11th Sep2014

‘Killer Klowns from Outer Space’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, Michael Siegel, Peter Licassi, Royal Dano, Chris Titus, Irene Michaels, Karla Sue Krull | Written by Charles Chiodo, Stephen Chiodo, Edward Chiodo | Directed by Stephen Chiodo


Killer Klowns from Outer Space was always one of those movies that I knew I had to see but never got round to it, but through Netflix I got lucky.  Finally getting to see it I saw what all the fuss was about and just why it is seen as a cult classic.  Now Arrow Video have given it their treatment on a dual DVD and Blu-ray release and with plenty of special features it’s enough to make you drool.

When a small town is invaded by aliens from outer space the local cops take no notice of the calls for help, especially Mooney (John Vernon) who doesn’t take the description of the aliens seriously…clowns.  When Debbie pleads with Dave Hanson (John Allen Nelson) he relents and puts his cop skills into action to investigate.  It’s not long before the evidence is enough to convince Hanson, especially with clowns, candyfloss and mutant popcorn invading the streets.

Created by the Chiodo brothers and directed by Stephen Chiodo this low-budget homage to movies such as The Blob walks the tightrope between bad b-movie and cult classic.  Thankfully though the fun nature of the film wins out and while the acting isn’t the best at times Killer Klowns from Outer Space is everything a good cult classic should be.  With inventive death scenes which all have a clown or circus theme the horror for the most part may be tame, but the well thought out idea of the clowns themselves and the comedy aspect make this a memorable film that always sticks fondly in your mind.  Fans of The Toxic Avenger, Frankenhooker, The Stuff and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (and many more b-movies) will love this.

When it comes to the acting it is fair to say that the actors really do get what the movie is and give performances that fit the tone.  Praise has to be given for the casting of John Vernon as the asshole cap.  Vernon is a favourite of mine when it comes to the bad guys of comedy, Dean Wormer from Animal House is of course the character so easily thought of when you think of him.  I’ll say that Killer Klowns from Outer Space comes a close second especially in the scene where the clowns make him look like a dummy.

Typically of Arrow Video they present the film with an excellent picture quality.  Even with the high-definition presentation none of the magic is taken away as can sometimes happen when films like this are presented in higher quality.  If anything showing the film in such a good format shows just how surprisingly good the effects are for a film on a low-budget.  The special features include interviews, bloopers and a Chiodo Brothers commentary for the film that provides plenty of trivia to keep film fans happy.  As always it’s nice that Arrow Video have taken the time to pull together so much material about the film, and release it in a steelbook, showing the love for the release that it fully deserves.

Even before I started to watch the movie I already knew that I loved Killer Klowns from Outer Space and I have no doubt that many people who purchase it will be exactly the same.  We have a certain confidence now with Arrow Video that they will provide us with the film in the best possible presentation and with special features that provide us with everything we need to know about the movie.  They don’t let us down this time.  There are better releases by the company (with a review for one of them coming up very soon) but for in the context of Killer Klowns from Outer Space I would argue that this is the perfect release for a cult classic that got lucky and pushed all the right buttons with an oversized mallet of fun.

***** 5/5

Arrow Video are releasing Killer Klowns from Outer Space in a regular Blu-ray and Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook version, both packed with a ton of special features:

  • Audio Commentary with the Chiodo Brothers
  • The Making of Killer Klowns – a 20-minute featurette looking at the film’s production, including an interview with the Chiodo Brothers alongside behind-the-scenes footage
  • Visual Effects with Gene Warren Jr. – an interview with Charles Chiodo and visual effects supervisor Gene Warren Jr.
  • Kreating Klowns – an interview with Charles Chiodo and creature fabricator Dwight Roberts
  • Bringing Life to These Things – A Tour of Chiodo Bros. Productions
  • Chiodo Brothers’ Earliest Films – a look back at the Chiodo Brothers’ early homemade productions
  • Tales of Tobacco: A brand new interview with star Grant Cramer
  • Debbie’s Big Night: A brand new interview with star Suzanne Snyder
  • Komposing Klowns – interview with composer John Massari
  • Deleted Scenes with Director’s Commentary
  • Bloopers
  • Klown Auditions
  • Image Gallery
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Starburst critic Joel Harley, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is available on dual format DVD & Blu-ray from September 15th.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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