Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
ClownTown: Getting Psycho in Ohio
are like the Drayton family in the Texas
Chainsaw films, but they have
floppier feet and they can all fit in the same compact car. This pack of
psychos likes to don clown makeup and kill unsuspecting motorists. Granted, the
nights are pretty quiet in southern Ohio, but can’t they just get drunk like
everyone else? The killer clowns rule the roost in Tom Nagel’s ClownTown (trailer here), which opens this
Friday in Los Angeles.
used to be a nice, quiet town to settle down in, until Little Ricky started hacking
up his babysitters. Jamie will be the next victim, but at least he will give
her time for a brief nude scene first. Her death will coincide with an infamous
train derailment that will precipitate a profound economic downturn for the
town (sort of like what that highway bypass did to the Bates Motel). As slasher
backstories go, that’s a decent start, but Nagel never really takes it
forward two decades, two fun loving couples are driving through what sure looks
like Clark County to get to a concert in Columbus. Brad is even planning to
propose to Sarah, which really annoys his best bud Mike, because it will make
him look bad in front his less serious girlfriend Jill. Unfortunately, they
will have more pressing concerns when an ill-advised detour takes them to a
nearly abandoned town terrorized by a feral gang of clowns.
yeah, that is pretty much the long and the short of it. Everything follows
strictly according to the numbers from this point forward—just one running and cowering
scene followed by another. Frankly, Brad and Sarah seem unusually bad at hiding
when the clowns start stalking them. Perhaps most disappointing, the villainous
clowns are all rather bland, despite their flamboyant makeup. Instead, all the
flair, such as it is, comes from Andrew Staton and Katie Keene as the
comparatively attitudinal Mike and Jill.
How sad is it that a grisly no-budget film like ClownTown is more fun than 31, Rob Zombie’s forthcoming film? That
doesn’t mean it is necessarily passable, but it doesn’t leave viewers feeling
so unclean. Yet, it must be said, the fearful, mind-your-own-business southern
Ohio of the film does not match the Clark Country of my experience. Not really
recommended, but whatever—ClownTown opens
today (9/30) in LA at the Arena Cinema.
Labels: Horror Movies, Ohio