Are clowns more scary than funny?
Charles Bramesco wrote “The try-hard charm of Killer Klowns From Outer Space created its own cult” for the A.V. Club.
It’s one of those titles that merits a second look, because the words go unnaturally together. Then again, Bramesco can hardly be blamed for that. Any article discussing Killer Klowns From Outer Space is bound to contain some words that sound unnatural, such as the title of the movie itself. Anyway, this review tackles the intentional campy quality of the movie, and how absurd it is. They also note how, “In practice, clowns are chilling avatars of hideously unnatural terrors,” though “they were originally conceived as sources of levity and good times.”
This is obviously an issue that extends beyond KKFOS. We have many clowns in existence, and many different reactions to them. Not only are the countless other horror clowns (such as Stephen King’s “It,” 2014’s movie simply titled “Clown,” and the real-life so-called “killer clown” John Wayne Gacy) but there are countless non-horror clowns, too. There’s Emmett Kelly, Red Skelton, Bozo the Clown, The Simpson’s Krusty the Clown, In Living Color’s fantastic Homey D. Clown, and Charlie Chaplin. There are even political activist clowns (other than Chaplin), such as Wavy Gravy and the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (some clown protesters once chanted “Three Word Chant! Three Word Chant!” effectively at at least one protest).
What are we to make of all of these clowns? I don’t know, but they all belong in the circus, and they all belong to us. Perhaps we are the circus. Some clowns are scarier than others, some are funnier than others, and some make us think more than others. Either way, it’s up to us to decide their place in our lives. I believe anyone can be a clown when in the right spotlight. And I have no idea how to end this article other than that.