Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Nice spoof of '50s horror and sci-fi for comedy purposes

Could have pushed it further and an R-Rating would have helped

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Studio:  Media Home Entertainment

Genre(s):  Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror

Release Date(s):  May 27, 1988

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Who doesn’t think an acid pie to the face is fun?

Aliens have landed and they are worse than anyone thought!  Taking the form of clowns in a giant tent of a spaceship, the aliens have decided to capture the population of Earth in their cotton candy traps.  Now, it is up to Time Tobacco (Grant Cramer), his girlfriend Debbie Stone (Suzanne Snyder), and her ex-boyfriend Dave Hanson (John Allen Nelson) to stop the clowns before they get away with their ghoulish deeds…and hope they don’t end up with pie in their face.

Directed by Stephen Chiodo and written by Charles and Stephen Chiodo, Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a comedy sci-fi horror film.  The movie was fairly well received by critics and has gained a cult follow over the years.


The question is where is the clown’s other hand…

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is as ridiculous as its title implies.  The movie takes a tongue-in-cheek approach and as a result, ends up being a rather sly jab at science fiction and horror.

The movie is set-up as a classic sci-fi film.  Two young lovers and the sheriff (who happens to create a love triangle with the girl) are the typical ’50s heroes (like in The Blob) who must stop an alien invasion.  The film delves into horror with the nasty approach of the clowns themselves.  This leads to a lot of slapstick humor and a nice contrast to the situation since it is horrific.

The cast is composed of mostly B-Movie actors.  The movie doesn’t need great actors because it falls into the ’50s style which mostly had actors reading their lines (usually overacting).  The basic stock characters for this film include the rather annoying Rich Terenzi (Michael Siegel) and Paul Terenzi (Peter Licassi) as Mike’s goofy friends.  I do like the small role by John Vernon as the blowhard (which he always played) who refuses to believe that “Killer Klowns” are attacking and Royal Dano as the stereotypical farmer.


Smile! Clowns are funny!

The movie doesn’t even try to look good.  The clowns are goofy, and I wish that the movie did even more to develop the individual clown’s personalities.  The surreal look of the film doesn’t necessarily match up all the time, but it is an interesting attempt at the visuals.

I was never a huge Killer Klowns from Outer Space fan, but it is an enjoyable film.  It is weird, unique, and different and that is why it has found an audience.  The cult nature of the movie has led to constant speculation of a sequel.  There is now talk of a 3D version of Killer Klowns from Outer Space.  With some smart modernization and some clever writing, it could work…I’d be happy to see the clowns come back.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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