that someone believed them and this was resolved, since, you know, this movie is based on “true events”. Clinton, Ohio is why I love movies.
ClownTown is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. This review was based on true events.
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